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Eating feathers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Beach chick, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. Beach chick

    Beach chick New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2007
    Outer Banks, NC
    I have one Buff Orpington that terrorizes the other hens by sneaking up behind them and pecking a feather out. They all seem to like eating feathers. Does this mean they're lacking something in their diet that they get from the feathers?
     
  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    They are lacking protein. You can fix that by feeding them scrambled egg, cat food, or meat bird feed (along with their regular lay mash). Remove the picker so the others can heal.
    Do they have plenty of space? Picking can sometimes be caused by stress, such as overcrowding.
     
  3. Beach chick

    Beach chick New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Apr 13, 2007
    Outer Banks, NC
    Thank you - I think you may be right. They are about 5 1/2 months old and I just switched them to laying crumble which might be higher in protein. Seems to be better already.

    They have plenty of room and there aren't any that are suffering from the pecker.
     
  4. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    You can also give them scrambled eggs as a treat for the extra protein. I treat mine once a week, and sometimes I'll throw in some leftover cooked chicken or hamburger meat. They really enjoy it!
    As far as the pecker, just keep an eye on them. Once a chicken gets a taste for blood, it's hard to break them from it. If you have someone bleeding, remove them ASAP and let them heal.
     

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