Why Are Some Baby Chicks Yellow and Others Aren’t

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Chickens come in many different colors and patterns. While some of these colors are the result of genetic mutations, others are the result of selective breeding.

Baby chicks are born with a yellow tint to their feathers. This is because of the yolk that they consume while in the egg. The yolk rubs off on their down feathers, giving them a yellowish hue. As the chicks grow older, they will molt and develop new feathers. The new feathers will be white, as the yolk will no longer stain them.

Why Are Chicks Yellow?

The first thing you notice about a baby chick is its color. Why are baby chicks yellow? The coloring of baby chicks is due to the presence of a yolk sac filled with nutrients that the chick needs to grow. The yolk will temporarily stain the chick’s feathers, but once the chick begins to dry off, its true colors will emerge.

Chickens come in a variety of colors, and not all baby chicks are yellow. The color of a chick’s feathers is determined by its breed, and some chicken breeds can produce chicks with a wide range of colors.

However, white chickens are the most common type seen at commercial processing plants, as they are primarily used for meat production. Whether yellow, white, or another color entirely, all baby chicks are adorable and have a special place in our hearts.

Are Yellow Chicks More Common?

Chickens have been domesticated and selectively bred for about 10,000 years, and this process of selection has led to the elimination of undesirable traits and the strengthening of desired characteristics.

In recent history, the commercial chicken industry has driven these selective breeding practices, as farmers have sought to produce chicken breeds that are well-suited to mass production.

However, most farms still maintain a wide variety of colored chicken breeds, as there is still a strong demand for traditional brown and white chickens. While it is true that yellow chicks are more common than other colors, this does not mean that they are the only color of a chick being produced.

What Color Are Baby Chicks?

One of the many things that make baby chicks so adorable is their variety of colors. While most people think of chicks as yellow, they can come in a wide range of hues, from white to black and everything in between.

The color of a chick’s feathers is determined by genetics, and you can typically get an idea of what it will look like by looking at its parents. Generally speaking, the color of a chick’s feathers will give you a general idea of what the adult chicken will look like.

Are Different Breeds of Chickens Different Colors?

Just like there are different breeds of chickens, there are also different colors of chickens. Each breed has its own unique coloration, and this is often one of the primary ways that they are distinguished from one another.

Here are a few of the more popular breeds.

The Sussex

The Sussex

The Sussex is a popular breed of hen that is known for its distinctive skirting. The skirting is a black feathering that runs along the shoulders and is one of the defining features of the Sussex.

The breed can come in buff or white varieties. Sussex chicks are typically born white, then soon develop the black skirting as they grow older.

The Orpington

The Orpington

The Orpington is a beautiful breed of chicken that comes in three colors: yellow, black, and lavender. The babies generally reflect the exact colors they will be as adults, and the lavender babies are a beautiful whitish shade of lavender. The Orpington is an excellent egg-laying chicken and is also good for meat.

The Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Red Chickens

The Rhode Island Red is a breed of chicken that is known for its striking plumage. The breed is characterized by their dark yellow coloring at birth, which gradually changes to a beautiful bronzed red-colored plumage as they reach adulthood.

These chickens are also known for their hardiness and versatility, making them great egg layers or meat chickens.

The Leghorn

Leghorn Chicken

The Leghorn is one of the most popular chickens among backyard chicken farmers. They are known for being excellent layers of large white eggs. But did you know that they are not born with their signature white feathers?

When they first hatch, Leghorns are the palest of yellow. It isn’t until they mature that they develop the all-white plumage that they are so well known for.

The Wyandotte

Wyandotte Chickens

Wyandottes are a chicken breed that is known for their beautifully laced plumage. They can be found in grey, golden, and bluish-black varieties. As newborns, they are incredibly cute, with a mix of golden and black feathers.

The Wyandotte is a dual-purpose breed of chicken, kept for its brown eggs and yellow-skinned meat. It is also a popular show bird due to its pretty colors.

Will All Yellow Chicks Become Yellow Adults?

So the big question is, will all yellow chicks become yellow adults? The answer to this question depends on the breed of chicken. Therefore, it is impossible to predict a yellow chick’s adult feather color based on its looks alone. However, knowing the breed can give you a good idea of what to expect.

The Buff Rock

The Buff Rock is one of the most adorable chicks as it is a delightful bright yellow at birth. It will grow into a hen with gorgeous yellow feathers, yellow feet, and a yellow beak.

Buff Rocks are dual-purpose chickens, meaning they are good for both eggs and meat. These birds lay eggs year-round and lay approximately 280 eggs per year. They are also friendly, docile birds that make great pets. If you are looking for a beautiful and productive chicken, the Buff Rock is a perfect choice.

The Buff Easter Egger

Easter Egger Chicken

The Buff Easter Egger is a popular breed of chicken that is known for its golden color. These chickens are also known for their ability to lay different colored eggs, including blue and green eggs. The chicks are light yellow at birth, but they turn a golden color as they grow up.

The Buff Brahma

Buff Brahma Chickens

The Buff Brahma is a chicken that is known for its beauty. As babies, they are a dark yellow with a brownish hue, and as adults, they are definitely eye-catching. They have brownish tail feathers that make them stand out among other chickens.

The Buff Brahma is sometimes called the Queen of Chickens because of its regal appearance. Even though it is not the most popular breed of chicken, it is still one of the most beautiful. If you are looking for a beautiful and unique chicken, the Buff Brahma is a perfect choice.

The Buff Silkie

Silkie Bantam Chicken

The Buff Silkie is a breed of chicken known for its fluffy feathers covering its entire body, including its feet. This downy plumage is soft to the touch and gives the bird a gentle, welcoming appearance. The Buff Silkie’s feathers are primarily golden in color, with a buff undertone that lends the bird a warm and inviting aura.

In addition to its unusual feathers, the Buff Silkie also has five toes on each foot, rather than the standard four. This anatomical quirk gives the bird a playful look that is sure to charm any onlooker. Add in its big, dark eyes, and it’s no wonder that the Buff Silkie is considered one of the most adorable chickens around.

The Buff Orpington

Buff Orpington Hen

The Buff Orpington is a chicken breed that is known for its sweet disposition and beautiful plumage. The chicks are yellow with white down feathers and grow into hens with a dense coat of yellow feathers.

The Buff Orpington is a popular breed for its looks and personality and is a great choice for beginners. The hens are known for being friendly and docile, making them great pets. They are also good layers, producing light brown eggs. The Buff Orpington is a great choice if you’re looking for a beautiful and useful chicken.

In Conclusion

While we typically think of baby chicks as being yellow, this is not always the case. The color of a chick’s feathers can be affected by a variety of factors, including genetics and breed. For example, many different breeds of chickens are born yellow and stay yellow throughout their lives.

However, other breeds may be born with brown or black feathers that eventually lighten to yellow as they mature. Ultimately, the color of a chick’s feathers is determined by a complex interplay of factors, making each one unique.


Shanna is the 2nd half of Top Outdoor Survival. Like Forest, she has a passion for guns and knives. They love to go on a survival trip at least once a year. They love to go camping, hiking, and traveling.

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