Chickens eating feathers...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kybeagle, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. kybeagle

    kybeagle Songster

    Feb 24, 2010
    I was watching my 3 month old pullets today playing keep-away. One picked up a feather about 4 inches long and took off running with it while others chased her. All of a sudden she stopped and swallowed it down, is this normal?

  2. buckabucka

    buckabucka Crowing

    Jan 13, 2010
    Fairfield, Maine
    My Coop
    Mine are always eating feathers, so I hope it is normal!
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Feather eating is "normal". That is to say it might be a sign that the chickens are not getting enough protein in their diet. You might want to increase the protein you feed.

  4. kybeagle

    kybeagle Songster

    Feb 24, 2010
    Quote:They are 3 months old and I am feeding them Purina "Starter and Grower", should I be giving them anything else?
  5. GermanChick

    GermanChick Songster

    Apr 12, 2010
    NW Missouri
    Mine are eating feathers too, they are 4 months old. I just switched them from start&grow to flock raiser with 20% Protein. I wanted to get them off the medicated stuff since I am hoping to get some eggs here pretty soon [​IMG] I don't know if they will stop the feather eating now with the higher protein...... we will see.
  6. drunkdog

    drunkdog Songster

    May 15, 2010
    anytime I observe feather eating I feed an egg or two...that ups the protein for sure and they love it [​IMG]
  7. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Mine do that "keep away" game with everything! It seems that bright colored things or especially white things are their favorites. They're getting probably more protein than they need, but I see them eat feathers occasionally, and today I had to catch a hen and pry a loose collar tag off one of the goats out of her beak! Fortunately she did not swallow it because the others were chasing her too much and she couldn't stop running to eat! Sometimes it is gross what they will eat. I would not worry if it just happens occasionally; sometimes I think mine pick something up to check it out because it is interesting, and then the others think it is food, and chase them, and their instinct to keep food to themselves makes them think what they are carrying is a good treat, so they swallow it to keep the other birds from getting it.

    Now, if they are ravenously eating feathers, that is a different story. That is probably a protein deficiency.

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