chickens eating feathers!?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by karen+3chickens, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. karen+3chickens

    karen+3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2008
    I was being entertained watching my 3 chickens yesterday when I noticed my rir eating small feathers that were on the ground. Is this normal?
     
  2. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    Mine do that, too, and it doesn't seem to effect them, but I'm not an expert. I just about freaked out when I saw that the first time! [​IMG]
     
  3. karen+3chickens

    karen+3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2008
    Sometimes I think my chickens do not know what food vs nonfood items are! Glad mine are not the only ones, thanks!
     
  4. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    I just saw a post by Miss Prissy that said they might eat feathers if they don't have enough food available. That can't be my chickens' problem, because they have food 24/7 and they're old enough to know what is food and what isn't. [​IMG]
     
  5. karen+3chickens

    karen+3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2008
    Mine also have access to food 24/7. Maybe there is just something fun about eating a feather:)
     
  6. Lea71

    Lea71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I read somewhere that chickens normally eat feathers due to the high protein content in feathers.
     
  7. karen+3chickens

    karen+3chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2008
    I would never have thought that feathers had protein. Shouldn't they be getting enough from their food? Although their food does not flutter along the ground like a feather does [​IMG]
     
  8. chicknhawaii

    chicknhawaii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2008
    Honolulu, HI
    My Cornish X used to attempt to eat feathers ~ the smaller, down-like ones though, not the long flight feathers. Not anymore though. The 2 girls haven't attempted anything except chase feathers. [​IMG]
     
  9. joanc

    joanc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Shafer, MN
    My chickens eat feathers sometimes. It was worse during the winter, but I think then they were just bored.
    They still do it now though, not as much as they get outside and free range every day.
    Maybe once it starts it stays as a habit with some of them.?
     

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