Slow to grow chickens!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FriendlyFlyer, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. FriendlyFlyer

    FriendlyFlyer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2011
    I have 6 Golden Comets and 3 Black-sex-linked chickens and they are 15 1/2 weeks old today. I keep looking on the internet at pictures of chickens around 16 weeks old and mine look nothing like them! Yes, I am looking at golden comets and black-sex-links... The images show medium-sized deep red combs and wattles but mine have small orangesh-red combs that are very short and wattles that aren't even hanging yet! Am I doing something wrong? I feed them everyday, they have fresh water all the time, and are very happy active birds. Why are they not growing like they should?!?! Any help or advice? Thank you.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Unless your feeding program is seriously sub-standard, I'd not worry. Different strains (sex links are not breeds and the variance in them is enormous) will develop differently. I'm assuming you limit the amount of their diet comes from other than their feed. Assuming you fed them good starter/grower of 18%??? By "feeding them everyday", what do you mean by that?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  3. FriendlyFlyer

    FriendlyFlyer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, by feeding them everyday, I mean I go out and make sure they have food to eat. [​IMG] I take them treats such as bugs and vegetables and give them a good amount of feed each day. And I just switched them to Nutrina Naturewise Layer feed 16%.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello Friendly Flyer. [​IMG] 16% is ok, but for that age of pullets, I would up the protein a bit. In keeping the same feed you have, you could offer your babies hard boiled eggs drenched in yogurt everyday. (go easy on the yogurt and only feed that a few times a week due to the calcium content.) That will up their protein a great deal and help with growth. Avoid low calorie treats like lettuce and such and go with fruits, squash, even things like grapenuts cereal which is high in calories, protein and vitamins. You could also put liquid vitamins in their water for added health. It is possible that your babies are not getting enough out of their food and need some extra stuff. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    As long as you free feed them, they should be eating the amount of food they need. I don't normally switch to layer until they're just starting to lay.

    Make sure you aren't giving them a lot of high carbohydrate foods that are lacking in protein. Treats are great, but you don't want it to be a large portion of what they're eating, so that it reduces the total protein in their diet. That can slow their development.

    The size and color of the comb and wattles changes right before they start to lay. Being paler or smaller in a healthy chicken just means they aren't laying or ready to lay. When chickens stop laying temporarily as hens, their combs will go back to being pink, instead of red. As adults, this can be due to going broody, molting or the short days of winter. When they get ready to lay again, the combs go back to being red.
     

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