Chicken question?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Dennis47834, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. Dennis47834

    Dennis47834 Hatching

    Jul 25, 2016

    I'm relatively new to this chicken thing. We currently have about 20 chickens and have found the biggest problem is keeping the predators away. I have a question about the condition of this chick. It was purchased at Rural King about a month ago. It is growing crazy fast and is twice the size of the other 5 chickens that was purchased at the same time. All it wants to do is lay on it's belly and It doesn't move around much. It looks terrible, missing a lot of feathers. I have no idea if it's plucking them out or what. It's always been with the other chicks and I've never seen any of them aggressive towards it, however it is a bully to the rest of them. I've never found any feathers in the coop or on the ground. By looking at it's size and the legs I wander if it's not a rooster? Could it be bigger just because of the breed which I forgot to write down? I've never had any of my other chicks look like this, its missing a lot of feathers all over. Should I keep him separated or attempt to introduce him with the rest of my chickens? Any suggestion is appreciated. Thanks
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Welcome To BYC!

    It looks like you have a Cornish Cross or something similar - this would be a meat bird. They are meant to grow faster, so it will eat much more and be much bigger in a short period of time because they are usually butchered as young as 6weeks and up.
    I does look like you may also have a rooster (cockerel) on your hands. The missing feathers are most likely picking/plucking - he may actually be picking out his own feathers and eating them (feathers are protein) since you are not finding any in the coop/run. Meat birds usually have a higher protein diet than "laying" or "dual purpose" birds.

    That said, some people do have some success with keeping them longer, by limiting feed consumption and placing the food and water as far away from each other as possible, so the bird has to walk (get exercise). Meat birds do have their problems when living longer than "normal", they can become too heavy for their legs to support them, develop breast blister because they lay down so much, etc.

    If you are up to it, you may want to feed him a high protein diet, fatten him up and make a nice meal or two out of him.

    There is I'm sure lots more info on the "Meat Birds" forum

    Hopefully someone else will chime in with their thoughts as well.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: