Chickens eating Turkey feathers!?

BackyardCoop

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
360
2
103
Our RIR chickens have begun to pull off and eat our turkey's feathers.

We planned to butcher turkey but now my mother in law is attached and won't have it, so he's staying unless I can prove to her that he's better off so he's not picked on his whole life...
Every time he struts they pick at the smaller feathers around his butt and eat them!
His wing now sticks out a bit away from his body and I'm worried they may be picking on him at night too.

Ever had this happen? What do I do???

I told her I had no idea and it obviously didn't hurt because he would peck at them if it did but I feel bad.
He has his own 'coop' but doesn't want to be in it and will rub his snood raw looking for a way out to be back with the others. =( I thought maybe they are just starting to realize he's different? I mean turkey's butt is right in their faces. Gah!
 
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SkyWarrior

Songster
9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
1,731
7
163
Wilds of Montana
Umm, well, turkeys usually shouldn't be with chickens because of black head disease, but I've kept turkeys with chickens before.
Not young chicks, though...

I would consider using something like blu-kote on his feathers. Also, you do not say how big the yard is and how many chickens. Picking is usually a sign of stress and too small of a space. I would separate the feather pickers and put them in a different pen for a week or more before returning them back.

Good luck!
 

ivan3

spurredon
12 Years
Jan 27, 2007
4,511
212
291
BOCOMO
What, and how much of `what' are you feeding your chickens? Actual feather eating on a regular basis usually indicates some nutritional deficiency (usually protein).
 

BackyardCoop

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
360
2
103
What, and how much of `what' are you feeding your chickens? Actual feather eating on a regular basis usually indicates some nutritional deficiency (usually protein).
We give them a natural food mix from a local co-op. They also get scratch and have oyster shells daily. Leaves, grass, and our leftovers as long as they aren't salty or sweet. They've just started it within the last few days. I don't give them too much of our food. And they eat everything else as they need it.

SkyWarrior- I'll keep an eye on them. They really aren't that crowded, I don't know the exact measurements but they can move around with plenty of room for sure. If it persists I'll put the eaters in the separate coop we have and see what happens.
Thank!
 
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SkyWarrior

Songster
9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
1,731
7
163
Wilds of Montana
We give them a natural food mix from a local co-op. They also get scratch and have oyster shells daily. Leaves, grass, and our leftovers as long as they aren't salty or sweet. They've just started it within the last few days. I don't give them too much of our food. And they eat everything else as they need it.

SkyWarrior- I'll keep an eye on them. They really aren't that crowded, I don't know the exact measurements but they can move around with plenty of room for sure. If it persists I'll put the eaters in the separate coop we have and see what happens.
Thank!
What's the protein percentage?
 

mamawolf544

Unbreakable Heart
10 Years
Apr 29, 2009
2,439
53
241
alvarado, Tx
IMO that is too low. I never feed less than 20% and my birds free range, and the ones in breeding pens get something green once a week, usually cabbage hung up in their pens, and then fruit like apples or oranges.. The turkey's get 28% protein.
 

BackyardCoop

Songster
7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
360
2
103
IMO that is too low. I never feed less than 20% and my birds free range, and the ones in breeding pens get something green once a week, usually cabbage hung up in their pens, and then fruit like apples or oranges.. The turkey's get 28% protein.
Thank you. We just purchased a higher protein food to try.
 

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