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Eating feathers? HELP

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Please help! I have one chick who is not even pecking the other chicks she's just grabbling feathers out and eating them. Not painfully just looks like she's cleaning them but does it to all of them and will walk over to them and just pull feathers out, also if they are on a perch she'll jump up and tear some out! I've read a few threads on this and done a check list to answer some questions. I have ten chicks. Ranging in age of three weeks to two weeks old(give or take). Got all at the same time. They were moved in a bigger large size dog pen complete with dust bath( 2 days ago), Morror, grass to dig, multiple perches to play on. And plenty of walking/ hoppin and flying space. I've gave them meal worms and boiled egg for protein. They are on puriena chick starter feed. Is there a better more protein packed food I could mix in ? Do you think that is this chicks problem? Please help
post #2 of 7
What size is your brooder? Do you think they may be overcrowded?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
From everything I've seen on here and online no I don't think so. It's massive compared to what I've seen others having them in. And about a million times bigger than what they were just in.
post #4 of 7
It sounds like you are trying everything recommended, if it's only one I would wonder if there's something wrong with it. I would isolate it for a while within sight of the others to see if it calms down and improves after a bit. I'm not familiar with Purina chick starter, you might try a different brand, sometimes the source of protein can have something to do with it, or you could just plan to remove the one chick, feather eating at that age is unusual, sometimes it becomes a habit that is almost impossible to break.

One other thing that can happen in some dogs, too much protein can make them more aggressive and hyper, so maybe cut out the extra stuff for a bit to see if that helps. I've never fed meal worms. I've also read that too many can cause kidney failure from too much protein, though I've only read this in one article so whether it's true or not I can't say.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Okay thank you for advice I will try switching food! And cut out treats. She is a very loving bird here she is now spending time to get away from feather eating. I really don't want to have to keep her away all the time unless last ditch try I feel so bad if I had to do that to her
post #6 of 7
It might help to stop the behavior, she's so small to be doing it.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #7 of 7
Increase her protein. Feather eating is a way the chick is trying to gain protein. See if the protein increase stops the behavior. I've read they will eat feathers when not enough protein is in their diet. You might try this. If it was just a behavioral issue I doubt she/he would be eating the feathers after picking them.
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