Baby chickens are called chicks until they are around 6 weeks of age, then they are referred to as Growers. During and immediately after hatching baby chicks look wet and may lie still like they are unconscious for quite long periods of time. As they dry off baby chicks begin to stumble around and become more active.
When chicks first hatch they are wet and need to dry off in the incubator for a few hours till they become light and fluffy.
Below: Some day old chicks.
What do baby chicks look like?
They look like miniature and very cute versions of their parents but with fluff instead of feathers. Depending on the breed chicks can be one or many colours and some are patterned.
When they first emerge from the shell they are wet and a bit sticky and may have bits of shell stuck to them.
What do chicks look like when they hatch?
Below: Here is an chick beginning to hatch.
Below: A newly hatched chick, just a few minutes old.
You can see they are wet when they hatch and need to dry off and become all fluffy.
How heavy is a baby chick?
The average weight of chicks in my last hatch was 42.7 grams or one and a half ounces. It varied from 36 grams to 51 grams and of the breeds of chicks that I could sex the males were 1.5 grams on average heavier than the hens.
Below: This little Belgian bantam is just 22 grams.
All the eggs in this hatch were from rare breed large fowl chickens.
How much do baby chickens weight?
The lightest chick I have ever hatched was 21 grams and it was a Japanese bantam and the heaviest was a White Leghorn at 61 grams. A baby chicken weighed at birth or hatching is between :
|Large Fowl chicks||35 - 65 grams|
|Bantam chicks||28 - 40 grams|
|True bantam chicks||20 - 30 grams|
The weight of a day old chick depends on both the breed and the humidity during incubation. Dry incubators produce lighter chicks by as much as 5 grams.
Below: Chicks in a brooder around 7 days old.
Based on day-old body weight I would say large chicks are over 42 grams, average are between 37 and 41 grams and small chicks are less than 37 grams.
How much weight do baby chicks gain every week?
Here is a table to show how much my rare breed chicks put on weight wise over the course of three weeks. The eggs in the incubator were between 54 and 65 grams in weight before they were set.
|Time||Min and max weights.|
|Eggs||54 - 65 grams|
|0 days||36 - 50 grams|
|7 days||66 -91 grams|
|14 days||101 - 130 grams|
|21 days||162 - 199 grams|
By 4 weeks old they were approaching 300 grams each and were almost impossible to weight so I gave up trying.
How tall are baby chicks?
Bantam chicks are about one and a half inches tall at hatching and large fowl chicks are between two and two and half inches tall when hatched and fully dry.
Actual breed sizes do vary quite a bit.
Chick patterns and colours:
The patterns and colour of baby chicks varies a lot depending on the breed. Some are one colour only, some are a mix and other have patterns and stripes on their bodies.
Below: Some chicks are patterned like this Silver laced Barnevelder.
Below: Some are just one colour, there are black and yellow chicks in this picture.
Below: Here is a polish chick with a crest. More on the Polish breed of chickens.
Chicks come in many sizes, colours and patterns.