Feather eaters!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mrandmrschicken, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. mrandmrschicken

    mrandmrschicken Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    NW IA
    I've got two pullets that are pulling the feathers out of the other birds to snack on. Any advice on a good source of protein that may curb their need to make the other birds naked?
  2. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing

    Mar 25, 2008
    They might possibly be needing more protein. I've read where other people's chickens do that because they are laking in protein. Try feeding them some high protein snacks, like some scrambled eggs, and see if the problem gets better. [​IMG]
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Stacey is right. Feathers are protein and when you see constant feather eating it is the chickens way of acquiring protein.

    Chickens are omnivores. The feeds being produced now are most commonly all vegetable based. This leaves the birds lacking even though most would have us believe they are getting everything they need nutritionally fromthe feed.

    If you have somemeat scraps,bugs, worms, mice, lizards, even somecooked egg you will do good by giving it to the chickens. Even an occassional tbsp of wet cat food can boost their protein levels. A small hand full of dry cat food thrown out for them to scratch around in works. Just be careful and don't over load them on cat food because the mineral balance will be thrown off.

    Alot of people will advise you not to use cat food or dog food or other animal feeds with meat. Most of those people raise pets. I raise livestock. If you take a look at my birds you will see they are very healthy and have gorgeous feathering.
  4. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing

    Mar 25, 2008
    Quote:This is true! Your birds are quite lovely MissP! [​IMG]
  5. ella

    ella Songster

    I'd sure go with extra protein as a solution, but another possible cause is stress. If they're stressed out because they're too crowded, hot, or are exposed to too much light, they'll start picking at each other.

    I had terrible picking problems my first winter. Being cooped up with artificial light, just to make a 12 hour day, which I thought was necessary drove them crazy! When I quit with the lights the picking quit too.
  6. kwynn's birds Alaska

    kwynn's birds Alaska Songster

    Aug 6, 2008
    Kenai, Alaska
    I think it was miss prissy that said a few or so weeks ago to throw in a handful of cat food to stop feather eating. I don't have cats, so I wetted some dog food (Atta Boy), and they loved it. I give them some three times a week, and their feathers are coming in nicely. even Sgt. [email protected]$$'s tail is coming back. (Some of my girls and sarge had a lot of missing feathers when I got them. And I have caught some eating feathers too.) Thanks MissP!
  7. omelette'smom

    omelette'smom Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Wow!! Maybe that's what's wrong with my ladies-the girls all filled in nice but the older ladies are still half naked and it's getting COLD! I've never seen anyone snacking on them, however..... I guess they can't outrun the coop mates?! Cat food........I'll try it![​IMG]

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