It’s Fowl Friday again, and we’ve reached the four-week mark!

Can you believe I'm four weeks old already!?

The chicks continue to feather in, and seem to be growing by the hour.  We’re seeing more posturing displays between the chicks, as they start to establish their ‘pecking order’.  As we have the chicks split between two brooder boxes, every couple of days we’re mixing them up a little to help reduce potential aggression later.  They will all be moving into the coop together in a couple of weeks, so we need to insure they all get along.

Zilla’s feet have improved with the splints and shoes.  (For more on Zilla’s plight, see last week’s post).  We’re now no longer splinting the toe on the right foot.

Zilla's toe on the right foot has straightened out well with splinting

The curl on the toe on the left foot though was more severe…

Remember how crooked this toe was last week?

Now that the toe on the left foot no longer curls over the splint, we don’t need to use Zilla’s ruby slippers.  Although this toe will never be perfectly normal, she can get around and perch just fine now.

Not perfect, but her toe has straightened out significantly with the use of splints and shoes

One notable change in the Delawares this week is they’re starting to develop some slight barring on the hackle (neck), as modeled here by Zilla.

Delawares develop barring on the hackle, and the tail

This week we’ve noticed the biggest change in the Golden Laced Wyandottes, other than size, is that their neck feathers are becoming quite streaked.

Aren't my golden streaks beautiful?

We’re also seeing evidence of their future rose-combs.  A rose comb is more flattened, and broader (almost horse-shoe shaped) than a single straight comb.   The rose combs will become more evident in the coming weeks, for now they just appear to have a broader featherless area than the other breeds.

Golden Laced Wyandottes develop broad, flattened, rose combs

As for the Partridge Plymouth rocks, a single combed breed, we seem to have one with a sizable comb already!

The Partridge Plymouth Rock's combs have grown significantly this week

As for the Mystery Chick, we’re still asking ‘who are you?’, but ‘Frodo’s’ lips are sealed.

We're still not sure what breed our Mystery Chick is

I guess we’ll be singing this song for at least a couple more weeks, until some more distinguishing feathers develop…

Unlike the others, this chick is still mostly fluff, and although we’re still not certain as to breed we are still leaning toward Dark Brahma.  If that turns out be the case, ‘Frodo’ would grow up to look like this…

Dark Brahma - Rooster (left) and Hen (right)

…but we’ll have to wait until we have more than fuzzy pants to go on.

Those are some seriously fuzzy legs!

Starting this weekend, if the weather stays nice, we plan to take the chicks out for a nice dose of sunshine for an hour or two each day, under close supervision of course.  We promise to record some video of their first day out.

The side-effect of all our rain...thistles...and mustard...oh my!

In the meantime, for me…back to weeding the orchard.  I really have my work cut out for me today…and I might need some thicker gloves!