4 roosters or one sick hen??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by GregMc, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. GregMc

    GregMc New Egg

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    Jun 11, 2013
    Hello everyone,
    I bought some chicks from a mail order hatchery this spring, my first experience with chickens. I paid extra for pullets but I am thinking I might have gotten straight run instead. I got 5 white leghorns and now 4 of them have bright red combs & wattles, considerably larger than the fifth, which is orange and small. I read that comb color could indicate health issues, so I was wondering if I have 4 roosters or 1 unhealthy hen? I received them on April 12th, which would make them almost 4 months old. If they are roosters should they have grown spurs yet? I would really appreciate any wisdom you all could throw my way. Thanks!!
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    If you post some photos, that would help identify their gender. Leghorns can be tricky to sex because even the females grow large combs, but the differences between males and females should be noticeable on a four month old bird. Cockerels do not grow spurs for a while, but they will generally have brighter colors, shinier feathers, larger/redder combs and wattles, a more gangly appearance, and, of course, when they're old enough, they crow.

    If I had to guess the gender of your birds, sight unseen, I would lean towards you having all pullets, just one that isn't maturing as fast as the others.
     
  3. GregMc

    GregMc New Egg

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    Jun 11, 2013
    Thanks! I hope you're right. I will try to put up some pics. It might take me a while, I'm kind of technologically challenged, lol
     
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    You're welcome! I think there might be some minimum post count (10?) to post photos, so you might have to post around before you can get photos uploaded here.
     
  5. GregMc

    GregMc New Egg

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    Jun 11, 2013
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    Oops, I loaded the same one twice. The top two are of the one with the smaller, paler comb. The 3rd pic is a good shot of a larger, redder one. What do you guys think?
     
  6. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those are hens. They probably came from different hatches/parents and like humans chickens grow and develop at different rates. The slower growing one is not necessarily 'unhealthy'. Seven of our 2012 batch laid by Mid August but the eight one didn't lay her first egg until Spring 2013 and now lays an egg a day no matter how hot it's been.
     
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  7. GregMc

    GregMc New Egg

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    Jun 11, 2013
    Thanks so much! That puts my mind at ease.
     
  8. angel8035

    angel8035 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed - leghorn hens :)
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    This exactly. You'll have eggs soon, that last girl isn't unhealthy at all, she's just slower to mature. Living creatures and all that.
     
  10. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I think that all of those are leghorn hens. One is just not maturing as fast as the others, but that is normal in chickens.
     

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