Chicks with odd feathers

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Achelois, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Achelois

    Achelois Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Some of my 5 week old barred rock chicks have feathered in a very strange way. One, who we've dubbed 'Crazy Feather', has them at particularly odd angles. They are NOT supposed to be frizzles and the eggs came from a reputable breeder, the same one all my other eggs came from. I've seen some references to this but nothing quite like it - it's got worse, not better, with time. Do you think this will get better in time? If it's some weird gene in there it's unfortunate, but I'd rather it was that than some weird vitamin deficiency. They're otherwise well and VERY boisterous. It's my first time with barred rocks but I fear most of the seven are roos :(

    This is a photo of the worst afflicted, which I think is a roo. There's at least one other, one of the hens, with funny feathers.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    I wouldn't worry about it until they are completely feathered. Just make sure they have the proper nutrition. And add some scrambled egg to their diet occasionally for extra protein and nutrients they need. Feathers consist of protein and it takes a lot to grow them.
    I have an orpinton that was completely frizzled at first when she wasn't supposed to. After her first molt she just had a few frizzles. She's now 5 years old and has no frizzles.
    Your chicks look to be around a month old. And the bottom picture sure looks like a rooster to me. A female barred rock shouldn't have much comb showing yet and it shouldn't have the reddish color. Barred rock usually make good roosters tho and are very good meat birds.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  3. Achelois

    Achelois Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2013

    Thanks! They've been mainly on chick starter but they get a lot of table scraps too. They hatched 21st January. We eat a lot of eggs so there's invariably some egg fed back to them as we have a toddler and he always wastes the best stuff. I was hoping for several hens out of this lot - I was considering hatching some sex-links next summer - but they nearly ALL look like this and I think are 90% roos! ARGH! There are two with darker feathers and tiny combs that I would put money on as being hens and another that is indeterminate but probably a rooster. I was in denial for a bit, hoping it was a breed thing as they're a really angry bunch - normally our yard is swarming with sandflies and mosquitoes but I can sit in the brooder pen and not get bitten as they catch flying insects in mid-air, lol. But I have to get over it now and accept there's a lot of cock in this pen.

    Unfortunately my daughter and I are vegetarians and my husband can't stomach the thought of eating something he knew (even though I'm making all the right moral arguments to him...) so good meat birds are not much use to us. I love raising chicks though, so it's an inevitability that we will run out of 'good homes' for roosters and I will have to start being a bit more vague with my sensitive kid. Perhaps cutting a deal with the local takeaway store, for the greater good, on some free range chicken? I won't tell my husband and he'll eat it one way or another [​IMG]
     
  4. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    In the summer I usually have more eggs than I know what to do with. My neighbor raises sweet corn and vegetables for sale. So we trade! I get corn for the freezer and she gets farm fresh eggs!
    There are probably people in your area who would trade vegetables for roosters to eat. Something to think about! [​IMG]
     
  5. Achelois

    Achelois Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Hmm, good point. My biggest fear is of them being sold to someone useless who won't despatch them humanely. I don't think we could ever butcher our own but I want them done by a pro.
     

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