Eating feathers?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chick named Lola, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. Chick named Lola

    Chick named Lola Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    I was just watching my girls in their run today and noticed my EE eating small feathers! [​IMG] Is that a big deal? They are about 3 months old and I've never given them vitamins, do I need to? What kind? [​IMG]
  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 19, 2009
    What are you feeding them? Most feeds are fortified with vitamins. Either way, feather eating is usually related to protein deficiency.
  3. Caseman

    Caseman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    are you giveing them treats? what are you feeding them?[​IMG]
  4. Chick named Lola

    Chick named Lola Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    They are still on the starter feed. They forage around the yard for a couple hours a day eating grass/bugs ets. I give them lots of different treats ie: mealworms, kale, boss, wild bird food, squash, cottage cheese, spinach...kind of whatever I have leftover from my kitchen. What can I give them to prevent this? Will the feathers she ate make her sick?[​IMG]
  5. Mogli

    Mogli Chillin' With My Peeps

    i ask the same ? before and ive heard its normal if the eat small feathers on the ground i have 5 hens and i know 2 of,em gobble up little feathers and im just like u i feed them tons of treats too
  6. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Mine ate a feather because I couldn't clean them all up after the attack. I was worried about her, but she seems fine. No more feather eating that I've noticed...
    Started feeding them scratch this week. ^.^
    Glad you asked this Q, was wondering the same thing.

    Can they really digest the feathers??
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  7. Jferlisi

    Jferlisi i dont eat chicken!!!!

    Nov 2, 2010
    Menifee CA
    I have a wyandotte who is i think 8 weeks old and she just loves the feathers. The others dont eat them really they will every once in awhile but this one just loves them. Has since week one and hasn't had a problem yet.*knock on wood*
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Sounds like yours are getting plenty of protein, so I wouldn't worry about it. No, the feathers won't hurt them. They will sometimes do this because they need the protein, but they will also do it just because chickens will eat most anything. Including insulation, styrofoam, paper....

    You should have seen the day a bunch of those styrofoam "packing peanuts" got loose in my yard....
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2010
  9. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Quote:Haha, wow, I can imagine a swarm of chickens having a good ol time. If they were the special biodegradable peanuts, you could eat them yourself. My brother and I did as little kids, lol. They dissolve with just the smallest amount of water and are 100% natural and chemical free. [​IMG]
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Some just habitually eat small feathers, no matter how high their protein levels are. I had one hen who always, always plucked her rooster's saddle and hackle feathers. Her diet was very good.

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