Chickens are eating their OWN feathers..

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Momagain1, May 12, 2011.

  1. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    they are NOT being plucked off; they are just occasional random falling off ones....

    they are 11 1/2 wks old; on medicated chick starter grit anymore as they are
    eating their sand...

    sooo why does a feather float in front of them and they are their feathers????

    its really odd...

    the search here said its a protein deficiency; shouldnt the medicated starter feed have enough???
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    It's OK if they eat them.....If it floats in front of them, it's more like a game......Catch it and eat it! Nothing to worry about, and sounds like you're feeding them well.
  3. Player Hater

    Player Hater Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2010
    i caught my pullets doing this a couple times

    one would be trying to swallow a loooong feather and failing, the end sticking out of her mouth

    then the bird rubs it's beak on things, attempting to remove it, i assume [​IMG]

    i've only seen it happen twice

    i just pick up the bird and drag the feather out [​IMG]
  4. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    yes; their main part of their diet is the chick medicated starter...we do give them daily treats tho; but not overload; I may give them carrot scrapings, lettuce outer leaves etc..

    but not much when you think there are 31 chickens to share it with! LOL
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have seen my chickens munch on a feather they find on the ground. I think it is normal.
  6. F106A

    F106A Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2011
    Texas Big Country
    It's funny sometimes to watch them fight over a feather they find in the brooder! Kind of like when I throw a cricket in there! I think it's pretty normal.

  7. ladybug99

    ladybug99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2010
    Monroe New Jersey
    try giving them a bit more protein, hard boiled egg, tuna fish and even some dog or cat food. My rooster did that when he was little and it stopped after I supplemented thier diet a bit. But I have to admit it is kinda cute to watch them chase the feathers
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    As long as they are not pulling out feathers it's fine.

  9. GhostRider65

    GhostRider65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2011
    NE Wisconsin
    IMHO I think they just like to play with them and see if it's edible, silly chickens.
    To the original poster, sand is not a substitute for grit, they need the larger pieces of grit to help mash up and digest their food, sand is too small by most standards, and will not stay in the gizzard to grind up food. I would give it back to them, also adding mashed boiled eggs is a great treat and will add some extra protein to there diet what kind of food do you feed? name brand/ organic/ natural ect.

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