8 Years
Feb 25, 2011
Bay City, TX
I have 8 chicks. They were all purchased at the same time, and they were all in the same shipment from Ideal to my farm store. (was there when they opened the boxes) There is one little chickwho just does not seem to be growing like the others. They are 10 days old and the others have all got a lot of wing feathers and some tail feathers. This one looks nearly unchanged from when I got it. It has wing feathers only along the edge of it's wings, no tail feathers and it's's a bit smaller than everybody else. It's one of my three BRs and the others are on par with the rest of the chicks. I bought one BR pullet, and the other two were straight run, and the runt is one of the straight run pair. The other has kept pace with the other BR.
I've read here that roosters feather out later than hens, but I have one definite rooster Welsummer (at least the hatchery seems to think so) and he's on par with the rest of the girls in development.
Are BR roosters slower to develop than those of other breeds? Do Welsummer cockerels tend to keep pace with the pullets? Or do I just have a runt? Should I be concerned that I have a sick chick?
S/he seems to be a tad sleepier than the rest, but s/he eats drinks and poops just fine and does play with the others and seems active and happy.

Should I just quit worrying??

Edited to add: I forgot to mention it does seem to hang it's beak open like it's panting once in a while. The other chicks don't do that. It's not too warm. (if anything it's a tad on the chilly side, but they seem to be happier at 85 than at 90. They were all hiding on the other side of the brooder when it was 90)
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I was reading your post and saying that sounds exactly the same as what we have. We have the same things going on, we purchased all of ours at the same time, and one of the BR's is tiny, she eats all the time and is healthy, but no tail feathers and the wing feathers are barely there. It is so weird because all the others have a lot of wing weathers and there tails are going also. I don't know what's up, but I won't tell her because she thinks she is as big as the rest, lol.
The more I think about it, the more believe I've got another little cockerel on my hands. I took a harder look at my welsummer cockerel and he does seem to be a touch behind on the feather development compared to my other two. His tail feathers are smaller than the girls. He's the same size and doesn't pant though, and his wing feathers are nearly on par with the girls, far ahead of my runt.
Your little "runty butt" has the colouring that my BR roo had at the same stage. I don't remember him being behind the girls in development but he was definitely a lighter grey colour than the females.
S/he is actually the same color as the others. My flash just went off in my runty butt picture and washed the colors out a bit!
I just looked back at my pictures and my BR roo was behind the girls in feather development. He definitely stayed cutest the longest!! But the most striking thing was how much lighter he was. Much more white on his wings. He also had a different leg design. Sort of more upright. Now that I know he's a roo, I can really see it.
Well, I think it's settled. I've got chicken soup in the making! I've only got room for one roo and I'm planning on breeding my welsummer.
Both my BR's were WAY behind the sex links in feather development.

This is them at just under 2 weeks of age. Roo is on top. You can really see how much more white is developing on him early on and how much lighter he is in general.


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