Chick won't grow??


May 11, 2015
Hi all,

Been keeping chickens on and off for about a decade now and seen the usual illnesses, predators, and cannibalism but never this. I just got a dozen each Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds (plus a cock) and one of the RIR chicks won't grow. Seriously.

It's been 6 days since the birds arrived via mail, so I guess they're about 11-12 days old. Starting to get wing and back feathers like usual, but this one still has down, only the smallest of wing feathers, and literally appears to not have grown at all.

When we just got them, she had a leg issue (toes almost seemed broken) that made her have difficulty standing but she never seemed depressed or slow. She can now stand, though she gets knocked around a lot since everyone else is huge in comparison. Seems to eat and drink fine, but chirps more than the others (slowly while sitting there).

What are the options and diagnosis? Is this a "cull" situation? These are layers, so if she can survive and lay eggs then I'd like to avoid losing one this early. Plus, I could probably manage to have her would love having a pet.

Thanks. I'll try to get a picture up.


2 Dozen Chickens Past Normal!
7 Years
Dec 31, 2014
NE Missouri
Separation from her broodmates might be harder on her than being with them and being bowled over. Any chance she is just a runt? I had one Buff Orp chick that was considerably smaller than her mates. In fact she was half the size of the largest (and still biggest) chick in the brood. at 9 weeks she is still small for a Buff but is the sweetest little pullet you would ever want in your flock.

I agree. Wait and see. As long as she is eating, drinking and pooping without difficulty she will either blossom or worse case scenario, fade. If the others start pecking on her till she bleeds then separate them but she is obviously deriving some comfort from her lager broodermates.

I sure hope she flourishes for you and is just a 'little' RIR.

Is there any chance that this little one is the cockerel chick? Males are sometimes smaller as chicks and develop slower than the hens. One of our Buff cockerels at 9 weeks is smaller than the other Buff cockerel but both of them are still feathering out and looking silly with tufts of down sticking out like they are having a bad hair day while the pullets are already in their adult feathers.

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