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Eating stray feathers?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Norman, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Norman

    Norman In the Brooder

    Aug 10, 2008
    Every once and a while one of my pullets(14weeks) will pick up a feather from among the shavings and bedding and eat it! Is this normal? THey're on layer ration and have fruit and veggies as treats throughout the day.

  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    It is a source of protein. If you notice feather picking and feather eating alot it is an indication they need higher protein feed.
  3. Norman

    Norman In the Brooder

    Aug 10, 2008
    So should I be feeding a type of suppliment as well as the layer?
    The pullet I see doing it came from a place where the owner doesn't feed ready-mixed prosessed feeds, he only fed a scratch-type mixture of different grains(in addition to free-ranging them). I've only had her for 2 days, so could she be suffering from a protein deficiency from her old place that will right itself now that she is on a balanced feed?
  4. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    Ahh, that makes so much sense. I hadn't realized why my chickens kept eating feathers last winter, i just figured it was something chickens do--they were on scratch full time and there were no bugs at that time of year. I haven't seen any of this behavior in the past few weeks since my girls all went on layer/chick feed. they also get my free-range time and the grasshoppers are plentiful!
  5. Linda in San Diego

    Linda in San Diego Songster

    May 11, 2008
    San Diego
    Cracks me up when I see one eat a feather! It does not happen very often, but when I first saw that, I tried to figure out if they didi not see/recognize what they were trying to eat. LOL
  6. I see a lot of birds gathering them for their nests.

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