My chicks and turkey poults aren’t looking like babies anymore. The turkeys are about 5 weeks old now, and the chicks are going on 4 weeks. It is amazing how quickly they grow! The turkey have lost the majority of their soft baby down, and the chicks are about half feathered out. I am finally getting an idea as to what breeds I got in my “Assorted Bargain” box, and so far I am very pleased. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but here is what I think I have:
The majority of chicks I got are, I believe, an old, mid-sized breed, known as the Silver Spangled Hamburg. They are nicknamed the “Every Day Layer” due to their prolific egg production, and they also happen to be known as great foragers and free-rangers–just the type of bird we want! We seem to have a very good mix of pullets (girls) and cockerels (boys), so we are looking forward to a good balance of meat and eggs.
For years, I have always admired the beauty of the Light Brahma chicken. It is big, with roosters being known to weigh around 12 lbs, and hens both lay well and set. I am fairly confident we got a few of these, though I don’t yet know whether they are pullets or cockerels.
I have been confident for a while now that I also got a few Leghorn chickens. I thought they were all Brown Leghorns until today. I have a Brown or 2, though I’m not sure if they are the Rose Comb or the Single Comb variety.
Today, I realized one of my “Brown” Leghorns had white feathers, so, I went back to my book and it looks like it may, in fact, be a Silver Leghorn, which is a rare variety of the Leghorn breed. They looked identical as chicks, but as they have feathered out, you can see how different they are becoming. Time will tell if I am correct there.
Then there is the lone “zebra” chick. I am not sure yet whether it is a Dominique (a.k.a Dominiker) or a Barred Plymouth Rock. I will be able to tell better as its comb develops, though for now it is looking more like a Barred Plymouth Rock (Dominiques have rose combs, while Barred Rocks have more normal single comb). I also don’t know if it is a pullet or cockerel, though either is acceptable. The roos make good eatin’, and the hens are great layers.
Then comes the one that gives everyone a good laugh, our little “top-hat.” We got an exotic breed chick with our batch, a Golden Polish. It looks like he is having a chronic bad hair day, every day!
Finally, there is the one little chick I haven’t figured out. As a young chick, he resembled the leghorns, as he had a “chipmunk” look, only he had a few more spots than stripes. Now, he is feathering out similiar to a Brown Leghorn, but much smaller. The closest identity I can come up with so far is a “Buttercup” or a “Golden Penciled Hamburg,” though he has a lot more growing to do before I will know for sure. What do you think?
Now to the turkeys….They aren’t babies any more, and we hope to be moving them to outdoor accomodations this week. We have had snow even today, but the forecast is predicting gorgeous, 60-70 degree weather starting tomorrow. We have set up a little pen and turkey house outside, where I suspect, they will be much happier.