Runt of the Litter??


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
Forks, Virginia
It has been nearly 7 weeks since the eggs I got from TuffOldHen hatched . Can you believe it? 7 weeks already!

The chicks are growing and thriving and very active and fun to watch. One of the chicks - one of those I helped to hatch is not growing at the same rate as the rest. It is not a case of failure to thrive.


The chick eats and drinks and poops like all the rest. It is very active and busy. The size of this chick is half the size of the others hatched from the same eggs. She is banty sized.


This is not the point I want to make. I want to show you how she is taken care of by the other chicks.

When you go in the nursery coop the chicks are usually scattered around eating or napping or doing whatever chicks do.


Somehow the other chicks have a radar sense. They know if your attn is on the tiny one my kids named "Bijou".


They will move in and sheild her with their bodies. She is small enough she can stand under them.


The will huddle around her and even cover her completely at times so you can't even see her.

They all seem to know she is smaller than they are. They all instinctively guard her from anything and anyone.

How cool is that?


11 Years
Mar 29, 2008
South of KCMO
That is awesome!! I have a chick like that to. They are 1.5 weeks old and all the chicks are twice as big as she is. I worry about her getting stepped on when they are playing and running from one end of the brooder box to the other. Do you worry about that to or am I just being overprotective??


Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
15 Years
Feb 3, 2007
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
How sweet! Of my three RIR chicks in my original flock, one was about 2/3 the size of the other two, but boy, did she thrive! Rosemary was a hoot and still is. Pluckiest little thing, now over two years old. She's still slightly smaller than the other two, never had any middle toenails, lays a small, almost white egg, but loves to be carried around like a babydoll. My DH adores her and you'd never say she hasn't thrived. Yours may eventually catch up to the others, or close to it.

Texas Fluffy Feet

11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
Arlington, TX
That is neat how they protect her. I am amazed at how these little critters bond to each other. I use a cardboard box to take my 5 from the indoor brooder out to their outside playpen. Whoever is first in the box chirps like mad until a "sister" joins her. Whoever is last in the brooder gets loud until they are in the box with the others too. Same story when I try to seperate one for a picture, they peep and look for each other.
I have one that has always been smaller than the rest too but is growing and doing fine. I guess as strange as it seems, chickens do have runts!


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jan 30, 2007
Wow, she? is a little runt... lol...Glad they all take care of her... Nice looking splash cockeral growing out there MP....

I haven't had a splash cockeral hatch out yet!!

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