They're not only eating them, they're plucking them right out of each other's little fluffy parts, if you know what I mean. Every so often, I hear a "squaaawwkkk!" and I know what just happened because I've seen it several times. Is there a reason they are eating the feathers? They are getting standard chicken food and it looks like a real good mix of grains.
Why are my chickens eating feathers?
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
Because they're nutritious and delicious?
I think it's a protein thing.
You can type Eating Feathers in the Search box above, it searches all posts on this site.
Someone with more knowledge on the subject will surely answer.
Free bump up!
Edited by ll - 11/21/11 at 2:09pm
- Nothing In Moderation
Chickens require a certain amount of protein in order to remain healthy. If they don't get what they need they will pull feathers from other chickens and even from themselves, and eat them. (Feathers are protein). This can lead to injuries and bleeding, and can be a dangerous situation around other chickens, since the sight of blood usually inspires a vicious attack.
Feather picking can also be a problem of space in the chicken coop. They will peck at each others feathers trying to force the one next to them to move over and after a few days of this it can be quite damaging and lead to cannibalism within the flock. Birds who lose the most feathers can go from being the dominant bird to the victim of flock aggression and death in a matter of days.
Edited by kathyinmo - 11/21/11 at 2:28pm