Monday, August 6, 2012

Chicks Have Belly Buttons, And Other Random Chick Facts

I just received 27 baby chicks in the mail! I ordered them online, at Murray McMurray hatchery. I ordered 25 of them, but received two extra, all healthy and chirpy. Ever since, I have been doing tons of research on what it takes to keep little baby chicks healthy and happy.  Here are some of my chicks:

 As you can see, I got quite an assortment of beautiful chicks. I ordered "Rainbow Layers" which is the hatchery's choice of laying birds that lay all different colors of eggs. I do not yet know what breeds they are, but I am trying to figure that out. When they are very small it can be hard to tell the breed, so I may just have to wait a few weeks to know for sure.

I do know for sure one breed that I have; they are called turkens. Contrary to the name, they are not turkeys at all, they are 100% chicken. They are very distinctive, so I can tell them apart immediately. They have no feathers on their neck!

One thing I found out about them is that chicks actually have belly buttons! You don't generally think about birds having an umbilical cord since they are not mammals, but they do have one to connect them with the  inside of the egg. I, at least, had never thought about this before.

Another fact about them is that while they have no teeth as adults, the newborn baby chicks have one tooth. Technically, it is not a real tooth, but it is a hard point on the tip of the beak that the chick uses to break out of its shell with while hatching. The egg tooth, as it is called,  soon falls off after hatching, but I noticed that a few of my chicks still had theirs when I got them, so I took pictures.

Can you see the egg tooth on both of these chicks?

Another thing I discovered while doing research was that like any other group of people, people who raise chickens seem to have their own dialect! I had to learn new words, like Alektorophobia (the fear of chickens), bantam (a miniature chicken), Crop (a sac at the base of a chicken's esophagus that stores food), and many more. The word "buff" means a golden brown, not a rooster who is exceptionally muscular. Here's a real "buff":

I call these chicks the "chipmunk" chicks, because that is what their color reminds me of!

Something I've seen from watching the chicks is that their motto seems to be, "Don't stop until you drop!" Their daily activities look like this: cheep, eat, drink, poo, cheep, chirp, flap, dash, flap, eat, eat, eat, drink, poo, cheep, drop. Then repeat. It is very funny; they can be running around having fun and then suddenly, kaplunk! Instant sleep.

Sleep, that is, until five seconds later another chick jumps on his head!


  1. Awwww! They are so cute Haley!!! I always loved it when we got new chicks as well.
    Hey, I did try to email you, but it wouldn't work. Sorry!
    We missed you Sunday!

  2. Very cute and fluffy looking! LOVE THEM!