can a chicken change colors?

nature nut

10 Years
Aug 3, 2009
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.
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;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.
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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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.
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.

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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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