I promise to come up with some better photos, but for now, these will have to do. They are always moving about, and I try not to pick them up too much, since I just want them to acclimate and feel safe.
The two-week old chicks I brought home yesterday are referred to as 'black and red sex-linked'. This means they are hybrids. A black chicken, such as a Plymouth Barred is crossed with a red chicken like a Rhode Island Red. Such hybrids are usually quite hardy. Because they are quite young, they will not go directly into the coop, but be kept in 'brooder' or 'warmer' boxes until they are several weeks old. The back room of my house serves as a holding place. I use a large box, with straw bedding, food and water. The box sits on a heating pad (lowest temp) to keep them comfortably warm.
At two weeks of age, these chicks are almost 'teen-agers'. Last night was their first in the make-shift nursery in the back room of the house. Right as the sun was going down, they got 'boisterous'. (Loud peeping, and moving around a lot.) Then, quite suddenly, they got very quiet and nestled down in the straw. I didn't hear another peep out of them until early this morning.
This morning I brought five one-week old chicks home to the 'nursery'. Three are Rhode Island Reds, and two are White Leghorns. They are all pullets (girls). Both breeds are productive egg-layers, and both are known to be 'winter hardy'. By next week they will be the size of the juveniles shown above.
This Rhode Island Red has pretty wing feathers coming in.
Baby chicks must be kept warm...very warm. About 90 degrees, F. So, a heat lamp is put in place overhead. A thermometer set down into the box allows monitoring the temperature.
It is hard to see in the poor photo below, but this is one of the white leghorn chicks that I am holding. I noticed a dark area under her tail. This problem is referred to as 'pasting up'. Sometimes, with young chicks, their feces dries and hardens, thus blocking the vent through which they eliminate. Chicks can die if this problem is left unattended. Solution: Wash the baby's bottom. I used a warm wet cloth to soften the dried material, and remove it. The baby chick was not too happy with me, but it had to be done. She appears to be fine now.