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Chick down

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by pigglywink, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. pigglywink

    pigglywink Just Hatched

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    Sep 23, 2016
    Hi everyone

    I'm relatively new to raising chicks, and well I noticed on my araucuna (around 2.5 weeks) that it has kinda weird down around its back. Unlike my other chicks (older and younger) who have nice fluffy down this one has a very thin layer of down (almost velvety). You can see from the pictures that the bits just around the shoulder are nice and fluffy compared to the back.

    Is this normal? perhaps a breed thing? or is this something to be worried about?

    [​IMG]


    It does look like it might start to grow proper feathers as the dark line down its spine looks like the formation of feather shafts.

    Also any comments on the wing feathers, they seem a little rough?

    Thanks
     
  2. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    What breed is it?
     
  3. pigglywink

    pigglywink Just Hatched

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    Sep 23, 2016
    It's and [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.870588)]Araucana.[/COLOR]
     
  4. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    Maybe it has mites or lice. One way to check for that is to go out at night with a flash light and move around the feathers until you can see the skin and see if it has little lice of mites crawling on it. If it does have one of those separate it from the flock right away and check through the rest of your flock to see if any of the others have it. Your also going to want clean out the entire area coop or brooder or wherever you're keeping them. There are several different kinds of sprays that treat lice and mites and other little pests
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Do you recall seeing normal down on the chick prior to now?

    It appears to me that its feathers are starting to come in on the back, and the pin feathers may be both pushing out the former down and overwhelming what down is left.

    Those pin feather have a very fluffy head on the tip of the emerging shaft. That might appear longer and fluffier than the former down.

    I don't see anything terribly abnormal.
     
  6. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes x2 you can see the feathers growing in or back
     
  7. pigglywink

    pigglywink Just Hatched

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    Sep 23, 2016
    I don't recall seeing any normal down on its back area, its always been the thin layer of fluff on her back or at least since I've had her which is almost 2 weeks now. I was hoping she might fluff out more as she grew and the down would become more like the tops of the wings (which doesn't seem will happen now that she's getting proper feathers).

    I've also checked for mites and lice regularly (none thankfully) as the fluff is so thin you don't have to dig very much at all to get to the skin. As a precaution quite early on I sprinkled a tiny bit of pest powder in their bedding, thinking it might have been something like lice.

    The chick looks happy enough, may just have to watch it resolve itself as the feathers grow out.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    One of the first chicks I hatched had a patch of abnormal down along one flank. She went on to feather out beautifully, and was one of my most beautiful hens. Since then, I've seen an other chick with similar issues. They always seem to outgrow it and feather in nicely. As for the tattered wing feathers, I find that chicks sometimes park themselves along the side of a brooder, and feathers get tattered from the rubbing. Most often it's the tail feathers.
     
  9. Kamivy

    Kamivy Out Of The Brooder

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    Another possibility with the tatty feathers is lavender araucanas can have issues with feather quality. I had one in particular țhat had ratty thin feathers right from the start, and they never improved. He turned out to be a rooster and had to be culled unfortunately,as i couldn't even give him away. He was an exception tho, they are not normally that bad!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016

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