feather picking

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lionpearl10, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. lionpearl10

    lionpearl10 In the Brooder

    Nov 22, 2008
    I have had the picking problem off and on since early winter. Someone suggested cat food but what kind? Dry or canned? I assume to increase the protein in their diet? What else can improve the protein in their diet? Thanks for any tips.

  2. woodward farms

    woodward farms Songster

    Aug 15, 2007
    northwest indiana
    not cat food .. i use canned tuna or canned salmon(cheapest stuff i can find)

    i have 6 birds and give just 1/2 a can of tuna every other day, in the coldest darkest deepest days of winter i had very little if any problems with picking

    and boy what the ladies will do for 50 cents worth of tuna they sure love it
  3. lionpearl10

    lionpearl10 In the Brooder

    Nov 22, 2008
    Hi, thanks I will try that. I have 6 also one being a rooster and he seems to be a fairly good roo. We think we know who the culprit is but they do seem to pick on one in particular, worse than the others. I tried seperating her when we were gone but didn't do it that long. I did notice she got sick of it after a while and would chase the other one away whenever she came near. I don't know never had this problem when I had chickens 20 years ago. [​IMG] I just want a happy flock like they were before the winter came along. Guess I am in fairy land or something, lol.
  4. Sometimes adding more exercise space in the form of platforms will make things better. Also, installing barriers on the coop floor to reduce the number of head-to-head confrontations. They love a sand box in which to play and I find that thin shreds of cabbage distract them for long periods as they rummage for the fresh enzymes...
  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    There seems to be more of these post lately with the onset of winter, I too had an episode also of feather pecking. Boredom is what I think was the main problem, I just did a few things to keep them occupied 24/7 and the problem went away instantly.

  6. kwynn's birds Alaska

    kwynn's birds Alaska Songster

    Aug 6, 2008
    Kenai, Alaska
    Quote:someone told me to use dog food. I soak dry kibble in hot water, untilsoft, then they get it about 3x a week. it increases protein. i imagine eggs, tuna, and stuff like that works too.
  7. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Songster

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    I had read that most dog food uses vegetable protein instead of animal protein for its main source of protein, so it is better to use cat food.
    I bought a bag of dry food for kittens that has very small size pieces. My chickens LOVE it. When I throw the cracked corn to them they eat it, but when I throw the cat food they scramble for it!! [​IMG]
    One trick I learned (and this is probably unneccessary) was that I take a cup of cat food and sprinkle some DE on it, then shake the cup to cover all the food with the DE. This made the food white. I did this because the food is brown and blends right in with the ground in the run and I didn't want it to be wasted because they couldn't find it.
    Yep, my chickens are spoiled!

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