Almost 8 weeks old and one's feather's are really slow coming in...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SmallStep, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. SmallStep

    SmallStep New Egg

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    Apr 26, 2016
    Hi,
    I've got six pullets (or supposed to be), and they will be eight weeks old Saturday. There are three RI-Reds and three P-Barred Rocks. All of the girls have their adult feathers but one of the Barred Rocks--Janie. When her adult feathers started coming in, they were sort of curled on the ends. This wasn't too worrisome, because one of the RI-Reds had the same curled, early growth, but hers straightened as more feathers came in.

    Janie has bare places along her neck and on her lower body...behind the wing, extending across the back thigh to the rump. And there is more white than black, except on her head. In the wing area, the feather shafts don't seem to be getting any heft--they're sort of spindly, if that makes any sense!

    I have picked her up and looked with the naked eye to see if I can detect any mites, but I wasn't able to tell. And if she had mites, the others would too, I would think, and none of them are doing any unusual scratching.

    Poor little Janie is not able to fly and all the other girls can flap up to the various roosts we've created for them. We have some low ones just for her that she can hop on, but she rarely does, preferring to sit under the other birds. None of them seem to be pecking at her, and they all get along well. They have been in their coop or covered coop yard since they were three weeks old. (I didn't have to introduce them to an established flock and it was warm enough.) I've had them on starter feed all along, supplementing with chickweed and other greens. They eat lots of gnats, and lately I've been giving them Japanese beetles, which they absolutely love. Janie has been getting her share.

    My friends who have chickens say they have never had one so late getting to the smoother adult-ish feather stage. Should I be worried? Janie doesn't appear sick and she eats and drinks with good appetite.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    Maybe bump her protein intake up a bit? It might be that even though she gets the same amount as the others, maybe she isn't digesting it as well. Couple of cubes of tofu or part of a scrambled egg daily would work (easier to digest than bugs).

    Might be a function of heat, genetics, hormones, etc. and so forth as well. Might not hurt to make sure your external parasite control program is in place.

    If she does have the frizzle mutation (which can arise spontaneously rarely), sometimes they can be balder than normally feathered birds too...esp if frizzle is bred to frizzle.
     
  3. SmallStep

    SmallStep New Egg

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    Apr 26, 2016
    Thanks so much. I did give her some baked tofu today. She seems so normal other than the feather thing. Is it possible that one who has frizzle feathers straighten? I have one RIR who was frizzed young but now is normal.
     

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