Odd looking chick.. is it ok?


Jul 1, 2022
I brought home a Phoenix chick yesterday and just want to make sure it’s ok. I realized when I bought it that it was nothing like it’s siblings.. it was very small in comparison and has very short/rough down while it’s siblings were very fluffy. It is lacking down around its eyes and it’s legs are an odd color— bluish grey while the others has yellow/orange legs. I can’t find anything online with these symptoms.. does anyone have any idea why this chick looks so different from the others? I attached a few photos of the chick and an example of what the others in the brooder looked like.
Aside from the physical differences, it seems normal. It is active, drinking and eating.. I just want to make sure it’s ok!


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It's not sick. It's a different breed chick would be my guess.

Where did you get the chicks? If a feed store, they are notorious for mixing bins.

As long as it is running, eating, drinking, pooing in the brooder with the other chicks (and taking frequent naps as is the want of chicks), it's looks healthy in the photos.

There are a LOT of chipmunk down chicks. Leg color is a clue as to what it might be. I'd have to track down what it might be as I don't know off the top of my head.

But it might be a Campine...I think they have bluish legs....however they are a bit more "speckled" and without so much eyeliner.

Hmmmm....looking at the feathersite, it does fit a Phoenix best.

It could be this particular chick is a little younger than the others...it could be the "runt," or a "failure to thrive" where the bird is never really thrifty and always stays smaller (although many catch up later).

I thought Phoenix were orange-yellow legged, which is why I went Campine with the bluish-grey legs...but on Feathersite I see some bluish-grey and orangy legs on some of the Phoenix chicks. Phoenix have blue-grey legs as adults, so not surprised they have them as chicks.

My thinking....don't worry about leg color. That varies with chicks, definitely with different breeds, and even within a breed.

Feathers will grow in. Sometimes down can be a little patchy and rough. Just be sure it isn't being pecked by the others.

Small size *can* mean a different breed (bantam vs standard) or as stated above a younger chick or a runt/failure to thrive which it may grow out of.

Keep us posted.

Cream Legbar females are chipmunk-striped like that, but they should usually have the orangey legs. Around here (I'm in Asia), the fighting-cock breed of chickens hatches with a chipmunk coloration but with grayish legs. As has been said, that color is quite common among chicks, but each breed will have its own special combinations.

I would agree that the coloration is not a symptom of disease.

As for the smaller size, this can also be the case when a chick is hatched from an older egg. The hen will lay about an egg a day until she has a full clutch before she sets on them. Some of those eggs will have waited for up to two weeks or more before starting their development, and during this time, evaporation from the egg increases the air cell size inside the egg. A larger air cell is advantageous in terms of getting some air, but comes with the disadvantage of reducing the size of the chick. The chick might, for this reason, be smaller than others in its batch. They say that if the chick size is reduced too much, it will have difficulty being strong enough to crack out of its shell--so one does not wish to see the air cell get larger than necessary.

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