Baby Chick look normal?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Caity, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Caity

    Caity Out Of The Brooder

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    We recently picked up 4 baby chicks from our local Tractor Supply. Three look normal with long beautiful wing, feathers, but one's wing feathers don't really seem to be coming in. She's a tiny bit smaller than the others so at first I thought she was just a little younger, but it's been a week and she is just doesn't seem to be developing as fast. I'm hoping she's just a different breed that doesn't grow feathers the same as the others. Does anyone have any idea? Thanks!

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  2. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Maybe it is a bantam.
     
  3. Red Barn Farms

    Red Barn Farms ~Friendly Fowl~

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    Maybe it is a different breed. Give it time. We too, bought six small pullets recently from TSC and so far they all look healthy. They run around the brooder playing then zonk out for a few minutes fast asleep. Then it's back to playing again. Are your chickens the red sex-links? That's what we have.
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    There are chicks with "failure to thrive" syndrome, who never seem to grow at the same rate as the others and never do well healthwise. On the other hand, I had one once that was half the size of her hatchmates all the time she was growing up. However she was healthy, and when they stopped growing, she kept right on going. By the time they were all a year old, she had more or less caught up (she was always petite but didn't look abnormally small).

    Other possibilities for slower development are that she is a different breed, or that she is a he - boys sometimes feather out more slowly than girls. If they are all Red Sexlinks like the two in the photo, those a definitely girls. But if it is a different breed, it might well be a roo.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There is a specific gene that controls how fast the feathers grow. Different chickens have different versions of that gene. This is the gene that cab be used to feather sex chicks. It is also the gene that determines what barring looks like. Slow feathering gives the clear crisp barring of the barred rock while fast feathering gives the cuckoo barring of the dominique.

    What you describe sounds perfectly normal to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  6. Caity

    Caity Out Of The Brooder

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    I think they are. We picked them all from the the hen bins, not the straight run, and I don't know if there's any other way they can tell sex other than by color (I'm new to chickens!). They all act healthy, just as you described (running around one minute, passed out the next) so I'm not too worried, she just sticks out like a little sore thumb!
     
  7. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    There are several ways to sex them.

    1. Vent sexing - this is a specialized skill, where the vent is examined and male/female can be determined. A good sexer can sex with 95% or greater accuracy with this method. Me? Wouldn't have a clue LOL.
    2. Feather sexing - in some breeds, an examination of the wing feathers within the first 24 hours after hatch will give a fairly accurate idea of male/female.
    3. Color sexing - this only works in certain breed combinations referred to as "sex links". There are red and black sexlinks, which involve a specific breed of rooster over specific breeds of hens, that will produce sex linked chicks. Males will be one color while females will be another.

    Regarding the pullet bins, be aware that a) sexing is not 100% accurate so even with best intentions, the occasional male will slip in, and b) even if the bins start out accurately sexed, sometimes people will pick up a chick from the straight run bin and put it back in the pullet bin.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  8. Caity

    Caity Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks HeChicken! That's good to know. Yeah, I had read that there's often a mix-up, esp with the TS chicks. Hopefully that's not the case with ours since we're not allowed to have roosters in our neighborhood. It'd be heartbreaking to have to give one up!

    Do you have any idea why this little one might have funny looking wings?
     
  9. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Are you able to post a pic of the chick in question? That might help...
     
  10. Caity

    Caity Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh sorry! It's the pic at the top of the thread, but I'll post it here too. She's the one on the left.
    .[​IMG]
     

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