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can a chicken change colors?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I recently got an adult RIR hen and she almost immediately started going through a molt.  Now two months later she has her feathers back but I see that she now has a few solid white feathers up near her hackle feathers on her back.  She didn't have any white feathers before.  Can a chicken change colors like that?  Could she be a mix breed instead of just RIR?  She originally came from the local feed store as a hatcheray chick.

"To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug." Helen Keller
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"To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug." Helen Keller
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post #2 of 22

They can change some after a molt. My Blue Orp hen did a great deal--came in darker and a study in darks and lights, rather than her previously more uniform and lighter color.

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post #3 of 22

Yes they can change colors.  And it's not unusual for it to happen after a molt.  As far as mix breeds, I don't know...it;s a coin toss. But what  I have read about the color, the darker feathers the "show" judge by is brick red.  I love my Rhode Island Reds,  they are my favorite breed.

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"Lord have mercy on my soul
  how many chickens have I stole
  one last night and the night before
  I'm goin' back and try to get 10 or 11 more"
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post #4 of 22

Speckled Sussex get more and more white on them after each molt.

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The Blue Roo Creations Mascot, Lancelot, says, "Support Our Troops!"


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post #5 of 22

I have a barred cockerel that is going solid brown.  And BTW, Ruby - I love your avatar!

Kat ~ Fox Hill Farm
LF: Tolbunt Polish, BLRW's, BBS/BW Ameraucanas & EE's
Bantams: Polish, cochins, silkies, seramas & modern games
Plus mandarins, muscovies, guineas, and a herd of turtles!!!
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Kat ~ Fox Hill Farm
LF: Tolbunt Polish, BLRW's, BBS/BW Ameraucanas & EE's
Bantams: Polish, cochins, silkies, seramas & modern games
Plus mandarins, muscovies, guineas, and a herd of turtles!!!
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post #6 of 22

my EE's get some new color after molts

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Black Bantam Ameraucanas and Mottled Rosecomb Projects

~ www.tkpoultry.webs.com ~

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post #7 of 22

I had a polish hen go from a brown and black to white after molting!  Each year with another molt she would get whiter.  When she passed away at 9 years old she was completely white.  No joke.  This was a few years ago, but I'll see if I can find a some pictures to post...

*Edited to add these pictures:

Meet Ursula, the color changing hen, in the back of the corner.  She is about 4 years old in the picture and is her "normal" color.  (To explain why there is a pile of hens in a corner...there are chicks under there.  The little black hen hatched a few chicks, and these other two broody hens decided they wanted those chicks instead of hatching their own.  So, they joined right in and the chicks had three moms!)

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/36971_ursula-1.jpg

Here she is on the left half-way through her "change."

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/36971_ursula-2.jpg

And here she is nearly all white!!!

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/36971_ursula-3.jpg


Edited by Lady_Cluck - 9/26/09 at 7:37pm

Lady in Waiting to a barn full of chickens.

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Lady in Waiting to a barn full of chickens.

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post #8 of 22

Yes usually after their first molt you will see some different colored feathers come out esp. like Production reds, red sex-links can get black feathers in their body feathers this is called smutting and I've seen Gold s-links get more white feathers on them also.

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You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, you can make a purse out of it, but it won't be silk. LOL
 
Maybe in about another 30-40 years I'll get this "being an expert" thing figured out by then. LOL
 
Still trying to practice Granny's advice 'if you don't have anything nice to say then keep it to yourself' LOL been at it for 45 years still don't have it down pat yet!
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post #9 of 22

It can happen a lot with hatchery RIR's...The other thing is that she might be getting stressed out or something in the diet isn't right..

darker feathers the "show" judge by is brick red


Rhode Island reds should be a rich mahogany red color and brick shaped.

Chris


Edited by Chris09 - 9/26/09 at 7:11pm

 

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Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


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NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

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post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well, I'm glad it is normal!  Wow Lady Cluck that was a drastic change in your hen from brown to white:ep  I'm going to have to go out and take more pics of her to see if she changes like that through the years.  I'm believing that she is about 3 years old right now.

"To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug." Helen Keller
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"To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug." Helen Keller
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