Do I just have a runt, or is my chicken "special" ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by billygoat162, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Chillin' With My Peeps

    69
    12
    59
    Apr 19, 2016
    American Southwest
    I have a Rhode Island Red hen that started laying a week or two ago at around 19 weeks of age. It is the smallest chicken I have ever had by far, and it is laying the smallest eggs I have ever seen from a chicken. They are closer in size to quail eggs than the eggs from my other RIR. It also isn't laying in the nesting boxes with the other hens. It lays them in random bushes throughout the yard, and each day is like an easter egg hunt for me. It is the most skittish chicken I have ever had, is nearly impossible to catch, squeals like it's dying when I do catch it (it doesn't make normal chicken noises so much as it squeals like a pig), and is at the very bottom of the pecking order.

    Is there a chance it will get bigger and lay normal eggs in normal spots, or is my chicken just, uh... different? I remember that it had a bare patch (area about the size of a nickel with no fuzz at all) on it's bottom when it was a chick that I didn't notice until I got home...


    The RIR in question next to some Welsummers of the same age that aren't laying yet:
    [​IMG]

    My morning hunt:
    [​IMG]

    Three of her eggs next to an egg from my other RIR:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  2. PhoenixFan

    PhoenixFan Out Of The Brooder

    52
    9
    23
    Jul 29, 2016
    Northern Illinois
    As she gets older, she'll lay normal sized eggs and will most likely learn to lay in the nest box. This is normal behavior for a hen her age. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,929
    9,470
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Looks like a normal 'pullet sized' egg, and will get bigger within a few weeks.....or months.
    Not sure that's a RIR tho, looks like she has white earlobes.
    If she's mixed with a leghorn (white earlobe), or some other smaller bird-even a bantam, it could account for her smaller body size.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    21,533
    5,010
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    She's not a Rhode Island Red. That's why she's smaller. Could be a Red Leghorn. And pullet eggs are usually start small and gradually get bigger.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    20,317
    9,028
    616
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    Good observation on catching the white ear lobe! After you mentioned Leghorn, I took a closer look. sure enough! Accounts for the lighter colored egg also.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,929
    9,470
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

    June and I must have cross posted.......but I didn't even know there was a Red Leghorn.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    20,317
    9,028
    616
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    Oh yeah. there are some real nice leg horns out there. Rose comb. (I have them as part of my flock foundation) There are black, brown, ?red, and excheckeur (? spelling). that last one is a real looker. But from my reading on the subject, none compare with the white for egg production.
     
  8. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,313
    840
    201
    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Yes look at the comb, it's larger. I'll take her if you don't want her. I think she's beautiful.
    Do you live in Connecticut? I'll come over today and take her off your hands. GC
     
  9. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Chillin' With My Peeps

    69
    12
    59
    Apr 19, 2016
    American Southwest
    Well that explains a few things! I was wondering about the white earlobes for a while to be honest. She has been quiet since she started laying and doesn't sing an egg song (which is nice because I live in a city), so I'll keep her for now. Today she laid an egg in a crack between two nesting boxes and of course it broke and made a mess in there, but it's progress at least. Out of the 8 chicks I bought from my local feed store, two of them have now turned out to be different breeds, but at least they have all been healthy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by