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    • CommentAuthordannii007
    • CommentTimeAug 10th, 2011 9:51am (Aug 10th 2011)
    I have 6 chickens, 1 cream legbar, 2 black leghorns and 3 rhode island reds. we know that the cream one is a girl so she is called Daisy, however we still dont know about the others.
    2 of the 3 Reds have the largest combs but they also are the only ones whos feathers seem to have either not grown properly yet or they are pulling them out. The coop is huge and even i can stand up in it and they get out in the garden everyday now....any ideas as to what this could be? do boys grow slower than girl Reds??
    • CommentTimeAug 10th, 2011 4:02pm (Aug 10th 2011) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Hmm...what are you feeding them? I'd suggest sitting out / watching them from somewhere for a few hours, and see if you witness any bullying or self-mutilating behaviour. If you have a few roo's together at that age, you'll probably see them running and squaring up to each other (head bobbing), although rarely female chicks can do that too...

    You could try adding more mental stimulation toys too; cabbage or lettuce heads, apples, a hanging wicker basket with treats in they have to peck out, a foot ball, mirror etc.

    It could be a sex thing, I guess. Roosters do generally have slower feather growth than females (not always the case)...these are from my chicks when they were about 12-ish weeks old; you can see the male's tail feathers are thinner than the female's.

    Also if you can get some photos of them up, we might be able to help at sexing them if you want (if you look at my pics you can clearly see which is the boy, as he has a bright red comb - which he had since he was about 5 weeks old - whereas because the female isn't laying yet, hers is still tiny and pink-white in colour)

    Hmm, one last question, what does their tail area look like? Is it bald? Are there spines of feather growth, or blood / scabs where feathers have been pulled out?
    • CommentTimeAug 10th, 2011 4:08pm (Aug 10th 2011)

    Keeper of the hens

    Hold on I'll find some more pics of the chicks - Sunny was the only girl, so there's just her with her little pale comb, and all the others are male (one of our chicks was called Daisy, but he was a boy!). See how big their combs are? They are 9.5 weeks old here.




    Sunny (female):
    • CommentTimeAug 10th, 2011 11:05pm (Aug 10th 2011)
    Welcome Dannii! Can I throw a question in here Red - are all breeds the same with the comb thing? And pecking order - does it always happen, or is that only when different chickens are put in together? What I mean is, do siblings get along OK from the start?
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeAug 11th, 2011 1:03pm (Aug 11th 2011)
    Oh Red a trip down memory lane all your babies, I remember the hatching, what an exciting time that was!!!
    • CommentTimeAug 12th, 2011 8:14pm (Aug 12th 2011)

    Keeper of the hens

    Ah it was great wasn't it TM?! :smile:

    Kate, the comb thing happens with every breed, yes. However rarely females can have similar sized combs to the males, or there are different types of combs (and colours!) which make it very difficult, and then there are breeds that are crested that make that a hard way to sex too.

    Chicks get along from the start, yes. At first there's no malice in any pecking or anything like that; it's just like play fighting. However as they mature, especially roosters, they will begin to fight. And even when females grow up, they will establish a pecking order so they know who stands where.
    • CommentTimeAug 12th, 2011 11:41pm (Aug 12th 2011)
    I went to a garden centre yesterday and there were 2 chickens in the coop - one was black and had a small, pale comb, and I'm sure the other hen who was brown didn't have a comb!