Chirping chicks: A guide to baby chickens


Emerson Fraley

The mother hen with her new baby chicks.

     The chirping of chicks, the crow of the rooster, the touch of the soft feathers, the pecking of the hen. This is what many will experience at a farm that has chickens.

     Hello, I’m Emerson Fraley and welcome back to the series where I talk about baby farm animals. This time we will be talking about chickens. I currently own ten chickens here in Fort Thomas, which is the legal limit. At my farm, Dallas Oaks Farm, we have over twenty chickens and one rooster. 

     Chick season for most birds is in the spring, however, my chickens are breeding and hatching now. Most poultry birds hatch all season, although it depends on the rooster. Chickens lay the eggs and the rooster then breeds the hen. When the hen lays back down on the eggs they become fertilized. This process can take anywhere from 24 hours to 21 days.

     A baby chicken is called a chick or peep. There is an option of hatching your own chick. You can incubate the egg or the mother hen can sit on the egg for it to hatch.

     Chickens have a complex communication system so they can speak to one another, and they have over thirty vocalizations to communicate. Along with this, genetics control the color of the eggs.

     According to SPCA Facts for Chickens, studies have shown that chickens are self-aware and can distinguish themselves from others. They learn from one another, such as a chick learning from her mother which foods are good to eat. They are also able to recognize the social status of other chickens in their social group.

     Young chicks without their mother huddle together at night for the first month or two for warmth and protection. Then comes an evening when they are lined up on their perch, arranging and rearranging themselves as before, only this time they stay lined up all night, henceforth roosting like the adults.

     Chickens and chicks are very smart individuals and they are equally cute. Chickens are great to have for fresh eggs and companions and chicks can make everyone’s day much better!