We got a "Runt" in our coop.

BubbaLikesIt

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Feb 9, 2013
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I picked up 10 chicks ( 6 to 10 days old) the other day and put them under the heat lamp. Everything was going fine for the first couple of days and then I noticed........ we got a runt. As time went on the runt had chicken poo stuck to her and her tail feathers aren't growing in. We had to separate her from the other chickens because they are growing like weeds and the runt hasn't grown 2% I would bet. The runt eats and drinks and runs around but can't seem to keep her butt clean and the other chicks are starting to pick on her.

I had thousands of chickens when I was a kid and I mean thousands. We commercially sold eggs. But I never paid attention to the goings on of the chicks. Some died and that was just the way it was. Any advise besides that I need to get a testosterone shot?
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
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Pasty butt is pretty common in chicks - are you keeping her hiney cleaned off? There is a lot of good information here about that particular issue. We had a couple of pasty chicks in our batch of 16, it took about a week for the toughest case to clear up. The tail feathers not growing in could be a few things- a) "she" could be a "he" as males tend to feather out/develop tail feathers more slowly than females in general b) the picking could have taken out any feathers that were trying to sprout, c) the general failure to thrive could be showing in the feathering as well ....and those are just a few possible causes.
Are you certain of the breed(s) of the chicks? It may be that you have a bantam in the mix and that would explain a size disparity and the appearance of failure to grow in comparison to the others in the absence of an obvious lack of appetite, etc.
 

BubbaLikesIt

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Feb 9, 2013
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As for the breed, Wyandotte. I picked them out of a mixed pullet pen. I got a couple of Barred Rocks, couple Red Stars, couple RIR's and four Wyandotte's as close as I can figure. We clean her everyday and put a little mineral oil on her butt to keep the poo from sticking. As far as the sex goes, they are supposed to be all females but you know how that goes. I've checked their feet and it seems like they are all females but it's hard to tell with some.
 

Ol Grey Mare

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Can you take and post a pic of the little one and maybe the little one next to an average chick from the rest of the batch? Were they all the same size when you selected them?
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
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FWIW, we have our own run in our current little flock. Mrs. Patmore is one of three buff orps - all from the same shipment - she started out about the same size as a 2 day old chick, but by the end of the first week she was decidedly smaller than her two *sisters*. She has been consistently about half the size of the others - same diet, same care, same brooder. She is just as bright and alert and active, she eats and drinks at the same pace, she is just smaller. She is developing at the same pace as the others as far as feathering, etc and IS growing steadily, just not as quickly. As long as they seem healthy, I don't really worry too much about it.
 
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