Should I worry about "runt" chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JupiterFarmer, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. JupiterFarmer

    JupiterFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2009
    Palm Beach County
    We got a shipment of chicks friday and we've notice some runt looking chicks. We tried seperateing them and feeding them lots only to find another chick is now the smallest in the bunch.

    Should I worry about size differences in chicks that are the same age?
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Overly worried no. There's going to be some size difference, even among the same breed. Just keep an eye on them.
    IMO, it really is best to offer two feeders even for a small number of chicks. If someone's getting bullied or slower to eat the second feeder gives them an option.
    My runt chick is still the smallest hen in my flock in looks only. You pick her up and you'll find she weighs every bit as much as her "bigger" sisters.
  3. farmerlor

    farmerlor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Did you maybe get some banties as packing peanuts?
  4. JupiterFarmer

    JupiterFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2009
    Palm Beach County
    They have two feeders and are active. They were all really close at first but now the smallest is one-third the size of the largest. But dang if that wasn't the meanest of the bunch we got, the teeny one shoves and bites at the others.
  5. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    I have 14 barred rock cockerels that came from Ideal Hatchery as extra "males for warmth". As they grew, I had one who was much smaller than the rest, and was even smaller than the bantam cochins they came with. I kept him in with the bantams, so I could watch him and make sure he got plenty to eat. He feathered out very slowly. By the time they were 8 weeks and I moved them to their outdoor home, there was another about the same size as the runt.

    Today they are 16 weeks old, and the cockerels all vary in size a bit, but I can no longer tell my two little runt boys from the rest.

    Just keep an eye on your babies, make sure they have equal access to feed and water, and they should be fine. It's interesting to watch the different growth rates of all the babies, isn't it!

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