Emu pulling their own feathers out

Discussion in 'Ostriches, Emu, Rheas' started by theRazorBlade, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. theRazorBlade

    theRazorBlade Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2010
    Los Gatos, CA
    I have three 4 months old emus. About a month ago they started pulling their own back feathers out. At first I could not figure out what is going on, but it is pretty clear now. They all have the exact same pattern on the back where the feathers are missing. Is this a sign of stress or problem with their food? Any ideas?
     
  2. farmchick897

    farmchick897 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2010
    Kentucky
    What size pen are they in? What are you feeding? What other animals are in with them? All of this info might help with ideas.
     
  3. theRazorBlade

    theRazorBlade Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2010
    Los Gatos, CA
    They are in an open space about 100' x 40' with chickens, ducks, and pigs. They eat chicken feed until 2 weeks ago but I now switched them to ratite feed which took some engineering to get them to only eat that and the chickens only their feed.
     
  4. theRazorBlade

    theRazorBlade Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2010
    Los Gatos, CA
    In case someone else has the same problem: changing the bird's diet to ratite feed did not make a difference but moving them out to their own space of similar size but without any other birds had an instant effect. Within a week they stopped pulling their feathers out, calmed down, and are much happier. So this was just a matter of stress from being with other animals. It seems the ducks were the primary source of stress.
     

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