Mystery Chicks

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


Oct 25, 2018
I picked up two chicks when they were two weeks old, being told they were barred rocks. Having only seen a few pictures on the facebook post, I could tell the one was definitely a barred rock and assumed the other was a female that just didn't show any of the white bars coming in.

After I got them home, I noticed the dark one was a feather foot! Certainly not a barred rock, but what? It has black legs, feet, beak and comb and the skin looks really dark too (not white or yellow). There appeared to be a few longer feathers coming in on top of its head and now at 5 weeks, it has a definite crest forming. The comb looks like it will be a pea comb as there are 3 rows of tiny black nubs that are barely noticeable. I contacted the place the lady got the eggs from and sent them pictures, but they're confused too. They think possibly a black copper maran or a cross with them, but those don't have all the same traits as this chick. Everyone is stumped.

The sex of the barred rock is still up for debate too, imo. At exactly 5 weeks old today, the comb *might be* starting to get a bit of color, but no waddles. The feet were bright yellow, but got a dark flushing down the front of the legs and top of the toes at about 3.5 weeks. It's not a really dark grey, but more spotted than striped overall. Really the only bands are on the wings.

So what do I have here? Breed of the black and your guess of the sex on the BR.

Pics are at 2 week+1 day, 3 weeks+3 days, 4 weeks+2 days and 5 weeks (separate pics of each)


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Barred rock and a mixed breed, probably with silkie. They are a bit young to tell for certain the sex.

I thought silkie too given the color of the skin, but they swear their silkies are always kept separate from the rest of the birds and they're all white. Granted a mix could produce a regular feathered non-white bird, but they dismissed that possibility.
I thought silkie too given the color of the skin, but they swear their silkies are always kept separate from the rest of the birds and they're all white. Granted a mix could produce a regular feathered non-white bird, but they dismissed that possibility.
Black skin, extra toes, leg fuzz, and a crest doesn't lie. :confused:
Update: they're 7 weeks today! The barred one has just the slightest blushing where the waddles will be. What I found super odd researching pictures of other barred rocks at this age for comparison, is the pictures of what people say are their 7 week old barred rocks look waaaay more mature than this one. Is it plausible they're developing more slowly because the time of year? I know temperature is a factor in optimum cell growth, but can cooler temps really stunt development this noticeably?

One new thing I read somewhere is feather shape at this age and more rounded feathers=hen and more slender/pointy on back and neck=rooster. With that new-found tidbit, I'm thinking the mystery black chick is a rooster. However, the feathers overall are more slender and not just the hackle and saddle feathers. Without knowing what mix of breeds it is, it makes it an unknown how to interpret feather shape for guessing hen or rooster.

I know personality is a crap shoot (I have a few horribly cranky hens), but the black one peeps what seems like all the time, is really flighty and does not like to be picked up anymore. Where as the barred one is fairly tolerant of being picked up, peeps way less often and has started making a cooing sound (like a dove almost). Tonight it stood still with its head cocked to the side, staring up at me for a long time while I talked to them. When I did pick it up, it settled down on my knee after just a few seconds and eventually closed its eyes while I petted its back. It has such a sweet temperment so far. I really hope it's a she!

Any additional guesses on breeds and sexes at this age? Appreciate any and all input. :)


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