Slower Growing 4 Month Pullet (Plymouth Barred Rock)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CheekinCheekin, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. CheekinCheekin

    CheekinCheekin Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't want to be a hypochondriac chicken mama, but I would appreciate a bit of feedback from anyone who has had experience with this issue.

    Of my five chicks (mail order), the largest was Camille, my Barred Rock. Now, at four months, she is the smallest. Even the Brahma runt has completely overtaken her in size. Her growth has slowed down to the point of stopping, it seems.

    She's actually not the lowest in the pecking order, and no one picks on her. She kind of keeps to herself and is a quiet, shy lady. She seems to eat and drink normally, but often she seems chilly. To be fair, it IS chilly in Nebraska in January.

    I'm not sure what to think. I will check her poop tomorrow for any signs of diarrhea or worms.

    Perhaps pullets' growth can slow down and speed up at strange times? The Brahma runt was literally a third the size of the Barred Rock until 6 weeks ago, then grew so fast she overtook her. I'm hoping this is just something similar.

    Any help is appreciated! :)
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    What are you other breeds? Brahmas are considered a giant breed, much larger than production/dual purpose breeds, so it's not at all surprising that bird is larger.
    Do you have pics of her?

    At 4 months, most hens are pretty much adult size. They might add a little bit of weight, but they're basically grown. Slower to mature breeds like cochins, Brahmas and orpingtons can all be the exception to this.
     
  3. CheekinCheekin

    CheekinCheekin Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your reply!

    The first image was taken in late November, with the Red Stars and one of the Brahmas. As you can see she was the largest at that time. She hasn't grown much since then.

    The second pic is her next to one of my Red Stars that I took today. I have 2 Red Stars, the 2 Brahmas, and her. I don't know if she looks smaller than the Red Star in this photo, but she is about 2 inches smaller all around. If she is just on the smallish side I'm fine with that; but she just seems to have stopped growing altogether while they others continue to grow.

    I checked her poop this morning and it looks fine: not watery, no white things, stinky as usual.

    Since the Red Stars started laying last week I am now switching over everyone's feed from the medicated stuff to a 16% protein layer diet, with oyster shell on the side. I don't know if that will make a difference.




    Quote:
    Originally Posted by donrae [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What are you other breeds? Brahmas are considered a giant breed, much larger than production/dual purpose breeds, so it's not at all surprising that bird is larger.
    Do you have pics of her?

    At 4 months, most hens are pretty much adult size. They might add a little bit of weight, but they're basically grown. Slower to mature breeds like cochins, Brahmas and orpingtons can all be the exception to this.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I can't see much of a size difference in the pic, but I'll take your word for it.

    My rocks and sex links (from hatcheries) are usually pretty much the same size. I can't see much of her comb in the pic, but she does still look immature and no where near ready to lay, but she's only 4 months, correct? She'll still fill out, but she just may always be a smaller bird.

    I did just have a bird I really noticed her growth on (usually don't pay much attention), she was hatched in mid June. She's always been smaller than her hatch-mate, like so much smaller if I didn't know better I'd have thought she was part bantam. About half to 2/3 size. I've pulled her and her sister to another coop to monitor their laying, just noticed yesterday they're almost the same size. I was shocked, cause the little one had always been so much smaller. But it's pretty much been just this last month she's grown, so at 6 months she hit her puberty growth spurt, I guess? [​IMG] The larger hen's been laying since the end of Dec, and the little one finally looks like she's ready to start any day now.

    So, I guess your hen could still add a few inches--that little one of mine sure did!
     
  5. CheekinCheekin

    CheekinCheekin Out Of The Brooder

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    That's great to hear. Like I said, everything else seems okay: she is eating, drinking, etc. normally. Very shy/quiet and reserved, but that's just her personality I would guess. She is pretty dang cute when I pick her up and put her in my coat to warm up; after a few minutes she does this little "hee, hee, hee" chuckle every 30 seconds or so. I guess that means she likes it.

    I'll keep an eye on her, but your thoughts were helpful. I appreciate it.
     
  6. jujub41482

    jujub41482 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Barred Rock and she grew a bit slower than my other chicks as well. She's didn't get to be full sized until about 5 months and until then she was dramatically smaller than my full grown RIR and Black SL. She's 6 months now and she just recently passed up the other girls in size, but only slightly. I was confused too at first because I read that Barred Rocks were supposed to be a bit bigger than the RIR and Black SL, but I think they also grow a bit slower too. Maybe give her another month or two, by then she should be full sized.
     
  7. jujub41482

    jujub41482 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Something else that occurred to me as a possibility... you may not have a Barred Rock, you might have a Dominique. The two breeds get confused all the time. I can't see a comb in your pictures so I can't tell myself, but if she has a single comb then she is a BR, but if she has a rose comb, then she is a Dominique which are a bit smaller than the BR. Here's an article that goes into great detail about the difference: http://dominiquechicken.com/Dominiques_and_Barred_Rocks.html
     
  8. CheekinCheekin

    CheekinCheekin Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh my...now I'm looking at lots of photos of both breeds online, and she sure looks more like a Dominique to me. Her comb is kind of flat and wide and barely there at this point. Maybe it will develop into a single comb later, maybe not. I'm fine with her being a Dominique (although I admit I had never heard of the breed before your post!).

    What I can't figure out, though: how would they not know the difference at the hatchery? Or maybe they were out of BR chicks and tossed in a Dominique as a substitute, figuring I wouldn't know the difference?

    Thanks for pointing that out.
     
  9. jujub41482

    jujub41482 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No problem. I was looking at some baby chick pictures too of the two breeds and they are almost identical. If she is a Dominique... I just wonder if the hatchery you bought from has some misinformed employees or employees that don't care? Another possibility, and I've had this happen to me, is that while handling chicks someone put them in the wrong bin. I wanted a RIR real bad, but the bin at the feed store was empty. When I was looking around at the other breeds, I noticed one RIR chick in with the New Hampshires! So I got my little RIR that day, but only because I could tell the difference between the two breeds. Keep me posted on how she comes along. Mine actually just laid her first egg today! No matter what she turns out to be, I just hope your little lady is healthy most of all!
     
  10. CheekinCheekin

    CheekinCheekin Out Of The Brooder

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    I see what you mean after looking at pics of chicks from both breeds. Surely they have them separated, but when you are dealing with thousands of chicks, there are bound to be a few mix-ups I guess. She was a pretty dang cute chickie though:[​IMG] And still is: [​IMG]
     

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