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A chick stands
on its own at the age of two days. By four days of age, a chick has made
progress! It can now stand up tall and walk well. The chick still stumbles
sometimes, but its legs get stronger and steadier with every passing hour.
Whooper chicks have very fluffy, dense downy coats. Later, their reddish
cinnamon color gives way to a rust-and-white mottled look as the white
feathers grow in.
There are good reasons why newly hatched chicks are weighed daily the
first 7 days. Biologists can make sure they're not growing too fast, which
results in their legs going out from under them. Chicks can't survive
if that happens. Dehydration is also a danger. The vet gently pinches
the skin on the hock and then releases it. If the skin stays pinched,
it is a sign that the chick needs more fluids. If the skin bounces back
to its normal state, it means the chick's fluid levels are fine.
The chick being coaxed onto the scale with yummy mealworms is 16 days
old and not as gangly or fragile as the younger chicks. Click to enlarge
and see how much the chick weighs.
This! Journaling Question
- Why do
you suppose the 12-day-old chick is being weighed in a box? (Look for
a clue word in the text above.)
- What other
items weigh the same as a 16-day-old chick? (Click photo to enlarge
and read the scale.)
Journey North is pleased to feature this educational
adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).
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