Chickens

Basques at 5 Weeks Old

Bold, friendly, and curious little guy

“Yellow” cockerel

The Basque Hens are now a full five weeks old!  They are adorable and energetic.  At this point, it is possible to be fairly certain as to sex based on secondary sex characteristics.  I mostly rely upon the early reddening of the boys’ combs and their assertive stance.  Meeker postures with smaller, thinner, yellower combs at this age are generally females.

Two little boys, “Orange” and “Green”

I was taking pictures in the evening, so some chicks were mostly inside the coop.  I’m not sure I caught everyone, but here they are!

Yellow, the third boy

One of the “Blue” girls

The two “Blue” girls

A “Blue” girl and “Pink,” who is also a pullet (Nope! She’s a boy.)

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12 thoughts on “Basques at 5 Weeks Old

    • Thanks! There are three male and three females. “Orange,” “Yellow,” and “Green” (all named after the legbands they had) are boys and the two “Blues” are girls (Blue Left and Blue Right) as well as “Pink.”

      • Hmm. “Pink” has grown a suspiciously pink comb of late and may have some early wattles coming in. I think she’s actually a he, which gives me 2 girls and 4 boys. Drat.

      • I am still trying to decide if my newbies are all females. I sure hope so. I know how disappointing it is to give them up. They are 3 months old and I still can’t be sure. I have not heard any attempts at crowing so I am still hopeful.

      • It can be so hard to tell! There’s a period, usually around the 5 week mark, where the boys have bigger, pinker combs than the girls, but you can still have some hiding like my “Pink” who seemed to grow a pink comb overnight at 6 weeks. I have had a harder time telling the difference between that time and “puberty” with most of my breeds. I will keep my fingers crossed for you! How many “newbies” did you finally end up with?

      • One Easter Egger, 2 Cuckoo marans, and one copper marans. The copper marans does not look like any pictures I have seen. “She” has feathers on her legs. She is mostly all copper except slightly black on her tail. Was the last one and definitely the runt, but she is catching up slowly. Boy do those Cuckoo’s have large legs. I just love the EE. One Cuckoo has feathers on the legs and the other does not. Just wondering if they are true Marans or maybe were mixed with something else.

        When we got our Australorps, the Roo took forever for the feathers to come in unlike all the girls. Don’t know if that is true in all breeds? First thought there was something wrong and then when he started to try crowing I knew. I think I read that this will happen.

      • I enjoy my Easter Eggers, too. I don’t know why the copper Marans’ coloring might be off, but the feathered legs/unfeathered legs is just a genetic thing. It’s hard to breed them so that they all have the same amount of feathering, and I think it’s common for m=Marans to have unfeathered legs, especially in American lines. I wouldn’t worry about that too much since it doesn’t definitively mean they are or are not mixed. You’re right that generally females feather in faster than males. I compare my chicks’ feathering when I have multiples of the same breed, but I wouldn’t compare between different breeds because each breed will have it’s own rate of feathering, so a female of a slow-feathering breed will feather in later than a male of a rapid-feathering breed. It sounds like you have a great little group that will give you a nicely colored egg basket! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they are all pullets!

      • I’m surprised that for two years in a row you got more males than females. I’m trying to remember how nature compensates for the weaker y chromosome. I know males are prone to more diseases and conditions than females, so maybe more are made? What do you think?

  1. How cute. They are so adorable. My little girls(I hope) are growing rapidly. Lost two hens to foxes last week. Both at the same time. Just saw feathers and no other traces. My husband went looking for their den with no luck. I actually saw the fox several weeks ago about six feet away and it was after my hens then. It totally freaked me out. I was waiting for them to go to bed. I thought they were nocturnal, but they have always got my girls mid to late afternoon. How depressing to lose my girls. One was my most friendly best girl! It is devastating. We have fenced in more giving little more room to free range and a little more protection, but not the whole yard. Not sure they are still safe. I was reading they can jump a 6′ fence.

    Question about Oxine. Do you use the activator? I was told not to use it that it gives off a poisonous gas and you need to wear a mask and that it was not necessary. The gallon I ordered came with it. Thanks so much for the great info.

    • I am so sorry that you lost more hens to those foxes! I am sorry that you lost your favorite girl. I really hope the fence helps. If not, maybe someone local would be willing to trap and relocate them.

      I don’t use the activator. It works really well on its own, and like you said, the activator makes it much stronger and much less safe. I hope things turn up!

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