Why do my RIR pullets look SO DIFFERENT from one another? Pics!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by msgenie516, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. msgenie516

    msgenie516 The Happy Hen

    May 16, 2008
    Nesconset, LI, NY

    I have 4 RIR 19 week old pullets. I purchased them from someone who bought 100 RIR day-old pullets from a hatchery and then decided he had way too many.

    Two of the pullets are very dark and the other two are much lighter, especially one of them. The light one also has pretty, distinct patterns showing in the feathers. All four chicks have some black feathers in their tails, if that matters.

    The combs and wattles on the darker ones seem to be maturing a little faster than the other two, which makes me think they will be laying sooner. Which ones look more typical of RIR’s? Is it possible that I got some chicks of a different breed or are there lots of variations among the RIR’s?

    These hens are all developing nicely and I am very happy with them, but I’m a little puzzled.

    The first picture shows all of them together. The second picture shows the darkest bird. The third, fourth, and fifth pictures show the lightest bird. And the last two pictures show my pretty bantam cochin mixes (mixed with what I have no idea) that are living with the RIR’s--just thought you might like to see them!

    If anyone has any information, I’d love to hear about it! Thanks! Genie







  2. baldie

    baldie Songster

    Sep 25, 2008
    Douglas, MA
    I really don't know why.... mine all look the same. I can't even tell mine apart. The lighter ones are really pretty, maybe they are a mix of something??
  3. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Rir's should be a dark mohogany color, the ones from big hatcheries tend to be a little lighter. You shouldn't see any white underfeathering on an RIR, the one with visible white looks like a red sexlink.
  4. mikarod

    mikarod Songster

    Sep 28, 2008
    production RIRs aren't really one specific color. While they should be a nice dark color, the parent birds are mainly chosen for production. Meaning...the bird can somewhat mimic what the standard is for the breed...as long as it produces ALOT of eggs...which can be hatched and sell ALOT of chicks.
  5. tadkerson

    tadkerson Songster

    Jul 19, 2008
    That is a very unusual color pattern on your birds. You have me stumped. I have never seen that happen. The color is not uniform. The darker hackle feathers are not unusual; a darker color in the hackles is seen quit often in New hampshire but the uneven color is different. Could be a metabolism problem associated with the bird and not so much a genetic thing. That is just a guess on my part. If she molts in darker feathers then it was a problem with metabolism when she put on her adult fathers. You could pull out a few light feathers (on the breast) and see if they come back in darker.

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  6. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    I've never seen one like it. Perhaps those two are production reds from a hatchery.
  7. The two dark ones look like a nice bred pair of RIR. No white feathers or different comb types/shapes.

    I would venture to say though, that the other two have a touch of WILD GAME bird in them. Now, this doe not mean by any way that these birds are infreior. In fact, I would bet they lay as well if not better than the other hens. The mix should give you a very resistant bird to diseases. NICE looking birds

    On the other hand they may be an entirely different pure bred species such as Wyondate. Black birds just slave me. i can never really tell what they are until they mature. I have a Jersey Giant that has taken so long to mature it would have been impossible to tell what he was up until abuot a week ago.

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