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Chickens picking eachothers feathers badly!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by brandy21410, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. brandy21410

    brandy21410 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chickens are about a year old (March 5th)and they started picking and eating eachothers feathers a couple of months ago and I have given them more protein but they still pick. I ferment their feed and give scratch and mash with scraps like meat for more protein. Can anyone help?!?
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  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Do you see them eating the feathers?

    What is the protein content of your normal feed?

    Check them over for any signs of lice/mites, to makes sure that is not contributing to the feather picking. Offer a higher protein feed (18-20%) like an All Flock/Flock Raiser formula or give egg, tuna or mackerel for extra protein. You may also want to give them some poultry vitamins in their a couple of times a week starting out, then go with once a week for a while.

    Limit treats to no more than 5-10% of their daily intake.
     
  3. brandy21410

    brandy21410 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, i have witnessed them eating eachothers feathers and I checked for lice/mites and there are no signs. I give them eggs,chicken and turkey meat, canned fish ect. They still do this idk why. I thought the feed I get plus the scratch I give should be good enough protein, but I also give them spent grain, shouldn't that be enough?
     
  4. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Scratch is the chicken equivalent of junk food, so that doesn't count toward any nutritional benefit, not to mention that eating the scratch leaves less room for 'good' food, not unlike letting kids eat dessert first and they don't have room for their dinner. What is the protein content of the feed? How much room do they have in the coop and run?
     
  5. brandy21410

    brandy21410 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh okay, and I ddidn't know the protein content of the mash until I looked it up online, as it does not say so on the label, and it sais its no less than 16% crude protein. I have almost and acre and they free range all day except for when I have to let our dogs out, and I just lead them into their pen, its like 10ft by 9 feet and there is 9 of them, only hens.
     
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Any time that chickens, especially hens pick of pull feathers and then eat those suckers is proof that you have a protein shortage in your chicken ration. Feed each bird a tablespoon of canned dog food every other day and before long feather picking will no longer be a problem.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
  7. brandy21410

    brandy21410 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, I knew it was protein, but the people at my feed store are not very helpful and are stuck up so it intimidates me alittle and I dont ask questions about the feed, but I have been looking around for flock raiser or that BOSS stuff but my feed store is not very helpfull, and it the only one arround. I am going to muster up thw corage to ask tomarrow. But for now the dog food sounds like a great idea. I will try that right away. Thanks again!!
     
  8. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It looks like you have it nailed with the protein. Lack of protein leads to all sorts of undesireable behaviors such as egg eating and feather pecking. The reason I asked about the size of the coop and run is if they don't have enough room or enough 'entertainment,' they can peck at each other out of frustration or boredom, but that doesn't sound like your situation.
     
  9. brandy21410

    brandy21410 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay Iam getting the flock raiser asap thanks again !!
     
  10. brandy21410

    brandy21410 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you think turkey and game bird feed will be okay? It is 20% protein, but Im worried about them not liking it or it not having enough other stuff in it. TIA
     

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