Chicken Runt?


10 Years
Mar 5, 2009
Foothills west of Denver
I have had my 11 week pullets now for approximately 2 weeks. They all seem to be doing fine, growing, eating, scratching, chasing each other around, etc... I'm just a bit concerned about Batgirl, one of my Barred Rock. She has always been just a bit smaller than the rest, but now she seems to be much smaller, like she's just not growing at the same rate as the others. I don't notice anything unhealthy regarding her behavior or physical appearance, but she's almost scrawny compared to the other girls. Is this something I need to worry about, or might she just be a petite hen?
I've got a "runt" too, so I'm hoping to "bump" this to get an answer for us!!
I have an EE that grew at a much slower rate than normal and ended up being about half the weight of my other EE. She was the first of my pullets to lay, and she lays these perfect little blue/green eggs. The eggs are smaller than the other girls', but otherwise normal. She's a great little bird (and between you and me, my favorite).

I wouldn't worry about your runts too much. I guess smaller size could be a sign of something more serious, but it doesn't necessarily indicate a problem.

PS, you might want to check her stools for worms to make sure she's getting enough nutrition.
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are the rest of them also barred rocks? I've had two barred rocks that always grew slower than other birds, the breed is generally a bit smaller..
I have 3 Rhode Island and 3 Barred Rock. Yes, the Barred Rock do seem to be somewhat smaller than my Rhode Island, at the same age. This one in particular, is quite a bit smaller than all of them.
mine is little girl, she is adorable, my brother says t is probalery a day of several hours younger, but then again it could be geneitics...
It is probably nothing to worry about, but do you have enough access for them all to feed at one time? It does not take long for them to set up a pecking order and the ones at the bottom of the pecking order may not be getting enough to eat or drink if space is crowded at the feeder.

It could be a sign that something is not right. Checking for worms is a good idea at any time and any age. Some chicks just fail to thrive.

It may be genetic as has been suggested. I don't know why you are raising chickens. As you are naming them, I'd think you are not planning on eating them. Batgirl may suit your purposes fine. She may grow out of it or she may always be small and lay small eggs. She could be your special favorite. I don't know your specific circumstances.

I am saying all this as I am going to say something that may upset some people. We all have different reasons for keeping chickens. I am raising them for meat and eggs plus a breeding flock to raise my own meat birds and replacement layers. When I am deciding which will go to my laying/breeding flock, the first ones I eat are the runts or those that have given me other reasons to not want them in my breeding flock, such as a behavior or having been ill earlier or injured. I'm not suggesting that you murder Batgirl. I am saying for those that keep a breeding flock to pick breeders that exhibit traits that you want to keep in your flock and don't breed those that have traits you don't want in your flock.
I have a BO and a Barred Rock that are the smallest of my four RIRs already have some brilliant wing feathers, while the BO has some wing feathers, and the Barred Rock has only a few.
I guess its just the breed...

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