5 Weeks Old, Few Feathers GLW

wild chick

6 Years
Jul 23, 2016
Southern NM mountains @ 6400'
New here - and have my very first straight run of chicks. All look fabulous & all healthy. Just this one has a verrrrryyy slow feathering problem. All I've read says it's not a problem, just a slow bloomer. I'm 99.9 % sure he's a roo, he is not picked on, he's smart, fast and just like the rest except very little feathering at 5 weeks. I'm in a cold climate - 0 degrees F in winter and last frost date this year was May 27, so don't need this late feathering gene in future chicks. Since I'm going to pick which roo to keep and I've already decided I don't want this slow feathering gene it doesn't really matter, but please, some opinions on this? Is this an undesirable trait with everyone? Will he become the ugly duckling to beautiful swan? Is it common? I got a straight run of 10 GLW, 10 SLW and a freebie which turned out to be an Egyptian Fayoumis (roo, of course) from a hatchery. First chicks in my whole life and I'm smitten. 100% survival so far, so I think my homework is paying off. This question is just for my education, I'm not concerned that this chick is not healthy. As you can see in the photos, he stands his ground, even with his wing feathers coming in upside down. All the others in the photos were hatched the same day. His name is Buck. As in Buck Naked. Thanks for your opinions - like I said, we will have other options for our roo, so Buck will go to a 4-H kid or, well, whatever, but is there ANY reason to want this gene in a cold hardy breed?

I've seen chicks with genetic disorders that actually cause them to sometime never grow in their feathers properly if at all! He looks pretty naked! Poor fella! I would give him some more time and see what happens... But it is certainly worry some. And perhaps try posting on a diff thread to get more answers if no one gives you any here. I hope you and lil' buck all the best! :D
Another view of him yesterday. This really seems more abnormal than "slow". Thanks for your reply crazydutchchick - Do you think there's a better area to post this so I can get more opinions? Except for not feathering out, he's not only healthy, he's quite aggressive to any of the other chicks that try to do the baby roo posturing & stare downs. He "wins" most of these challenges.

I would post under Deases or disorders or something like that?
I think people there could tell you the types of disorders that cause it and the possible vitamins he may need. I would also write "pictures included" in the title.
People always take a look at pics!!;)
Well, a fast-feathering male crossed with a slow-feathering female will yield offspring that can be feather-sexed, but the reverse won't unfortunately.

My take on the situation is that it is a genetic defect in this chick and since it is not a trait you desire, I would say your rehoming plan is solid.
I'm thinking more genetic defect than slow feathering, which is what I'm trying to learn: Is this what a "normal slow feathering" looks like or is it something else, and if it IS something else does this genetic defect have a name? Re-home is a certainty, there are plenty of cockerels in this straight run to choose from. Assuming he feathers out eventually, and if he goes to a 4-H kid, I'd like to be able to say whether he should be used as a breeding rooster. I don't want to perpetuate a problem, if is something other than normal slow feathering. Thanks for your reply Jensownzoo! That's one more fact about feather-sexing that's new to me!
Is this a SLW? No, it does not look like normal slow feathering. Slow feathering is just that, slower than others, but it looks the same as others, wing feathers, tail feathers all look normal as they come in, it just takes longer. This one just looks odd. Either a genetic defect or a deficiency. I don't even think he would make a good 4-H roo...
Check the coop for mites and your chickens for lice. Since the others appear to be around the same age and feathered out fine, I am inclined to say it looks to me like genetics. I have an Easter Egger that is 2 years old now. She BARELY grows feathers in the winter and gets sunburned in the summer:( I chose to keep her, but I will not breed her. Her eggs go right to the frying pan.
Stephine, that's the answer I was looking for: That Slow Feathering didn't mean odd feathering. Feathers are too strange, and coming in wrong. This one is a Gold Lace, if you click on the photos & make them bigger it's easier to see the gold/black real feathers. I don't think it's diet, as all 21 are together, eat & drink the same, no one is picked on and all run around like crazy and are totally healthy. No lice or mites Outpost JWB, no adult chickens here - and we just built the chicken house & pen on virgin soil (no chickens on this 10 acres in at least 10 years that we know of)! Thank you all for your answers - This is a great learning place!

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