Now 2 weeks old. Chicks are different sizes.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by clinto, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. clinto

    clinto Out Of The Brooder

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    My Red Stars are now 2 weeks old and there are 2 little ones that dont seem to be growing as fast. 3 of them are getting huge and want to fly in the brooder. All eat and drink about the same and everyone seems happy and healthy. Is it normal to have a couple that just dont keep up and will be smaller? I am feeding medicated chick starter and have been putting electrolytes in the water. They also get a scrap veggie of fruit every other day. Any thoughts?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    3 suggestions: Get some Poultry nutridrench into her. It's a wonderful product, and I won't brood chicks without having a bottle on hand. Also, you might buzz your starter crumble through the blender, then make some into an oatmeal consistency, and offer that to all of them. You also might want to give them some mashed up scrambled egg. Check out the fermented feed threads. That's an excellent way to get extra nutrition into them, and give them a healthier immune system. Hold off on the snacks for now. Those laggers need all the nutrition they can get from their feed.
     
  3. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    post deleted
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  4. clinto

    clinto Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2015
    Palm Valley FL
    They were advertised as red sex links and are supposed to be guaranteed. I may have been sold something else being it wasn't the best environment and he bought the chicks from a hatchery for resale. I will definitely try some mash food and hold off on the treats for the time.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    There are a lot of different things that could be going on. I’m not sure how much difference in size and development there really is. I have had a runt, a chick that started out slow and never caught up. That’s only ever happened to me once and that happened to be a male, not a female. When I eventually butchered him his genitals and some other internal organs were just not anywhere as close to developed as you would have though they should be. With two out of five, that’s probably not it. The odds of two runts are just too great.

    If they truly are red sex links and haven’t been mixed up, there is no doubt they are all female. The difference in color of the down of the hatchery red sex links is just too dramatic to allow for that mistake. There are different kinds of red sex links. Some are made by crossing two breeds, practically always dual purpose breeds if they are from a hatchery. These will be fairly large like their parents. The other type are the ones from the commercial egg layers. These are smaller, more like a leghorn in size, so you would notice a difference.

    There is always the possibility that they have been mixed and are not all red sex links. Are they all feathering out the same color and pattern, realizing that some feather out faster than others? I’m talking about similar color and pattern, not speed of development. Since they are crosses there can be some differences in final plumage but at two weeks that should not be noticeable. If that is the case they may not all be female, though they could be. At two weeks you generally don’t see that much difference in the size of males and females from chicks of the same breed. The males do get bigger faster but at two weeks I don’t think that size difference would be anywhere close to as noticeable as I think you are describing.

    In any group of chicks there will be a difference in size by two weeks, even if they are all the same breed and all the same sex. I don’t think this is what you are describing since the difference should not be that dramatic but I’m not looking at them. I’m not sure how dramatic the size and development difference really is.

    Occasionally you get a brute and a bully that intimidates the milder chicks and keeps them away from the food or water. Chickens have an instinct to be dominant. Sometimes that kicks in really early. Are the two smaller ones allowed to eat and drink?

    As long as they are eating and drinking and are active and acting healthy, they are probably healthy and doing fine.

    Good luck with it.
     
  6. clinto

    clinto Out Of The Brooder

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    Here are some comp pictures of the 2 most obvious ones. The smaller ones are more rounded on their heads and rump. their wings are much smaller as well. The bigger ones look older honestly but they were all the same size when i got them. I gave them some mash made from their food and all 5 went crazy for hours until it was gone. The smallest one is as aggressive as any of the bigger guys and has no trouble at all getting into the food. Can anyone tell if these are different types at this age? They were sold as Red sex links.



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    Bigger chick
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    smaller chick
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  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    They do look totally different don’t they? Don’t put too much faith in them feathering out differently. There is a specific gene that controls how fast they feather out. It is not a breed thing. That looks a little extreme but probably within reason. That’s a sex linked gene, by the way, and pullets only get it from their fathers. From a hatchery that doesn’t mean much. They normally have many different roosters in the same pen with the hens.

    There is quite a bit difference in size. I don’t know what is going on. That’s more size difference. The coloring is similar enough that they could be from the same parent flock, just different parents. I think you are OK, but it will be interesting to see how they grow.
     
  8. clinto

    clinto Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2015
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    The little guys are still little and the big guys are still growing. Over the weekend the little ones chirped almost non stop. They stand next to each other and constantly peep back and forth. They do eat but not as much as the bigger guys and i never catch any of them drinking really but i did do a dropper full of electrolyte water with vinegar to each of the little ones and they drank it down fast. i am offering a mash of food to them and everyone eats it. The little guys are just slower and much smaller now even though they seem healthy. I just cant figure it out. Are there any diseases or illnesses that could cause that? There isnt any blood in their stool and they dont have any obvious issues. Picture is from this morning. Thanks.[​IMG]
     
  9. clinto

    clinto Out Of The Brooder

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    Well i woke up this morning and both of the little guys are dead. Im still not sure why they never grew but it was definitely starting to show that they werent getting enough nutrients and food. i saw them eat all the time though. So i am now down to 3 out of 10 that originally brought home. Im starting to think they came with something wrong.
     
  10. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi

    So sorry for the loss of your chicks.

    Marek's disease can stunt growth despite them eating well and appearing healthy, but your chicks are on the young side for getting it. Do you know if they were vaccinated for it? It is a very common disease. It can cause rapid death without any obvious symptoms as well as more common lingering signs like lameness and paralysis.
    I'm sure there will be other potential causes with the symptoms you describe and hopefully someone more experienced will be along soon to advise.

    Hoping that the 3 you have left will continue to thrive.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     

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