eating feathers??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Dixiedoodle, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    I have 11 seven/eight week old true Ameraucana. They are healthy, eating and poop all seem fine. I am feeding medicated crumbles (what the breeder was feeding), they get fresh cool water twice a day. Grit is always in their coop. I have given them crickets, dried mealworms and fresh tomatoes a few times. Well ,several times now, I have seen them pick up a feather and eat it.. I mean gobble it down..big feathers!

    Are they missing something? Is this normal behavior?
  2. Robo

    Robo Songster

    Jul 15, 2010
    They don't have enough protein. I also wouldn't use medicated feed. I would try switching feeds and see if that helps. How much protein are they getting right now?
  3. puredelite

    puredelite Songster

    Also have to be aware of them picking feathers off one another. Once they start doing this and it draws blood then they will actually peck the unfortuate one to death. They are more prone to do this if they are confined to crowded conditions in a brooder than if they are running loose in a yard. Have had this happen on several occasions.
  4. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    It says 20% protein. I am working on a larger coop area for them. They have an 1.5 sq. foot per chick...but they look like they are hooked at the wings--they move in waves! LOL.. I give them tomatoes in certain areas spread out but they will eat one and move to the others... No one seems to get more pecking/picking.. Haven't seen anyone pulling feathers--but I don't want it to start..
  5. Jstall

    Jstall In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2010
    Gary, Texas
    Protein is what they are after, stop the grit, they do not need it when feeding crumbles. Stop the tomatoes and other stuff you are giving them. The more they eat of the tomatoes, ECT the less they eat the feed they need to be eating. The more room the better but all a chick really needs is .75 ft if on full feed. Puredelite is right about the feather picking. At the age, your chicks require 17% grower, no side treats.

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