Our baby flock of chicks that hatched March 24 is now four weeks old and the divide of girls vs. boys is starting to become more and more obvious. I mentioned several ways of sexing chicks in a previous post and my suspicions on early boy choices are started to be confirmed. The above two photos are of Black Copper Marans that came from the same hen/rooster pair in our flock. The top photo shows increased size and color of the comb and wattles when compared to his full sister of the same age in the second photo.
In a constant effort to improve our breeding line, we keep a close eye on the traits that are passed down from parent to chick. One of those traits is leg feathering. The above photo shows the legs of one of our 4 week old Black Copper Marans (suspected roo) which are heavily feathered. This chick is also showing other traits I really like for the breed (boxy compact shape, early maturing rate, etc). Although we have a breeding rooster in our main flock, we aren't opposed to replacing him if we produce a chick with better qualities.
It's still too early to tell, but at only four weeks this little guy is a strong contender. Because of that I have told our big rooster that he better be on his best behavior since his biggest flaw to date is his attitude.