Chickens still haven't matured?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sunny Chicks, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Sunny Chicks

    Sunny Chicks Chirping

    May 18, 2013
    My chickens are around 29 weeks, and still haven't reached full size. My biggest hen is about 5 lbs, but compared to a friend of mines chickens (who are 2+ years) Isn't even close to their size. Why haven't my chickens grown? They shouldn't be bantams..
    I have:
    3 buff orpingtons
    4 white leghorns
    4 Ameracaunas
    2 black stars[​IMG]
    (Biggest hen, Willa)

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It varies with breed, of course, but they often don't reach full size til one year or even longer. Seems to me jersey Giants take two years. They will reach full height first, then "fill out." The Buff Orps I believe will be the slowest maturing.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Another factor is diet. Chickens fed a higher protein diet with sufficient vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients during their growing age will wind up with larger bodies.

    Personally I don’t see that as a great advantage. If they have a larger body, they have to eat more to maintain that body. Their feed to egg conversion ratio isn’t as good. But if size is important to you, feed them a better diet, especially when they are chicks.
  4. Sunny Chicks

    Sunny Chicks Chirping

    May 18, 2013
    Thank you both. I'm fine if they don't get to be bigger birds, as it's not much of a concern. I was only wondering if they'll continue to grow. Thank you :)
  5. chiqita

    chiqita Crowing

    Aug 29, 2011
    San Jose, Ca
    Also, hatchery birds will not ever get to the size of a heritage breed. My hatchery buff orphingtons and astralorps never got bigger then my ee's. So it all depends on the parent strains and how fast they mature and how big they get.
  6. LTygress

    LTygress Songster

    Sep 12, 2012
    Looks like you're having the same sopping-wet conditions I am! The yard is one giant mud puddle, with no grass left!

    She actually looks pretty good for her age. My EE's (the largest I have) didn't seem to reach full-size until about 18 months old. They were big chickens before that, they just didn't have the bulk. And they were laying normal size eggs before then too. But this year, when they all went through molting, I saw how scrawny they did NOT look, and I knew they were finally adults.
  7. Sunny Chicks

    Sunny Chicks Chirping

    May 18, 2013
    Totally! They've eaten all the grass that used to be there haha.

    Hopefully by they're hatch date (may 14th) They'll be a bit bigger and bulkier.

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