Is there something wrong with this pullet?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ecocheapomom, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. ecocheapomom

    ecocheapomom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I am raising a mix of Barred Rocks and Delawares which are currently 21 weeks old. It appears that one pullet may be delayed in some way. She is supposed to be a Barred Rock, but she is not only significantly smaller than the others, but she has no comb and even her feathers seem to be different in some places. She seems to be doing alright although she moves a bit slower than the rest of the flock and is often hunched up.
    Here is a picture of the pullet in questions:
    [​IMG]
    Here is a picture of one of the other Barred Rocks, exact same age:
    [​IMG]
    Here is the small pullet in between one of the other Barred Rocks and one of the Delawares:
    [​IMG]

    Is it possible than I was shipped a different breed by accident, maybe a Dominique? If she is a Barred Rock, will she ever catch up to the others and will she start laying? Should I be worried that there is something wrong with her? At least she has a name. I call her Skeksi because she looks just like one of the Skeksis from "The Dark Crystal" [​IMG] Thanks for any input!
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Time will tell. To be honest, I got a batch of sharp looking BR pullets as 3 day old chicks this spring. To my eye, there were two distinct strains. One type was bigger and brighter from the get go, while the slightly smaller ones were darker in color and friendlier, in a curious way.

    When it came time for POL or maturity, one pullet lagged suddenly. She didn't develop a nice comb or wattles and they didn't turn deep red. To complicate things further, she began to hang behind the group when picking through the remains of the garden. She ate feed well enough and she maintained her weight, but never once looked toward the nesting boxes. Like yours, she moved slowly. Stood or sat in kind of hump. I gave her some special attention, and hoped for the best. Alas, after 6 weeks passed, she never did come into lay. I culled her and sent her down to a neighbor. He'll see if the change of scenery does her some good. If not, in another month, she'll go to freezer camp.

    It happens. Rare enough, but it happens.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  3. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Is that a yellowing in the whites of her eyes? I don't think she looks "right". A little "off" to me. Makes you wonder if she has some type of hormonal imbalance... ?
     
  4. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2011
    a few years ago my mom culled a half-dozen pullets that never started to lay. In the process of butchering them, she discovered that they didn't have their "egg-y parts" as she called them. She had 4 batches of chicks that year that never started to lay. All of them came from TSC, not sure what hatchery they use.
     
  5. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    The middle picture, the "other Barred Rock" looks like a rooster, if it is 21 weeks as well. Many pullets will develop combs and wattles more slowly than the roosters?

    I assume you have checked her over, checked her poop, checked her crop, vent... etc... is the / a rooster mating with her yet? She is of the age where she might start laying... some start early, as early as 20 to 22 weeks, or two weeks after the rooster first mates with her. Check her for eggbound, etc.?

    Good luck.. maybe she is a bit of a mix? Give her time, wait and see, IMO.
     
  6. anderson8505

    anderson8505 Peace, Love & Happy Chickens

    huh. stuff happens I guess. If this happened to me and the chicken (forever pullet?) was nice and nobody picked on her I'd just keep her. Not that eating them is a bad thing. Just sayin' [​IMG]
     
  7. ecocheapomom

    ecocheapomom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I do think her eyes are a bit yellowy and her face is sort of blotchy. I am glad it's not just me that thinks she looks off. I am fairly sure the other Barred Rock is a hen since I have several others and they all look like that. Our whole flock is about the same size and we don't have any roosters (at least none that are crowing or showing any other signs [​IMG]). We just got our light up and running today so I am hoping they start laying in the next few weeks. Our previous flock were NH Reds and they started laying right at 20 weeks.
    Since no one else has started laying, I am going to see how she does over the next month or so and hopefully, she will catch up.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:Nah, she's dark and she looks like a pretty hen to me.

    As for being a "mix", well that is always possible. But the lack vigor and other concerns remain, even if she isn't a pure BR. Time will tell. When her hatchmates are all laying and a month or so has passed, a decision has to be made. It's tough. Hate to see it happen, but it just does, from time to time.
     
  9. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    I know I had a couple of Barred Rock pullets that just "didn't thrive", seemed to be weaker, sickly.... Sadly, it was such a problem that I decided to cull them. I am actually wondering if there is a genetic weakness in the Barred Rock? The ones that were "weak" and "sickly"... it was almost as if they had a bad heart or something.
    I love Barred Rocks, but I am hesitant to ever get anymore.

    Good luck.
     
  10. ecocheapomom

    ecocheapomom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2009
    New Hampshire
    It's been about three weeks since my original post and the chickens have all come into laying, except this one. She started slowing down this week as the cold set in and today I found her dead on the floor of the coop. I think it was only a matter of time and I am actually glad that I don't have to make the decision and nature took it's course. So now the question is whether to try and adopt another hen and introduce her into the flock so I have the number of layers I was planning on.
     

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