feather eaters

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by firechicken, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. firechicken

    firechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    0
    139
    Jul 11, 2007
    Covington, GA
    Is it ok that my new ladies are eating feathers? They are not pulling them off and eating them they are just picking them off the ground and eating them.
    I saw two of them eat one and then spit it back up. They put their heads down and they came back up with a bunch of saliva. Like they spit up. Now they are not spitting them up that I see. So is this normal? I was also wondering if they think they are bread crumbs, because I put out some bread crumbs earlier.

    Just FYI they have plenty of feed and grit and I am trying to find other treats they like.
    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Trevor
     
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    7,008
    21
    261
    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    I asked this same question a couple of weeks ago, never really got an answer.
    Maybe you'll get one and we'll both know.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Usually birds eat feathers when they want more protein and/or manganese. As they are not picking on each other I wouldn't worry too much. You can try supplementing a bit of cat food as a treat along with black sun flower seeds... Some birds I think though eat it for fun!
     
  4. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    All my chickens have done this, it's just a chicken thing. Completely normal.
     
  5. firechicken

    firechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    0
    139
    Jul 11, 2007
    Covington, GA
    Thanks for the quick responses! I am having a lot of fun watching and learning all their behaviors.
     
  6. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    7,008
    21
    261
    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Quote:I feed mine cat food once a week and sunflower seeds as a treat every day, so lack of protien would not be an issue in my girls case.

    Forgot to mention that out of my 10 hens only 2 do this.
     
  7. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    Quote:I feed mine cat food once a week and sunflower seeds as a treat every day, so lack of protien would not be an issue in my girls case.

    Forgot to mention that out of my 10 hens only 2 do this.

    I've always been told it's just normal behavior and has nothing to do with dietary needs. I don't think much of it when my girls do it.
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, in that case, you got a feather clean up crew :p

    I wouldn't worry about it since they aren't picking feathers off each other and eating those.
     
  9. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    7,008
    21
    261
    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Great, now I can stop wondering about it.
     
  10. firechicken

    firechicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    0
    139
    Jul 11, 2007
    Covington, GA
    Yup, a clean up crew is nice. Very efficient flock I got there.[​IMG]
    Too bad I don't have a roo, I could use the feathers for fly tying.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by