My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?

An emerging wattle on my four week old chick



This is Harry Hen-Boy (on the right) and his sister Hedvig Hen-Chick enjoying their first taste of yoghurt. I had tried them with it earlier and they had been a bit scared of the BIG GREEN pet bowl and wouldn’t go near it. But now they are bigger than the green pet bowl, I thought I would try again, this time sprinkling chick crumbles on top to encourage them to try.

This photo was taken just before Christmas. I was still coming to terms with my decision to leave Hazel Hen-Chick’s little curled toe and I was peacefully spending time watching the chicks, taking photos and being amazed at how much they had grown.

Then I saw it! What on earth is wrong with Harry Hen-Boy’s mouth. He is bleeding. Just under his beak, I see blood. I looked around the run to see if there was any sharp bits of metal sticking out. What could he have done? How did he cut himself and what a funny place to be bleeding. The other chicks seemed to be ok.

I am not a good mother to my chicks. I only have five and I have a curled toe and a bleeding beak. Maybe I am just not cut out to have chicks. Poor little things. I feel sorry for this lot being my experimental chicks.

Harry seemed fine and the blood didn’t seem to be dripping so I decided once again to let nature take it’s course and leave him to it. It doesn’t seem to be bothering him at all. He was loving his yoghurt and he was very active.

Eight days later after watching Harry Hen-Boy grow bigger and bigger, I realised how inexperienced I actually am at this chick thing. It wasn’t a bleeding beak. It was an emerging wattle!



11 thoughts on “An emerging wattle on my four week old chick

  1. As a new parent you are supposed to do stupid things. My wife and I were very worried about our chicks after we put them outside because they developed a swelling of their right side. It turned out to be their crop and all is right with our chickens.

  2. So funny. I can just see you searching high and low for blood. In hindsight, looking at the photo, it’s obviously the beginnings of a wattle, but in the beginning I imagine it was terrifying.

    I had a similar rookie experience to hobacaitbe when I feared one of my chickens had a tumour – I made my hubby come and check with me and we poked the lump with worried expressions (on our face and on our hen’s). Turns out it was her crop. As young ‘uns their crop wasn’t noticeable and then it became huge one day. Now that large lump is a daily visitation but the first time – oh dear!

  3. It is so much fun learning. A bit stressful but fun :-).

  4. you are doing so well! well done. x

  5. Oh yes, you definitely have a rooster on your hands! Were they surgically sexed, or did you figure out they were male and female by the wattles and combs?

    • These chicks are partridge wyandotte bantams and they seem to be one breed that you can generally sex from their colouring on hatching. Both myself and another person who has had the same breed of chick, guessed the males and females from just a day old and we were both right. The emerging combs and the boyish behaviour confirmed it. 🙂
      Glad I only have two boys.We have agreed for a number of reasons not to have roosters for a number of reasons but I do have a farm that these boys an go to if the don’t get sold. But I’ll keep them until they start crowing loudly or if they start becoming aggressive to us or the chickens.

  6. We had many hamsters when the kids were young but they were all female. Then we ended up with a young, rescue hamster and a few weeks later because of some “bulges’ thought we had a pregnant female! Oh no! Ended up being a male hamster who had just dropped his testicles. ROFL! It was a hilarious mistake – thanks goodness as we didn’t need more hamsters!

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