can a chicken change colors?

nature nut

Songster
10 Years
Aug 3, 2009
214
8
111
Southeast Louisiana
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.
 

ruby

Songster
11 Years
Apr 10, 2008
406
0
139
Gold Hill, Alabama
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.
 

Lady_Cluck

Songster
10 Years
Jul 17, 2009
169
10
111
Northern Illinois
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!)



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



And here she is nearly all white!!!

 
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catdaddyfro

Crowing
10 Years
Sep 16, 2009
3,806
229
271
Vernon Parish
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.
 

Chris09

Circle (M) Ranch
10 Years
Jun 1, 2009
10,999
548
328
Ohio
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​
 
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nature nut

Songster
10 Years
Aug 3, 2009
214
8
111
Southeast Louisiana
Well, I'm glad it is normal! Wow Lady Cluck that was a drastic change in your hen from brown to white:eek: 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.
 

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