What is going on with this pullet? She has always been weaker/smaller than the others.

ChickenLittle5

Chirping
Mar 24, 2020
63
43
58
TN
I have 4 Bielefelder pullets that are 25 weeks old. None have started laying yet, but 3 are getting redder combs and waddles. The 4th has always been smaller and weaker. By weaker, I mean 3-4 times she has had a limp. The first 2-3 times was at a young age in the brooder and again around 18 weeks, which I assume was due to the higher roost height in the coop. Now her comb & waddles are still small and pale especially compared to the other pullets. Should I be doing anything special for her? I’m attaching a picture of her and a sibling.
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ChickenLittle5

Chirping
Mar 24, 2020
63
43
58
TN
Oh, and by sibling, I mean another pullet we received from the hatchery in the same order. I have no idea if they are from the same hen.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
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California's Redwood Coast
The 4th has always been smaller and weaker. By weaker, I mean 3-4 times she has had a limp. The first 2-3 times was at a young age in the brooder and again around 18 weeks, which I assume was due to the higher roost height in the coop
Reduced vigor.. American gene pool is still small is one of my possibilities with this breed.

Marek's.. reduces vigor.. presents in different ways, and can appear to come and go.
Marek's Virus FAQ

Otherwise just weaker genetics, they can't all be the best. Stark difference between the two! :eek:

No I don't think she needs anything done for her.. just good nutrition not diminished by excess treats.. preferably a flock raiser or grower with 18-20% protein and calcium on the side for active layers. :fl
 

ChickenLittle5

Chirping
Mar 24, 2020
63
43
58
TN
Reduced vigor.. American gene pool is still small is one of my possibilities with this breed.

Marek's.. reduces vigor.. presents in different ways, and can appear to come and go.
Marek's Virus FAQ

Otherwise just weaker genetics, they can't all be the best. Stark difference between the two! :eek:

No I don't think she needs anything done for her.. just good nutrition not diminished by excess treats.. preferably a flock raiser or grower with 18-20% protein and calcium on the side for active layers. :fl
Thanks for the reply. If I understand Marek’s correctly, I think odds are low it is that. They were shipped directly from the hatchery and vaccinated. We had the brooder in our basement (new construction) and it has been 2-3 decades since any chickens were kept on my land. I guess it is still possible, but weaker genetics due to small gene pool in the USA seems more probable. Hopefully, she’ll catch up at some point. Am I right to assume, she won’t being laying any eggs any time soon even if the other girls do?
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
13,765
18,388
782
California's Redwood Coast
Thanks for the reply. If I understand Marek’s correctly, I think odds are low it is that. They were shipped directly from the hatchery and vaccinated. We had the brooder in our basement (new construction) and it has been 2-3 decades since any chickens were kept on my land. I guess it is still possible, but weaker genetics due to small gene pool in the USA seems more probable. Hopefully, she’ll catch up at some point. Am I right to assume, she won’t being laying any eggs any time soon even if the other girls do?
I would agree with your assessment after your added description that it may not have anything to do with Marek's and genetics is the likely culprit.

Yes you are correct in presuming she is nowhere close to laying.. I'd be surprised if even in the next month.

Although on one hand slower maturing is a minus.. there are some other factors..

Pullets are hatched with every ovum follicle they will ever have on board. Gals that lay earlier, lay smaller pullet sized egg. Gals that lay later, lay larger egg in accordance with their body structure from the very get.

So a gal that lays sooner *MAY* also stop laying sooner in life.. and mat ultimately lay less "volume" of eggs.. The later laying later into life with larger volume.. BUT that all depends on longevity, reproductive disorders, predation, etc.. not coming into play..

Lay hormone being light related.. taking at least 14 hours of light to trigger it.. some folks provide a few extra hours of light in the morning or evening. It might make a difference for the gal that's already red IF she isn't having a mini molt like my birds did.

She looks good, just immature still. Nothing of major concern that I can see. :)
 

ChickenLittle5

Chirping
Mar 24, 2020
63
43
58
TN
Lay hormone being light related.. taking at least 14 hours of light to trigger it.. some folks provide a few extra hours of light in the morning or evening. It might make a difference for the gal that's already red IF she isn't having a mini molt like my birds did.

She looks good, just immature still. Nothing of major concern that I can see. :)
We were going to install a light in the coop last weekend but it rained and we couldn’t dig the trench. Hopefully we will be able to do it next weekend.

i Appreciate all Your advice!
 

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