feather development?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Real McChicks, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Real McChicks

    Real McChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm wondering why one of my chicks is so much behind the others in feather development. We have three 10 day old chicks (RIR, BR and Red Star) and a 7 day old Americauna. The BR and RIR are big and their wings are almost fully feathered and their little tails are about 1/2 inch long. The Americauna is just a bit behind them with lots of wing feathers and an itty bitty tail starting up. The Red Star is growing and just a little smaller than the RIR but she has only the tiniest bit of wing feather - maybe a 1/4 inch- and no tail at all.

    Do Red Stars develop more slowly? I was worried when I read that roos can develop slower, but this is a sex link. She seems happy and active and eats like crazy, so it doesnt seem like anything is wrong with her- but it does make me wonder.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Since she is a sex link, I wouldn't worry. Sex links are actually a mutt rather than a breed so I couldn't really say that it is a "breed" thing to feather out slowly - it is more likely just an individual thing.
     
  3. coreybee

    coreybee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought the same thing about mine. I brought home 4 chicks : 2 EE, 1 BO, 1 SS. They were all supposed to be 1 week old. After they started getting bigger and developing more, the Speckled Sussex was way far behind the rest. Her back was partially bald as well because her fuzz had fallen out but the feathers hadn't yet grown in. She looked funny for awhile, but eventually caught up with everyone else.
     
  4. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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    Occasionally some chicks take longer to grow and feather out. I had a buff brahma chick that took forever to really get feathered. This one was a roo but even the other two roos that hatched with him feathered out faster than him. He finally has his hard feathers almost everywhere. It just took him months to catch up. If you stay concerned about this little one not growing fast enough, you could give higher protien grower food. I like giving the higher protien grower food all the time anyway.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There is a certain gene that controls how fast chicks feather out. It is either fast or slow. Sounds like your red star got the slow gene.

    There can be a difference in how pullets and roosters feather out, but at that age, it is much more likely to be the fast or slow feathering gene than sex determining that.
     
  6. Real McChicks

    Real McChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    A slow feathering gene? How interesting! Thanks for the info.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The bit below is part of Tadkerson’s post where he talks about feather-sexing chicks. The fast-feathering gene is what makes Dominiques look kind of ragged where the slow feathering gene makes the barred rocks’ barring so crisp. I find the subject very interesting.

    There is a difference in how males and females feather out, but many people confuse the fast-slow gene with the different way the sexes grow out.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=261208

    Feather Sexing Chicks

    Color sexing chicks can be a difficult task and is dependent upon the phenotype of the chick. If a chick does not have the correct down color, then you cannot color sex the chick. There is a way of using another sex-linked trait to sex chicks based upon the size of the primary and secondary feathers on the wing of a newly hatched chick.

    Feather sexing chicks can be accomplished by crossing males that are homozygous for rapid feather growth or carry two rapid feather growth alleles ( k+/k+) with females that are hemizygous or carry only one slow feather growth allele ( K/_W).

    The female parent contributes a dominant gene for slow feather growth (K) to all the male offspring while the female offspring will inherit only one rapid feather growth allele ( k+) from the father. This cross produces males that have slow feather growth (K/k+) and females that have rapid feather growth (k+/_W).
     

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