Runt Chicken

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kjfrogster41, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. kjfrogster41

    kjfrogster41 In the Brooder

    Jul 30, 2011
    Belfast, ME
    I know that not all chicks are created equal but I have 3 RIRs hatched the same day. Two are about equal in size, but one is half their size. She eats well and seems fairly energetic, but not as much as the other two. They do not gang up on her, in fact, strange as it seems, if she squawks a lot, like when I pick her up, the other two come running over. They seem concerned. At night, when they roost, they put the little one between them. Should I be worried about her slow growth? Does this mean she may not produce eggs? Could it be that she is not ingesting enough grit so is not getting the nutritional value from her food that the other two are getting?
  2. navasima

    navasima Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    New Mexico
    How old are they? Does she seem healthy - just small? Chickens can have varying growth rates just like human kids can.....
    Gotta pic? [​IMG]
  3. cukooformarans

    cukooformarans Songster

    Apr 22, 2011
    I had never had this problem before this year, but we have had two runts. The first one I babied. It seemed quite healthy, but did not adjust to outside conditions as well as the others. In fact, I ended up putting it in with a group of chicks four weeks younger when I moved its hatchmates to a non-heated pen because it was not doing well with the transition. After that, it did fine. It is now 25 1/2 weeks old and going strong. It is a good bit smaller (still) than any of the others. None of them have started laying yet, so I don't know about that. It is so much smaller that I'm wondering if it will lay a smaller egg. The second group was with a mother hen and she seemed to be taking care of the babies, so I thought nature knew best and left it with her. It died [​IMG] I think she stopped covering them so much as they got older and this one just couldn't adjust. Very very very sad. If this ever happens again, I will go ahead and take it out and raise it myself. Hate to think the little chick suffered, but I'm pretty sure she let it get too cold. So my input ... if you want it to do well, watch carefully when you begin to acclimate them to the regular (meaning non-heated) coop. P.S. I think the lows were in the 60's when I had to pull the one out that I raised, and they were probably about the same when the other one died.
  4. instar8

    instar8 Chirping

    Jun 30, 2011
    My first batch of hatchery chicks included this ugly, scrawny, thin feathered chick that inspired the name "Kiwi". She grew very slowly...into a big, heavy-bodied beautiful red-black hen, one of my favorite birds. She was still laying well at 4 when the fox got her....;~(.
  5. duncan5

    duncan5 Songster

    I got three polish chicks 2 weeks ago at a chicken swap in VA. One of the three chicks seems to be growing slower than the others and at 6 weeks the smaller chick still has down on his chest. This smaller chick is active and eating, but seems a little off. (?) I am thinking that this polish chick is a "runt". Anyone out their have any idea of what might be going on with this little guy? Thank you for any help.
  6. SammyRouen

    SammyRouen In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2014
    I have a runt New Hampshire red chick now four weeks old I was very conserned when I first got her because she was so much smaller and her comb looked like it had been pecked at. She still very little and maturing slower then the others but shes very vocal, eats, drinks and runs around normal and she will even size up with her flock mates like she's bigger then them. I'm not concerned about her anymore!

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