Form of Cannibalism??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by babychickfarmer, May 14, 2007.

  1. Ok so we have had all of our chickens together for almost a month. We intergraded the pullets and hens. Lately we have moved all the chickens into the chicken tractor and about half way through the day we will put the hens back in the coop so they can lay. We leave the pullets in there during the day and in thier coop at night. Today when I put a couple pullets in the coop one of my araucanas (Annalise) Chased after one of them and tore a mouthful of feathers from it and ate them. Boba (another araucana) came over and ate them too. [​IMG] Why are they doing this. It's the first time they ate the feathers as well. Is it a bad sign?
  2. Come on...I see u looking? Anything could help me I just want to know has this happened to anyone?? Should I be worried?
  3. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I'm not sure why but mine do the same thing. They chase or peck one that gets in their space and then out comes a feather and then they fight over it. Winner eats it. Maybe someone else on the board knows.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Usually this means that they need more protein in their diet. Try some cat food every day, just a handful.
  5. ella

    ella Songster

    Every hen I've ever had will eat feathers if they see them regardless of how much protein they're eating. Unless you start seeing bald patches, they're probably fine.

    From your description of what happened, it sounds like one of your hens was asserting herself and got a mouthful of feathers in the process, so like any chicken she ate them!
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
  6. chrissieg

    chrissieg Songster

    I lost one of my chickens to the fox on Saturday and judging by the feathers left it was a sit down meal rather than a takeaway! One of the other chickens came up afterwards and started eating the feathers. Maybe its a kind of cleaning up action after the event so as not to attract attention?

    I was surprised that my little flock (now 4 hens and a rooster) seemed completely unphased by the attack whereas I'm freaking out again [​IMG] Back to RED alert!
  7. Freebie

    Freebie Songster

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    I have never seen any of my flock eat feathers. But I see loose feathers about the barn and coop. I guess mine don't like feathers to much.
  8. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    I've seen mine chase a feather that the wind has picked up and they've put it in their mouths, but then they drop it and the next one will come and do the same thing.
  9. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Obelisk pulled and ate Slifer's feathers. She stopped when I gave her some Tender Vittles, a moist cat food, as a treat.
    She's tried with Penny too and has eaten a few. So out comes the Tender Vittles again...
    With Leghorns, it could be boredom too, but giving the catfood seems to help.
  10. It isn't the leghorns eating the feathers its the araucaunas that are ripping out the leghorns feathres

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