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

billygoat162

Songster
Apr 19, 2016
84
30
101
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:


My morning hunt:


Three of her eggs next to an egg from my other RIR:
 
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PhoenixFan

In the Brooder
Jul 29, 2016
52
9
38
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.
smile.png
 
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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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.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
97,648
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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.


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

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
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CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
June and I must have cross posted.......but I didn't even know there was a Red Leghorn.
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.
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
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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
 

billygoat162

Songster
Apr 19, 2016
84
30
101
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.
 
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