Slow to Feather?

pamperedamber

Songster
Dec 24, 2015
369
21
106
Riverside, Ca
Spikie our almost 5 week sexlink still doesn't have many feathers. Its this normal for this bread? or does it look like she is getting picked on. She is our smallest, but when I am in the coop watching them she is not timid at all and gets her fair share of the food and water. The others are turning 6 weeks and Dot is almost 7 weeks. Any advice would be great thank you!!


 
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GitaBooks

Crowing
5 Years
Jun 23, 2015
6,772
1,060
331
USA
Nice looking chickens!
smile.png


Some chickens are far slower to feather then others, though personally hybrid-layers are meant to feather-out rather quickly, which means yours could be stunted or perhaps not getting enough protein? However, if she is otherwise energetic and of normal size, I would not worry too much about it. Sometimes, teenage chickens go through an awkward stage where they seem to have only half the feathers they should, so perhaps yours is entering that phase now.
 

pamperedamber

Songster
Dec 24, 2015
369
21
106
Riverside, Ca
Nice looking chickens!
smile.png


Some chickens are far slower to feather then others, though personally hybrid-layers are meant to feather-out rather quickly, which means yours could be stunted or perhaps not getting enough protein? However, if she is otherwise energetic and of normal size, I would not worry too much about it. Sometimes, teenage chickens go through an awkward stage where they seem to have only half the feathers they should, so perhaps yours is entering that phase now.

Thank you. This helps a lot. They are in a coop outside so I was worried about her not being warm enough. But they all seem to be doing well. She is smaller than the others. I will keep a watch on her and see if she starts to feather out soon. I think she might be younger than I was told. If I go by their hatched chart then she is almost 4 weeks. which would explain the lack of feathers. I think I will call them and see if they keep a record of who buys what and what age of when the chicks were delivered.
 

pamperedamber

Songster
Dec 24, 2015
369
21
106
Riverside, Ca
Today while cleaning out the coop I found a bunch of fluffy feathers. It makes me wonder if she is being picked on by one of the other girls.

Some of the feathers.
400
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,513
20,794
907
Southeast Louisiana
Are those feathers Dot’s? Seven weeks is a bit early but chicks go through two molts before they reach adult size. They outgrow their feathers and need to replace them. You’ll probably see a lot of feathers in your coop and run a few times before yours grow up with your differences in age.

I cannot tell by looking what kind of black sex link you have. There are two basic types, the ones made by crossing regular breeds, like a RIR rooster over a Barred Rock hen (though there are many other breeds that will work) or the black sex links that are the commercial egg layers. This isn’t terribly important but there is a gene that determines how fast chickens feathers grow. The commercial types tend to have the fast feathering gene while the ones made from breeds are just pot luck. You get what you get.

Most chicks are fully feathered at 4 to 5 weeks, but there are a few factors other than that fast/slow feathering gene. If you feed them a pretty high protein diet they tend to feather out faster. If they are exposed to colder weather they tend to feather out faster. But each chick is unique, they choose their own path.

At almost four weeks she is in what I call the vulture phase. My wife coined that phrase when she saw a bunch of Black Australorps around three weeks old perched in the brooder. With their black color and really scraggly feathers partial in they looked pretty rough sitting up there. Expect her to complete feathering out in about a week and look really sleek and slick.

She looks normal to me.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,582
130,302
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
They shed and grow new feathers about 3 times between hatch and 5-6 months old.
3-5 weeks is one of the gawkiest looking periods.
 

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