How much a chick grows in 7 days. A chick update!

I’m busy today trying to figure out how to get a new camera into the chick enclosure so you can watch them whenever you so desire.


But I wanted to get a quick update on how quickly chicks grow.  When I got the chicks I had a few people say they’d come in a week or so to see them and I had to tell them, if you want to see a cute fluffy chick you need to get here within the first 3 days.  After that they start to lose their soft feathers, get a big gangly and before you know it they’re covered in pimples.

Alas.  The teenage chicken.

Just as a bit of a refresher, here’s the chick with the fluffiest legs a week ago.


Black Copper Marans 5- Days Old


Only 5 days old and it was already starting to get wing and tail feathers.

He/she/it has changed quite a bit in the past 7 days. Here he/she/it is at 12 days old.

Black Copper Marans 12- Days Title

Black Copper Marans 12- Days

Black Copper Marans 12- Days 2

Black Copper Marans 12- Days 3


Even though this particular chick has the most feather growth, is the biggest, and has the thickest legs, he/she/it has the smallest comb of all of them. It’s very dark and almost non existent.

You can see how I sexed another batch of chicks here using 3 different methods by the way.

Black Copper Marans 12- Days 4

Black Copper Marans 12- Days 5


The feathered legs are a standard characteristic of French Marans. Other breeds that have feathered legs are Brahmas, Cochins, Silkies and Sultans.
Black Copper Marans Chick Feet

Black Copper Marans Bum

Black Copper Marans Bum 2

I’m going to document this one chick in a photo series every week or two until he/she/it is full grown.

If you can’t wait for the pictures you can tune into The Coop Cam (which isn’t up and running yet, but hopefully will be soon).

Until then your thirst for sexually ambiguous male/females will have to be quenched with an 80’s video.



  1. jeannie B says:

    Looks a bit like you could put a leash on his leg when he gets bigger. Are you sure they’re chickens?

  2. Nancy R. says:

    Dear Karen,

    I loved the he/she/it references throughout. Your darling Maran chick is an “it” and will always be an “it” even when it’s full grown. I know, so unfair. Like all animals in the animal kingdom, someone (in dark caves I think) decided to give creatures the pronoun “it”. Same for babies – that’s always a hard sell for me when I teach my college students.

    You probably already knew that fact but couldn’t resist posting about it (there it is again!).

  3. Olga says:

    Thanks on the info about other “fluffy” leg breeds. We have one and it yet to be determent which breed she is. I think she might be Brahmas or mix of some sort. But those feet definitely makes whole chicken look expensive and important lol.

  4. Kipley says:

    What are you going to do if one of them turns out to be a rooster?

  5. Erin says:

    My best friend just got more chicks. Since she already had two older chicks, she asked the seller for 3 week old chicks, so they wouldn’t get beat up as much. What he sold her are the cutest fluffiest babies – but there is no way they are three weeks old! I’ll be sure to show her your photo series.

    Our chicks are way past the cute stage, but I love ’em anyway.

  6. Feral Turtle says:

    They are cute no matter what stage. Some fantastic photos Karen!

  7. Ev Wilcox says:

    Can’t figure out why nature would put feathers on feet. Are they originally from a very cold region? Does France HAVE a very cold region? Anyway, cousin It is coming along nicely!

  8. Diana says:

    sweetsweetsweet. This legs! Wish I would be a chicken, my legs could look like this…
    Be honest lady and think of the spring-harvest!!! hahaha

  9. Louise says:

    Still cute, but not as cute as that silver . . . nope, not gonna go there! ;-)

  10. Erika says:

    Heesheeyit has the feet of a ptarmigan!

  11. Tigersmom says:

    Hahahahah! They’re like little Clydesdales! How did I not notice the feathered feet in the pic of the adult one? Tell me it never goes away.

  12. judy says:

    the thing that really impresses me about this tiny creature is how overall ferocious it looks, the expression is piercing and fierce- those claws look like they could tear out your heart-wow. I watch a lot of nature programs and I find all of the protective devices Nature provides for survival extremely interesting, also I am old, very old. Chuckles and grins. The whole aging experience is kinda funny if you don’t take it too seriously.

  13. Jebber Jay says:

    Oh those feathered feet!! Nom nom. :o)

    • Louise says:

      You’re not going to eat it, are you?!!!
      Reminds me of the time I took my Chinese husband (to be) to the park about 25 yrs. ago. A gorgeous, snowy white swan sailed across the lake. In unison, the crowd breathed “Ooooh!” Suddenly I heard an excited voice from beside me shouting, “Oh, I’ve had those before – very delicious!”
      I just put my head down and dragged him to the car. ;-)

  14. Darlene says:

    Karen – Love the chicks feet! I think you should change the antlers in your header to the chicken feet with feathers!

