White legs in chickens...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by guitari609, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. guitari609

    guitari609 In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2008
    Taylors, SC
    I have four chickens about 9 weeks old that I bought as chicks, 2 rirs pullets, one barred rock cockerel and one slw cockerel. I wanted more layers, so this past weekend I bought two rir pullets and a cockerel from another person than the first 4. These birds are in great shape, as healthy in appearance as I could ask for, good feces and all. The only thing that I noticed is that my original 4 have pretty dark yellow legs. The three new RIRs have almost stark white legs. Is that something to be concerned about? Ive heard that hens legs turn whiter the older they get and the more eggs they lay. Is this some sort of mineral difficiency that I need to be concerned about?

    Also...anybody in the area looking for a Barred rock or SLW Roo?
  2. pipermark

    pipermark Songster

    Jan 26, 2007
    The leg color change is correct. This just happens, if you are feeding them layer feed from any reputable feed store, they should be getting plenty of nutrition.

    You want them to turn more yellow, give them some cracked corn every day, if its not to hot out.
  3. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    If they are actually yellow and appearing white, you would still see yellow tinge in the legs. Could they just be white legged birds? Maybe they are not pure RIR or another breed altogether that someone just assumed were RIR because of the feather color. Can you post pics?

  4. guitari609

    guitari609 In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2008
    Taylors, SC
    They are RIRs ordered from Murphy's Hatchery (I think that's the name) according to the guy I bought them from...who had about 70 of them that he had ordered, and he seemed pretty ok , but i guess you never know. I can post pics later possibly.
  5. kazoo1111

    kazoo1111 Chirping

    Jan 23, 2013
    I have one just like that! Only mine is a bantam
  6. coxrb13

    coxrb13 In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2013
    I have Dutch Crested Chickens from Poland and all of them over 1yr old have it. If you put Vaseline on their legs you will be able to peel it off after a week and the chicken will feel no pain.
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    If you feed kelp as a staple, your birds will hatch with their future leg color already strongly present, and old birds do not lose leg color. It's a complete vitamin and mineral supplement that is a powerful endocrine regulator. It will start old non layers laying again and put a stop to hens moulting until bare or losing feathers from mating. You don't get 'overmated' hens if they're kept on kelp, no matter how many roosters are around. It makes their feathers too strong and well attached to fall like autumn leaves just because another chook jumped on them.

    But if you think you're breeding pure white chooks, or any purebreds, kelp will cause their actual phenotype to show. They can be a few years old already and perfectly true to the breed standard, but after being on kelp for about a year, will show you what they're really made of. I highly recommend all breeders at least test this, it's amazing. Birds look like a paler version of their true coloration when not on kelp.

    I've had many examples of this but here's the strongest one, visually clearer because they were pure white to strt with. (Mostly I don't keep pure white anythings). I bought some 2-year-old hens which were raised on the susual pellets, which I then switched onto my diet which has kelp. They went from being pure white with white legs, very pale irises, pure white feathers, white beaks etc, to being mottled red and black, 'smutty' greyish reddish, and yellow legged, yellow beaked, orange eyed, etc. Their eggs went from white to brownish. Offspring before and after kelp was added to the diet are as different as night and day.

    If these birds had never been fed kelp they would have died white as snow, and all offspring they produced with white males would also have remained white as snow, but it's deceptive. It's just the color they are when not on a complete diet. The feeds marketed as complete are often actually better described as 'survival rations' and are not as broad spectrum as they would need to be to provide true health to such a high degree.

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