chickens constantly eating feathers

obe10

Songster
10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
951
2
129
Irmo, South Carolina
a friend of ours has 6 brown leghorns 3 speckled sussex and 2 rhode island reds. they are about 2 1/2 months old. they go around the run constantly swallowing feathers they find laying around. why would they do this? there has to be a reason right? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
 

goldielocks

Songster
10 Years
Sep 2, 2009
138
2
109
They need protein...they need to be on starter and get protein treats, like cottage cheese, yogurt,scrambled eggs. They are probably not being fed any scratch either.
 

chookchick

Songster
11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
1,921
78
216
Olympia WA
Yep, get them some extra protein. They might also want to start offering oyster shell and make sure grit is always available. Do they have food available 24/7 also? One of my hens did that for a while, and she turned out to be a very early layer, she is also a goofball.
 

kathyinmo

Nothing In Moderation
11 Years
May 14, 2009
24,540
353
456
(SW MO) Nevada, Missouri
My Coop
My Coop
I would not give the oyster shells at 10 weeks. When on starter/grower they are not to have the extra calcium. That comes when they start laying those nice big eggs for you!
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Another thought ... are they eating feathers that they pick off of each other? If so, that can be from boredom or overcrowding. Could that have anything to do with it?

I agree, add extra protein. Boiled eggs are a great source, as is meat and cheese. Yogurt is beneficial as a probiotic as well as protein.
 

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