Hello, Newbie here with question

Monica4

Hatching
5 Years
Sep 11, 2014
3
0
7
I am new to chickens, but have had other birds all my life. I got my first four girls in May, they are Barred Plymouth Rock hens. Lucy has always been the runt of the bunch, and not very bright. She has always lagged behind the others, just slightly in just about every way. The other girls have nice red combs and cheeks, but Lucy's are much less developed and definitely not a nice bright red. When I pick her up and feel her breast, her keel is so prominent, while the others are nice and thick. I don't know what do do with her. She doesn't act ill in any way (no breathing issues, no sticky vent, no fluffed feathers, no lethargy). She keeps up with the other chickens around the yard. Any advice? Thank you! Monica4
 

Americano Blue

Make everyday count
6 Years
Apr 14, 2014
17,688
220
346
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I am new to chickens, but have had other birds all my life. I got my first four girls in May, they are Barred Plymouth Rock hens. Lucy has always been the runt of the bunch, and not very bright. She has always lagged behind the others, just slightly in just about every way. The other girls have nice red combs and cheeks, but Lucy's are much less developed and definitely not a nice bright red. When I pick her up and feel her breast, her keel is so prominent, while the others are nice and thick. I don't know what do do with her. She doesn't act ill in any way (no breathing issues, no sticky vent, no fluffed feathers, no lethargy). She keeps up with the other chickens around the yard. Any advice? Thank you! Monica4

i will ask my friend about it but i think she might just be devolving slowly.
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,456
438
Montana
Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. As long as Lucy is not showing any symptoms of illness, I would not worry about it. I suspect as Americano Blue suggested, that she is just a slow developer. If you would like a second third opinion, or if she begins to show some symptoms of some kind of illness, you should post on our Emergency, Diseases, Injuries, and Cures section at https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/10/emergencies-diseases-injuries-and-cures. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with Lucy.
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
28,316
16,042
956
Glen St Mary, Florida
Welcome to BYC. She is at the bottom of the pecking order and the others probably chase her away from the feeder resulting in slow development/growth. She is likely picked/pecked on while attempting to roost in the evening.
 
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BantamLover21

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 24, 2013
23,660
1,566
426
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Glad you joined us!
 

TwoCrows

🌻🐣🌻
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Mar 21, 2011
48,817
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New Mexico, USA
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Hello there and welcome to BYC!
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I agree with Dawg here, I think she is being bullied away from the feeder and not getting enough to eat. You need to set out several food and water stations. One will not do. I have several out for all my ages of birds as many birds will guard these areas and can completely starve out the smaller birds. This can lead them to eating what ever it takes to fill their bellies and many times the things they eat can kill them. So put out a couple more areas for all the birds to eat AND drink.

Good luck with your baby and welcome to our flock!
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
140,532
289,394
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Out to pasture
You could always make her a house pet - usually they flourish under such conditions - then you might want to re-introduce her to the flock, when she is a new, improved, confident hen.
 

Monica4

Hatching
5 Years
Sep 11, 2014
3
0
7
Thank you for the suggestions! I have not seen any bullying or fighting over food as they all seem to get along well and always roost together in a clump. Lucy and Ethel are best buds, as are Wilma and Betty. Ethel is the biggest one and I doubt she would let anything happen to Lucy. If Lucy doesn't start putting on some weight I will have to separate her, but I know she will be very upset to be away from the rest of the girls. I am hoping she is just a late bloomer and doesn't have anything going on inside. What ever it is, it can't be contagious since the others are healthy. I probably am just worrying too much LOL
 

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