girls at 2 weeks- No tail feathers on one; any ideas why? with pics

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 4myHennyPenny, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2007
    Colorado
    Our girls are nearly two weeks old now. One BO, Henrietta, two Ameraucanas/EEs, Sage and Money Penny, and two Barred Rocks, Wanda and Turkey.

    We ordered from My Pet Chicken and had originally planned on just three (one of each breed). She asked if she could send me four, just in case, which was fine with me. Well, opened the box and found FIVE! We've been able to adjust just fine, although looks like I'll be needing to order more starter as they're plowing through it. And if all five are pullets, I'll need to once again change my coop plans. [​IMG] (I may never be finished!)

    It's unbelievable how big they've grown in the 1 1/2 weeks we've had them. A week ago, their tail feathers began to emerge... all except for Turkey's (BR). A week later, the others have very noticeable tail feathers--almost an inch long-- but still NONE on Turkey. How weird is this? Her sister Wanda, the other BR, has tail feathers about the same length as the other three, so I'm not sure that it's something unique to the breed. Thought it might be an indication that either Wanda or Turkey was a roo. Given that the other three have the tail feathers, I'm guessing that's a better indicator of a pullet (at least that's what we ordered, so I HOPE they're not all roos!). But when I looked up the sexing info on BR's, Turkey sounded very much like a pullet: round white spot on her head when she arrived (2 days old), body almost entirely black (and still is), black down the front of her legs and tops of her feet. Wanda also had the white spot, though not quite as round as Turkey's. Wanda had/has a bit more white at her wings and a little bit on her belly. Wanda also has some black down the front of her legs and tops of her feet, though not as dark and prominent as Turkey's.

    This is Wanda, the other BR. Her tail feathers are even longer now.
    [​IMG]

    Here are Sage and Turkey. Notice that Sage also has longer tail feathers. It's not that this is a bad angle for Turkey, it's just that she's completely downy without tail feathers.
    [​IMG]
    Here are Wanda, on the left, and Turkey with Henrietta and Money Penny. Again, you can see the difference between Wanda and Turkey with regard to the tail feathers.
    [​IMG]

    So given the pics, what do you think so far? I realize I probably won't have a great idea as to whether or not someone's a roo for a few more weeks, but what's the reason for no tail feathers on Turkey? BTW, size-wise, she's just as big as the rest. And I just noticed that Turkey's wing feathers aren't nearly as developed as the other four. The others' wings are filling in quite nicely and lengthening quite a bit. Turkey's wing feathers are still very short and pretty downy.

    Thanks in advance for any guesses or observations. I'll eventually get around to posting other pics of the crew, just takes forever on dial up!
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2007
  2. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Look in my pic page....the first pic you see is an EE and it had no tail. Since they all originate from the aruacana it is probably the rumpless gene showing up. That is just what i think [​IMG] But go look at my bird and see how she looks today.
     
  3. pattycake

    pattycake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    I have the same thing: two of my Black Giants have tails, the other has barely anything. And one Speckled Sussex has a tail, the other doesn't. Even though the tailless BG is HUGE and you wouldn't think anyone was picking on them, I think that's what happened. Hopefully the tail will come in eventually.
     
  4. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2007
    Colorado
    Quote:But this isn't my Ameraucana, this is one of my Barred Rocks. She's definitely not being picked on; she's usually one of the instigators, along with a couple others. Had considered whether she might be getting pecked, but certainly does not seem the case. And given that her wing feathers are so slow in developing, seems to fit that the tail feathers are slow as well.

    Guess at this point we can just start a pool with guesses as to whether "she" will be a "he"... or if the rest of the lot winds up roos! [​IMG] That definitely won't happen, right??? I'll just have to post pics again in a few weeks with the results so far.

    Can't remember where I read about the other indicators of sex with Barred Rocks but believe that one of them was the size of the bars. Wanda, who had bits of white on her wings and belly from the beginning, has wider bits of white on her wings now. Does this make it less likely she's a pullet?
     
  5. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2007
    Colorado
    Quote:Glad to hear I'm not alone with this conundrum. Really hoping they don't wind up roos, though! [​IMG] How old are yours?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2007
  6. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Well.....it looks like you might have to wait this one out [​IMG] It wont be easy. Its actually one of the fun parts is when you dont know. It really peaks your interest, but after a while you get sick of not knowing something. [​IMG]
     
  7. 4myHennyPenny

    4myHennyPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2007
    Colorado
    Yeah, I've probably got a couple of weeks before my Type A really starts to kick in and want the answer to this one. May as well work on it now...

    Has anyone else seen this with their chicks? And if you did, did it wind up being an indicator of a different sex? Or did you actually have birds of the same breed and same sex whose tail and wing feathers just developed at very different rates?
     
  8. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2007
    Maine
    Well, you probably don't want to hear it but....
    Generally female chicks develop their tail feathers faster then the males. I have found this to be true in many of the breeds I have and have had. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2007
  9. chickenhorsefarm

    chickenhorsefarm New Egg

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    Feb 19, 2007
    Floyd, VA
    We had a very similar situation- we ordered chicks from IDEAL (won't go into that now... but won't order there again! [​IMG] ) We started with 11 chicks, hatched within a day or two of each other. 10 of them developed almost at identical speeds, leaving one behind. This one seemed to develop wing and head feathers at close to the same rate as the others, but walked around for about 3-4 weeks with just tiny little starts of feathers at the tail, just like in your picture! There was pretty much NO noticable growth of the tail feathers for a few weeks! It was one of 4 red birds (not sure if they were all the same breed- may be 2 red sex-linked and 2 RIR).

    I had heard that an early indication of male vs female was that the roos develop their feathers at a slower rate... this combined with the fact that we got 2 extras in our order (which I assumed would be roosters...) I thought for sure that this little one was a boy!

    Well... Now everyone is almost 11 1/2 weeks old, and so far, no one stands out as a rooster! They all look similar! I can't even tell which one was the slow tail-grower any more- all the reds are equally full-tailed! [​IMG]

    Hope this means good luck for you too!

    Robyn and Greg
     
  10. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2007
    Illinois
    Yes this thing with sexing and tail feather development appears to be true. I used this method to determine the sex of ours as they grew and developed. The ones that were first to develop their tail feathers were all pullets and the others were roos....100% accuracy for us! Maybe just got lucky...dunno! Ours were Blk Austrolorps, RIR's, SLW.
     

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