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Our weird chicken - any ideas?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
He all! We have 7 chickens who are about 10 months old. We got our first egg in September and have been getting fantastic production since. (5-6 eggs a day even in the dead of winter here in Maine).
My concern is over one of our Orps. She has never turned red, and we assume she's never laid an egg. (We've named her Ghost Face because of her fair complexion.)She's just.....weird. She rarely ever hangs out with the flock, she seems to just sit fluffed up off by herself, and she just looks different. Her tail feathers are not as long, her beak is longer and more hooked,and her feet look bigger. She eats well and always shows interest in food and scratches like a normal chicken.
In my research I've found mention of parasites and electrolyte issues among things that can cause pale wattles and combs. My question is, can those things be exclusive to one bird and not affect the others? Has anyone had, or heard of, what are essentially birth defects in chickens? Should we cull her? Our 5 year old says we should "keep her forever". We have no problem keeping her around, but if she's sick we don't want her to be uncomfortable or have poor quality of life.
I'll post a pic of her when I have a minute. Sorry about the long winded message and thanks in advance for any info or advice you can offer!! Hope you all are enjoying your Sunday!
post #2 of 5

That does sound a bit odd. Do you have a picture of her?

"In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind"

~Louis Pasteur

 

>NPIP certified<

 

Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.

 

 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  (Matthew 10:29)

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"In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind"

~Louis Pasteur

 

>NPIP certified<

 

Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.

 

 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  (Matthew 10:29)

Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

You can see the difference between her and the other Orps we have. Maybe it's my imagination on the other stuff, be you can definitely see her combs and wattles never developed fully or reddened. And her tail is less robust.
The pics aren't the best because they all crowd at the fence when we come near them. (Spoiled chickens!)
post #4 of 5

She's a pretty girl. From those pictures, I can't see anything wrong with her. It might just be her personality.

"In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind"

~Louis Pasteur

 

>NPIP certified<

 

Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.

 

 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  (Matthew 10:29)

Reply

"In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind"

~Louis Pasteur

 

>NPIP certified<

 

Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will.

 

 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  (Matthew 10:29)

Reply
post #5 of 5

She doesn't look particularly ill, although she has definitely not 'reddened-up' like her sisters.

 

It could well be a question of genetics that makes her different from the others - did you buy them from a local breeder, a hatchery, or as hatching eggs? 

 

If your birds have different parents it could simply be a minor genetic flaw or difference.  I have a Sussex pullet named 'Igor' who was born with tiny feather stumps on both feet.  Normally Sussex don't have any feathers at all on their feet - none of her siblings did, so I assume it is just a genetic mutation or throwback (hence the name 'Igor'!)

 

If you want to make certain that she is thriving then you could make it a routine to weigh your birds once a week.  You could then see if she is gaining / losing weight, and compare her to her siblings to see if there is any appreciable difference between them.  As long as she is a good weight, and eating and pooping like a normal bird I wouldn't worry too much - some birds are naturally less sociable than others.

 

As for the laying - I have a bird that has been laying regularly for around 3 months but I have only seen her on the nest once or twice in this time. She seems to 'sneak' onto the nest when I'm not looking!  If it wasn't for the fact that she's the only black copper marans I possess and her eggs are dark chocolate brown and different from everyone else's I wouldn't know if she had laid each day or not.  

 

If it doesn't stress your bird too much you could always check if she is laying by keeping her in a separated pen (with a nesting area) for a day or two.  If you are getting 5 / 6 eggs per day from 7 birds then if she is laying she should lay within 48 hours - if there is no egg in the pen within this time then it will prove your theory.

 

All the best for you and your flock - they look like happy birds!

 

Started out with 3 birds. Currently at 13 pullets and 2 roos

- chicken maths is definitely getting the better of me!

 

Member of the Derperella Club - we're all just going round the rooster here.

 

RIP Blackie (the best hen ever), Rusty (too curious once too often) and Cinders (my grey girl)

 

 

Reply
 

Started out with 3 birds. Currently at 13 pullets and 2 roos

- chicken maths is definitely getting the better of me!

 

Member of the Derperella Club - we're all just going round the rooster here.

 

RIP Blackie (the best hen ever), Rusty (too curious once too often) and Cinders (my grey girl)

 

 

Reply
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