Five week old Wyandotte not growing adult feathers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by StylishCavies, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. StylishCavies

    StylishCavies New Egg

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    It's said you learn something new every day. Today, I would like to learn something new. To be more exact, I'd like to learn why my 5 or 6 week old Wyandotte isn't growing adult feathers. Attached is a rather blurry picture I took with my laptop so I'll describe her issue: "Tiny" is half or smaller size of the rest of the birds that I bought as day-old. They all started out the same size. While the others grew and flourished, growing lovely feathers all over, she still has peach fuzz or nothing at all. She isn't getting picked, but her chick fuzz fell out in some places and no adult feathers came in behind. Just a few smallish wind tip feathers.

    Next week, I want to put the girls in the coop. It's nice and warm during the day but I don't feel that Tiny will be warm enough at night. The last thing I need is a featherless chicken living in a cage in my garage. Does anyone have experience with this condition? How long is long enough to allow feathers to grow? Keep or cull?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Some birds just fail to grow as quickly as others. Wyandottes especially seem to have this problem. Some breeds just grow slowly; Brahmas, Cochins, and Wyandottes are some of the slowest. Your bird might have some internal defect that it is preventing it from growing quickly. However, I wouldn't cull it. Give it a chance to live.

    You can try giving it some vitamins and some scrambled egg. Also, make sure that it gets enough to eat by giving it yogurt, applesauce, and moistened chick feed. All of these things will help it grow. Keep an eye on the other chickens to make sure that it doesn't start getting picked on because it is smaller.

    I remember one story on BYC of a bird named Nan. It took almost twelve weeks (if I remember right) to even begin growing in a real set of feathers. In the end, he grow up to be a beautiful Blue Laced Red Wyandotte that looked normal and sired normal chicks. Don't give up hope with this chick!

    Good luck with your chick!
     
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  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Sometimes these slow growing chicks (from what I've read) will eventually catch up, and somethimes they will fail to thrive and you will lose them. Culling is entirely a personal choice; certainly some would already have done it, and others would continue trying. I don't thnk there are any right or wrong answers. If it were mine, it would go outdoors when the others do.

    One thing that may be worth a try is feeding it separately once or twice a day. Mix up a small amount of feed with water, yogurt, or buttermilk, and separate the chick for 10 or 15 minutes or so, as long as it will eat, then toss uneaten food and return the chick to the flock. Often when a flock senses there may be something wrong with one of them, they will not only pick on it, they will also interfere with its getting to the food and water.
     
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  4. StylishCavies

    StylishCavies New Egg

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    Thanks! We'll give Tiny another month or two and see what happens. You think Calf Manna with some water to soften it would be okay?
     
  5. StylishCavies

    StylishCavies New Egg

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    Well, it's over 2 months now and Tiny has finally sprouted some adult feathers! Yay! She's only a tad smaller than her sisters and is only missing feathers on her back and has baby fluff on her rear still. Very slow maturing, to say the least. Thanks for the encouragement.
     
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yay! I hope she continues to grow up into a beautiful bird! Are there any new pictures? Her slow maturing makes me think that "she" could be a "he" (many slow maturing birds end up being roosters).
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013

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