My BLRW incubated and hatched 7 chicks 5 weeks ago. She's been a fantastic mother for all 5 weeks. Not the most aggressive at protecting the babies, but no other issues. We've had issues integrating back into the flock, but now there is a new behavior.
I noticed this morning that Rosemary is suddenly picking at the chicks pin feathers/downy feathers. Is that normal? When she'd get the casing off the feather, she'd eat it or show it to the chicks who would eat it. She seems obsessed. Then, she's picking on one of the other hens. Olive is very submissive with her and just lets her pick at her feathers. This just started this morning that I can tell. She lost quite a few feathers over the last few weeks, so I realize she is trying to grow new feathers, but is that a common occurrence with broody hens?
All of them are eating starter feed with free choice oyster shell. The starter is 20% protein. I also feed fermented starter along with other treats. They had boiled eggs yesterday for the first time. Maybe provide more protein. When she was much younger she would eat feathers, but I never noticed her picking any out of other birds.