New chick owner with questions about feather development

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by irnivek, May 19, 2011.

  1. irnivek

    irnivek New Egg

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    May 19, 2011
    Hi, this is my first post. Our family are first time chicken owners - we bought 50 chicks this spring. They are about 6 weeks old now. We bought a "special assorted bargain" straight run meaning we wouldn't know what breeds we were getting. Some are rare breeds.

    I've noticed in the past few days that 4 or 5 of them are losing the fluff on their backs but no feathers are coming in. I do not think they are being pecked for three reasons: 1 - we watch them a lot (they are new and fascinating you know!) and don't see pecking; 2 - there are two that look identical and both have the same lack of feathers on their backs; 3 - There are no bloody spots and no feathers lying around. It seems more like their feathers just aren't coming in. They seem healthy otherwise as far as I know.

    So... is this normal? Are they too hot? They do have plenty of space and room to get away from the heat. I'm just starting to wean them off their heat lamp because it has been cold here (northern wyoming). Are they sick? Any advice people can give would be much appreciated. I've been searching for information but haven't found anything similar to this. I can try to post pictures tomorrow if that is helpful. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. catchthewind

    catchthewind Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2011
    Vancouver Island
    I'm new too, but all our chicks went through phases of having completely bare backs, under the wings. I have 6-week-old Silkies outside with no heat and it's still getting down below 40 some nights here (though they have 10 other chicks to help keep them warm or I would have kept them inside longer). They are mostly feathered except on their backs too.
     
  3. 3chimama

    3chimama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Welcome to BYC. I think that your chicks are just fine ;D
     
  4. Chew593

    Chew593 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with the other post. Your chicks are fine. Feathers come in at different times and different breeds feather differently. There are some meat birds that barely feather out at all. Don't worry and [​IMG]
    Oh, and post pictures in the 'what breed or gender is this?' section. We all love to see the babies and try to guess what they are.
     
  5. humboldtpeeps

    humboldtpeeps Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2011
    Totally normal, i will say though that our chick that had that feathering pattern ended up being a little roo~ I'm not experienced enough to say if that's always the case or not... You should post pics of them in the 'what breed/gender is this' section- I'd love to see what people think. How breed and gender effect feathering is pretty interesting [​IMG]
     
  6. humboldtpeeps

    humboldtpeeps Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2011
    Oops! I missed that chew593 had already encouraged you to post in that section [​IMG] im such a goober with the online forum format! but ditto - post pics! Let us guess [​IMG]
     
  7. irnivek

    irnivek New Egg

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    May 19, 2011
    Thank you all so much, very reassuring answers for a newbie! I've been anxious to get them outside. It is very windy here, not just cold. If they have protection from the wind will they be ok in the cold? I will post pictures in the breeds & gender and my kids and I would be anxious to find out what breed others think they are.
     
  8. LucyBrucey

    LucyBrucey New Egg

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    Apr 20, 2013
    I have 1 of 7 gold-laced Wyandotte chicks, now 7 weeks old, and one of them is 1/3 the size of the others, and unlike them, has virtually no body feathers although it has lost most of its fluff. Could this be a genetic defect?
     

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