Failure to thrive

KalahariFerrari

Chirping
Nov 10, 2020
43
200
79
Northern Cape, South Africa
Hi! I have a 3 week old chick (his/her name is The Colonel), hatched by a first time mommy hen. He's one of 7 chicks. He had pasty butt the first week and I got him through that, he has been with his mom and siblings since. My problem is, he doesn't grow. He's a third of the size of his hatchmates. I thought maybe he was just really slow growing. This morning I had 3 chicks hatch in my DIY incubator. I fetched the Colonel and put him with the new hatchlings, to teach them how to chicken. I now see that he hasn't grown at all! I've attached a photo, The Colonel is the one I circled in blue, as you can see he is the same size or smaller than the day olds. He has been getting plenty of food, he's every bit as active and tenacious as his siblings. I'm a first time chick raiser, so this is a mystery to me! Anyone that can clue me in as to why he isn't growing, please?
 

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CNJ

Songster
Oct 12, 2020
584
980
196
Why is a 3 week old chick the same size as newly hatched chicks? What breed are the parents? Do they have bantam blood mixed in? How old is the hen?
 
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abpatchy

Crowing
9 Years
May 1, 2012
1,254
3,848
416
Germany
He hasn't even grown feathers!! At three weeks he should have lots of feathers. Even if there were bantam breeds mixed in, he should have feathers! I am sorry to say, but I am not sure if he will grow old. But as long as he is well, just let him enjoy his life.
You might have to separate him from the others soon. They will start picking on him.
I have no clue why... just one of natures mysteries. I'm sorry for the little guy!
 

KalahariFerrari

Chirping
Nov 10, 2020
43
200
79
Northern Cape, South Africa
Why is a 3 week old chick the same size as newly hatched chicks? What breed are the parents? Do they have bantam blood mixed in? How old is the hen?

They are a bantam mix yes, they are from 4 different moms, most started laying in the last 6 months. But the rest are all the same size and developing very well. I have no idea why he stays so small! That's why I asked 😋 it doesn't make sense to me. He has full siblings that are developing normally. As for the exact breed, I couldn't say. There is definitely bantam something in recent generations of the parents.
 

KalahariFerrari

Chirping
Nov 10, 2020
43
200
79
Northern Cape, South Africa
He hasn't even grown feathers!! At three weeks he should have lots of feathers. Even if there were bantam breeds mixed in, he should have feathers! I am sorry to say, but I am not sure if he will grow old. But as long as he is well, just let him enjoy his life.
You might have to separate him from the others soon. They will start picking on him.
I have no clue why... just one of natures mysteries. I'm sorry for the little guy!

He has teeny tiny tail feathers, as well as on his wings. But like a 3 day old, not 3 week old! He's getting extra attention and when the new chicks outgrow him, I'll keep him seperate. I was afraid that he might not have a bright future 😣 and I'm really attached to him because of the extra attention he needs. I do hope he starts growing soon! Don't want him to suffer, but watching him closely. He seems to be doing extremely well, he keeps up with his siblings no problem! Will continue to make sure he gets what he needs and just try and keep him happy as best I can. He's a really special little guy! Thank you!
 

abpatchy

Crowing
9 Years
May 1, 2012
1,254
3,848
416
Germany
Those special ones always grow close to the heart!
And I could be wrong! But most of the time there is a reason for the lack of thriving. If it were just the feathers it would be one thing... eventually they come in. But it is also the size! Good luck to the little guy!
 

KalahariFerrari

Chirping
Nov 10, 2020
43
200
79
Northern Cape, South Africa
Those special ones always grow close to the heart!
And I could be wrong! But most of the time there is a reason for the lack of thriving. If it were just the feathers it would be one thing... eventually they come in. But it is also the size! Good luck to the little guy!

I am hoping for a miracle! I'm afraid that he must have an internal problem. But hoping and praying it heals and he gets to grow big and healthy! Will update here with any progress. It's very strange to see indeed, it's like he missed the first 3 weeks worth of development and growth completely. Thanks anyway! If I do learn something about it, I will post that here also!
 

Lexicon

Songster
Aug 18, 2020
187
1,772
200
Northern Canada
Here are some photos of his feather development. They are there, just small and slow growing!
I wish the best for your little one. I had a similar experience this summer. Turns out she was a Brahma (I didn't order any Brahmas) who are slow growing, but her growth was SO slow. She was less than half the size of the others and took forever to get feathers. Your little chick has more feathers at three weeks than mine did. I just decided, as you have, to give her a good chicken life for as long as she survived. She is now almost six months old and looks like a fluffy yellow basketball! She is still a little shorter than the other pullets, but filled out very nicely on her own schedule.
 

KalahariFerrari

Chirping
Nov 10, 2020
43
200
79
Northern Cape, South Africa
I wish the best for your little one. I had a similar experience this summer. Turns out she was a Brahma (I didn't order any Brahmas) who are slow growing, but her growth was SO slow. She was less than half the size of the others and took forever to get feathers. Your little chick has more feathers at three weeks than mine did. I just decided, as you have, to give her a good chicken life for as long as she survived. She is now almost six months old and looks like a fluffy yellow basketball! She is still a little shorter than the other pullets, but filled out very nicely on her own schedule.

Thank you SO much! This gives me tremendous hope. Genetics are weird, so it could be that he had something super slow growing in his ancestry that has jumped a generation or 5. We see weird things coming through in the other farm animals all the time, so this could actually make sense! I'm going with that theory. So glad to hear your girl is doing so well! Best of luck to you too, I will keep you updated (although it's still a long road ahead!)
 

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