Eating Feathers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LeghornGuy, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. LeghornGuy

    LeghornGuy In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2007
    New Orleans
    I noticed my some of chickens are eating feathers.
    When they are in the chicken run, the rooster will pull feathers from the rear of some hens and eat the feathers. When they are free ranging, some of the chickens will eat feathers from the chickens that are currently molting.

    Is it due to their diet or lack of something in their diet?

    I feed them a combination of start and grow, laying pellets and scratch gain.
    I also feed them table scraps and other vegetables as a treat.

    Is it just a behavior?
    Some of my hens are aggressive-(The leghorns)
    I notice when they free ranging, some of the older chicken chase the pullets.

    What can I do to change the feather eating?
    Is it due to molting season?
    Is it a combination of things?
    Your input will be appreciated.
  2. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Songster

    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    There is at least one other thread on right now about that, one was started by pdxchickgirl I think

    There is several reasons for this, diet, chick personality, and coop size ETC.

    You also can do a search there are several places this is mentioned good luck.

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2007
  3. bayouchica

    bayouchica Songster

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    Hi there, LeghornGuy
    maybe try to give them some dry cat food,that may help. Avia Charge has alot of vitamins & other good stuff for your birds.
    I've read that when chickens are molting,they need extra protein for feather re-growth.
    Good luck [​IMG] Oh yeah, do you happen to be a Saints fan? [​IMG] Who dat !! lol
  4. LeghornGuy

    LeghornGuy In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2007
    New Orleans
    Thank You
    I am going to buy some dry cat food.
    It is just recently that I noticed the rooster eating feathers.
    Thanks again
  5. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    If the cat food doesn't work then try black oil sunflower seeds. In addition to a lack of protein causing this behavior there is a lack of something else-it starts with an M. The black oil sunflower seeds have it. They took care of the problem with my chickens. Either in shell or shelled is suppose to work. [​IMG]
  6. nccountrygirl

    nccountrygirl Songster

    Jul 31, 2007
    Sanford N.C.
    My girls get Black oil sunflower seeds, crickets, oatmeal mixed with yogurt, table scraps and the 2 Black Sex Links still eat any feather that floats down from the outside roost, go figure. They are the only 2 laying.
  7. LeghornGuy

    LeghornGuy In the Brooder

    Jul 18, 2007
    New Orleans
    Thanks for the tip.
    I have a question regarding the black oil sunflower seeds.
    Is it a seed?
    is it an oil?
    I am a space cadet today.
    Do I purchase it at a feed store?
    Pet's Marts? WalMart?
    Your comments are appreciated.
  8. nccountrygirl

    nccountrygirl Songster

    Jul 31, 2007
    Sanford N.C.
    I get mine from the feed store for about 12.00 #50 bag. Yes its a seed with the shell still on it.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2007
  9. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Sunflower seeds are a natural source for amino acid (containing sulfur) which is required for feather growth.

    Sunflower seeds(with the hulls) is available just about anywhere as a general bird feed!

    Especially now- during the molt when many chickens are growing lots of new feathers--they will need extra protein and methionine. Protein treats and sunflower seeds will help your chickens grow good healthy feathers.

  10. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    Quote:It is a seed. You can probably get it at any of those stores. People buy them for livestock and for feeding wild birds.


    You can buy bags in any size.


    Some of my hens didn't get that it was a treat at first, then they quickly learned from the others.

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