Eating dropped feathers normal?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jomoncon, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. jomoncon

    jomoncon Songster

    Sep 24, 2010
    New Orleans, LA
    I've noticed on several occasions my little 13 week old RIRs will eat feathers that have been dropped/shedded. The feathers appear to be a normal dropping of feathers, not too many of them around. But I've seen several chickies grab one off the ground and eat it. These are usually small feathers, around 3-4" long. Is it normal for chickens to eat their own feathers? I've never seen them pull feathers off themselves or each other.

  2. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Eating feathers usually signals that they are low on protein. It is good to get on top of this because it can lead to feather pulling and pecking. You can give them high protein treats such as washed cottage cheese, unsalted tuna or fish, crumbled cooked egg, etc...They should stop eating feathers when their diet is adequate. Make sure they have a starter ration that is higher in protein than a layer feed.

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