By Debra Maneke
The photos below are an example of two babies and their development. Some chicks will mature faster if the are the only baby in the nest, as you will see in the example below.
2 & 3 days old…Note the egg tooth still visible on the chick near my fingers (2 day old.) The egg tooth is a small white 'calcium' deposit that helps the chick break out of the egg. Yellow down covers the babies. Look closely you can see where the crest will be. At this stage a thin membrane covers the babies' eyes.
8 days eye slits starting to open. Note full crop by my thumb.
10 & 12 days. Before mom and dad fed them, note empty crops. Quills visible on wings, yellow down still covering babies. Crest starting to show as quills. Eyes fully open.Note the opening to the ear on the chick near my fingers.
21 & 19 days. Chest, head & body quilled.
16 & 18 days wings fully quilled, tail quills now about 1/2 inch long, more crest is visible. Yellow down on babies slowly disappearing.
26 & 28 days, babies fully feathered, quills in crests opening.
Single baby, in nest being parent fed 23 days old. Baby's wings are fully feathered. Head, chest, crest feathers tail quills opening. Closed quills on the back.