Feather eating? NEED ANSWERS ASAP

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kittykittykitty, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. kittykittykitty

    kittykittykitty Luvin My Chickies

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    My chickens are obsessed with eating feathers. Any feather that hits the ground, that's in mid air, OR IS ON ANOTHER CHICKEN. They recently have been plucking the tail feathers from my EE rooster and now his tail just looks like a little stump with a few feathers sticking out. What should I do?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  2. vsmenagerie

    vsmenagerie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try giving them some high protein foods. It could be they need some extra.
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    It's usually a protein deficiency - increasing their protein if this is the case will help. You can increase protein with scrambled eggs, tuna, meat scraps, small amounts of cat food (lots of sodium in it) or Black Oil sunflower seeds.

    Sometimes feather picking can be from boredom, or not enough space. In this case you could get something for them to do, like a suet cage, give them a big pumpkin (broken in half).
     
  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:Ditto - typically, a protein deficiency. I used to use dry cat food when I saw this problem - just throw a handful into the pen eveyr few days for a week, then once a week, until you see the behavior stop. I now feed a bit higher protein, and add Calf Manna at the rate of 10% to the feed, making sure to provide oyster shell at all times for the gals that are laying.

    There are lots of things you can do break boredom as well. Things as simple as a milk crate in their run to jump around on - move it randomly around each day. I have "chicken trees" - trees that have died, I dig a hole in the run & "plant" the tree, adding horizontal branches (screwed on) so they can fly up & down, and hop around. I also suspend suet cages from the tree "branches" for them - just at head height - then fill with dark, leafy greens - a most excellent treat, and it takes them awhile to get it all pecked out!
     
  5. kittykittykitty

    kittykittykitty Luvin My Chickies

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    Thanks! I'll see if they will eat some scrambled or hard boiled eggs and check the protein levels in their feed too.
     
  6. kittykittykitty

    kittykittykitty Luvin My Chickies

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    **UPDATE**

    I gave them a protein supplement and they LOVE IT! it's a homemade recipe! LOOK FOR IT IN THE FEEDING AND WATERING YOUR FLOCK SECTION!
     

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