Most of the time I'm looking at their features, how their feathers are coming in, and trying to guess if they'll be boys or girls. I also try to guess what colors they will be when they're fully feathered and what breeds they might be since we got mixed breed chicks. My opinions of each chick seem to change from day to day, but as they get bigger I think the answers are becoming more clear.
The most interesting thing to watch is their behavior. Some chicks are proficient scratchers and are the main reason their water is always full of wood shavings. Other chicks seem to be "whiners", walking around and chirping their very distinguishable high pitched chirps. A few, I'm assuming they will be boys, are very macho and walk around stealing food from other chicks. I'm always impressed with the chicks who seem to be learning to steer when they fly and can perch up on the edge of the brooder to get a better view of their surroundings (although the minute they see my they fly back to safety.
I feed them treats and try to handle them every day because they are still pretty spooked when I move quickly or stand up. Some are getting better and rush to see me, while others hide in the back and wait to get their treats after I leave. I'm hoping by the time we move them outside in a few weeks will will all be friends. I don't like the idea of running around trying to catch chickens when it's time to go in the coop for the night.
Here's a video of the chicks at snack time. I talk a little bit about them, where they are in their development, and their current temporary chick home:
While I wasn't able to catch any chicks for their movie debut, I was able to snap a few pictures.
This is Sadie, she is one of my favorites (I hope she's a she!). She seems very delicate and shy compared to the others. She's one that has a distinguishable chirp and always hangs back and waits for her treats. I am in love with her grey coloring.
This is Hank. I'm trying very hard to not get attached to the chicks that I think might be boys, in case they end up going to new homes or in the stew pot, but with Hank I just can't help it. It's very sweet, the first to come to me for treats, and will perch on my hand so he gets the best access to whatever treats I'm hand feeding the chicks. I'll talk more about why I think he's a boy in another post, but it has to do with feather color, his legs, and his comb (the mohawk between his eyes).
This is Poe. She looked very much like a Raven when she was a chick, but is feathering out in the neatest leopard pattern. I'm still on the fence as to whether she's a she or he, but for now I'm going to be optimistic and call her a girl.
All of the other chicks were to anxious and the pictures turned out blurry, but I'm hoping to do a new photo shoot on Tuesday, when they are 4 weeks old.