Feather Pecking Nightmare

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chicky Man, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. Chicky Man

    Chicky Man Just Hatched

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    Jan 28, 2017
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Hi everyone!

    This is my first post here.
    I have been browsing this forum as a guest for a while but I can't seem to find a soloution to my problem so thought I would post.
    Unfortunatly this is another feather pecking thread.

    I have 3 hens around 35 weeks old. A Black Tail, A Speckledy and the problem hen a Rhode rock nera.
    For the last 3 months or so she has developed a taste for feathers and nothing I try seems to stop her.

    Due to the restirctions at the minute they are all permanently kept in there run (which is about 7 X 7 feet).
    They have full access to a full tray of grit and oyster shell.
    They have full access to feed ( a mix of grain, oats, poultry pellets (17% protein))
    They also get boredom busters 2 - 3 times a week (if not more) of balls to knock about containing mealworms, piles of leaves to dig through, spare vegatables etc.
    They have plenty of water.
    Have been recently treated for mites.

    I have tried altering the diet, covering them up so they get less light, seperating the bully hen. I have even had to use a beak bit (controversial I know) which does stop the pecking problem but if she see's a feather in the run she still eats it.
    I have also tried feather peck sprays, adding CD's and mirrors.

    I am running out of ideas and was wondering if there is anything else I have missed that I could try?
    If you need any more information about my hens or the set up please let me know.

    Any help would greatly be appreciated.
     
  2. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Idaho
    I have a hen that overnight started eating feathers like crazy! I mean running around picking feathers off chickens and eating them and also picking any feathers off the ground and eating them.
    I seperated her for two days- stopped feeding all corn/grain treat mixes and oats. Started her on feather fixer food- and lots of meal worms and black oil sunflower seeds. And put her back after two days and she hasnt done it again.
    I still havent fed them any corn / oat treats. And only offer high protein mealworms and sunflower seeds along with the feather fixer/ all flock mix. I feed all flock with 18% protein.
    I also picked up a bale of alfalfa last night , high in protein and gives them greens to eat and lots to pick at and dig thru and keeps them busy.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Up your protein a mix of oats/grain/pellets is not enough.You need to take into account that most birds will eat the fattiest food.Just give them full layer pellets and offer eggs and tuna often.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
  4. Chicky Man

    Chicky Man Just Hatched

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    Jan 28, 2017
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Hi

    Thanks for both your replys!

    I used to have them on a higher protein mix but the place I purchased them from told me to drop it to 17% as high protein can cause aggresion?

    I will pick up an alfalfa bale and see if that can provide a big enough distraction.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh yes tuna was another thing i fed her! I forgot about that one!
     
  6. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No,It wont.I feed my chickens 18% protein no problems.Don't listen to the people at feed stores.
     
  7. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I havent heard of too much protein aggresion problems.
    I know feathers are almost pure protein so i have always read and been told when they start eating feathers like that its usually because they are craving protein. And in the summer they eat soo many bugs and worms and grass. And they get alot of protein. Winter and less space leaves them without all those different things. And boredom.
     
  8. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. Chicky Man

    Chicky Man Just Hatched

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    Jan 28, 2017
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    That wasn't the person at the feed store. It was the breeder who told me that.

    Recently I have been feeding them a lot of mealworms as well mixed in with there other feed.
    I have been scattering them around in big handfulls in there run and then burying them a bit to get them to spend more time foraging.
     
  10. Chicky Man

    Chicky Man Just Hatched

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    Jan 28, 2017
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    Hi all

    I thought I should drop a reply (and a huge thank you) to both Newtochicklets and MasterOfClucker for there reply's.

    Sanders (My problem Hen) is totally reformed it is like having a new bird!
    It would seem she just needs a different diet to the other two.

    I tried the tuna and the alfalfa bale + a few tweaks to there mix (more pellets less grain) and peace and tranquility has been restored within the hen house.

    A big thank you to you both!
     
    2 people like this.

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