can a chicken change colors?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by nature nut, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. nature nut

    nature nut Songster

    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.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    They can change some after a molt. My Blue Orp hen did a great deal--came in darker and a study in darks and lights, rather than her previously more uniform and lighter color.
  3. ruby

    ruby Songster

    Apr 10, 2008
    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;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.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Speckled Sussex get more and more white on them after each molt.
  5. TurtleFeathers

    TurtleFeathers Fear the Turtle!

    Jan 9, 2009
    By the Chesapeake Bay
    I have a barred cockerel that is going solid brown. And BTW, Ruby - I love your avatar!
  6. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    my EE's get some new color after molts
  7. Lady_Cluck

    Lady_Cluck Songster

    Jul 17, 2009
    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!!!

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2009
    1 person likes this.
  8. catdaddyfro

    catdaddyfro Crowing

    Sep 16, 2009
    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.
  9. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    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.

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2009
  10. nature nut

    nature nut Songster

    Aug 3, 2009
    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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