  15. Karol says:

    I know you have probably already addressed this, but please explain to this little city slicker why you can’t tell what sex a chick is. Are there parts that are hidden for awhile?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karol. The parts are pretty much hidden forever. You don’t know you have a rooster until he starts to crow basically. The roosters will also get a longer tail, bigger neck feathers and bigger combs and wattles. But most people really don’t call it a rooster until it crows because these chickens can surprise you. You’ll be convinced it’s a hen and then … it’s not. ~ karen

      • Leslie says:

        I’m going through the “It’s a boy! I think!” stage with some younger birds right now. Sometimes I can make a very good guess right out of the shell, sometimes a cockerel skunks all of us until it starts chasing the pullets and generally being hyper obnoxious. One of the things that stands out for me before feathers & combs are the legs … if I could post a photo I would show you. It’s funny.

  16. Jody says:

    Still a wee bit of fluffy bums left. so cute. Have any of the new chicks bonded with only you?

    • Karen says:

      Nope. I didn’t get them until they were a few days old so no one imprinted on me. And as far as bonding goes, they’ve only bonded with each other. They’re pretty suspicious of the hovering giant thing with that change the feed and water. ~ karen!

  17. Sally A says:

    So cute! I love the feathered feet too. Do baby chicks have to have a different diet than the adults?

    • Erin says:

      Yes they do- since they are growing really fast. After about 6-8 weeks they switch to another feed until around 18 weeks. Then they get grown up feed. That’s the short answer :)

      Our birds of all ages love greens, especially Queen Anne’s lace and cup plant. And any poor bug who wanders their way – down the hatch. Don’t let anyone tell you chickens are vegetarians!

    • Karen says:

      Yes they do Sally A. Chickens are fed 3 different types of feed throughout their life. Starter, Grower and Layer. Starter is for the first 6 weeks or so (I can’t remember I’ll have to look it up) then they go onto Grower while they’re growing and until they’re almost ready to lay, and then they’re on Layer which has more protein. ~ karen!

      • Leslie says:

        Generally speaking, layer has more calcium than feed for younger birds. Too much calcium is unhealthy for a younger bird (it causes gout). Besides lower calcium, starter has more protein & some other important nutrients that are hard to come by in the grains & legumes most poultry feed is made from … the amino acid lysine, for example, is often “limiting” in the performance of chicks, so there is more lysine in starter. Grower is typically lower in protein than starter, and layer is usually the lowest protein protein food (except the stuff they feed factory layers to get them to go into molt, but that’s another story). Protein is expensive, so feed companies use as little as possible to get “acceptable” results.

        I get around the need for having different types of feed for different birds by using a custom blend of all-purpose feed that has plenty of high-quality protein & extra “limiting” nutrients (lysine for chicks, niacin for ducks, other things for the breeders, etc.) for my flock, and offering the extra calcium the layers need “on the side.” It’s a great solution for people keeping fewer than, ohhhhh, 20,000 birds in each coop.

      • Karen says:

        That’s it! Calcium, lol. ~ karen

  18. Dede says:

    He/she/it teenage already has attitude and SASS.

  19. Barbie says:

    WOW! I grew up with chickens and totally do NOT remember them growing and changing that fast. The memory fails me I suppose. You are such a hoot!

  20. Sarah says:

    You missed the perfect opportunity to Rick Roll us with the link to the (currently) non-working coop cam! I didn’t click on the link at first, but then I did after I read the bit about the 80s video. I 100% expected to see sweet, sweet Rick Astley at the other end.

    Another time.

  21. victoria says:

    Great photos!

  22. Grammy says:

    In the late ’60s boots with similar feather-like decorations were popular. Cool to see them again, especially on such a fine figure of a bird.

  23. Mary Werner says:

    Their turned up feet feathers look like little elf feet – or maybe baby gnome feet, OH NO.

  24. TucsonPatty says:

    Oh My Goodness, you’ve grown so much since I last saw you, little niece/nephew of mine. That is what Aunties say, isn’t it?
    What cute little fluffy feathers – fine fluffy feathers, even! How big do the fine fluffy feet feathers get?

  25. ruth says:

    those feathery toes are killing me. awesome little beast.

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