Ive heard that maybe they need protien. what are some different ways to get protien in their diet? Does the started feed i bought when they were chicks not have everything in it they need? Can i give them canned beans?
why do chickens eat their own feathers?
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The feather eating habit appears to be normal even when birds are free ranging with access to all the insects they can eat. When it comes to nutritional value, especially with respect to protein, insects are difficult to beat. The feathers may have the actual amino acids in proper proportions needed for feather growth or there is some benefit for the function of the digestive tract.
Starter feed should be adequate but with respect to canned beans, that is outside my experience. My suspicion is you will see an unpleasant change in the quality of the resulting feces if large amounts of beans included in diet.