Once they were here, I scoured all of my resources including the two chicken books I already own and could find little in terms of a timeline for my expected babies. I wanted pictures. I wanted charts. I wanted to know what to expect and when to expect it. Now, I understand that all chickens are different. Raising chicks is like raising children in the fact that all the "What to Expect" books and the parenting magazines warn you that all children are different and some develop at a slower or faster rate than others. But I seriously wanted some sort of flow chart to follow so I'd know what to expect. Why hasn't anyone written a What to Expect When You're Expecting Chicks book? It could start with the development of the chick in the egg as it's sat on by the hen. Then the chapters could be divided by week with each week having a description of the types of things your chicks should be doing and thing they might start doing. Then it could answer common questions people have about raising chickens. I mean, this sounds like a money maker to me. I've read the chicken forums. People raise chickens and hatch eggs and have no idea what they're doing. This sucker would be a huge seller in hardware and feed stores. Just saying.
I'm going to give a basic timeline for the clutch of chicks we hatched. I'm going to start at hatch and go through 8 weeks. They're a few days away from being 11 weeks old. The biggest changes happened between hatching and 8 weeks. The past few weeks they've mostly just grown and integrated more and more with the flock, so in terms of development it's not as exciting as those first 2 months. You may find that your hatching experience is different or that your breed of chicken developed differently or at a different pace. I completely expect that to be true and I'd love for you to share your experiences below. I've only experienced the hatch of one clutch, so that's all I have to go on.
This is the story of 5 Japanese-Old English Game Bantams. Keep in mind they are super tiny since they're bantams. Let's get started:
Week 1: It took three days for all of the eggs to hatch. When they first hatch out, they're super tiny and look wet, but within the first hour they become the fluffy little chicks you expect. They make constant peeping sounds.