My second batch of Basque Hens are three weeks old. I let Rosie keep all of her chicks, of which there are three left, and tried to return all cockerels but my twisted-necked fellow.
At this age, I am becoming certain which are male and which are female as their secondary sex characteristics develop, such as a reddening comb on the cockerels. It seems that the Australorp I kept is a cockerel, as is the twisted-necked fellow and one other incubator-hatched chick I kept. I also kept four pullets from my hatch. Rosie has one pullet and two cockerels as far as I can tell, so that is a grand total of 10 chicks, with five Basque pullets and five cockerels (Australorp, twisted, and three other Basque cockerels).
Rosie’s chicks are smaller than mine. I think she wastes a lot of their food by digging it into the ground. I’ve tried a number of feeders, but she knocks them all over. So far, this one has remained upright. We’ll see how it goes.
Despite the heat and the extra work, I am really enjoying these chicks. They are so friendly, curious, and pretty. I can’t wait to see how they grow out.