Hen cleans roos tail?

Silkiechicken66

Songster
5 Years
Jul 22, 2016
469
515
231
Not really a question, just wondering if anyone else’s hens do this?
I have a Serama rooster who my friend had a hen for. Got the hen, and since day one she will grab one of his tail feathers and run her beak down to the tip then repeat. She’s never tried eating it, he’s never stopped her, and it’s just very interesting and cute.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
24,660
36,370
1,122
Colorado Rockies
It's a form of feather picking even though she isn't yanking out the feathers. It's a habit that should be discouraged as it ruins the rooster's feathers. It's sometimes caused by a protein deficiency, but very often, it's a obsessive/compulsive disorder.

It's very common for some hens to become fascinated with a roo's special plumage. In my flock I have a few hens that compulsively snatch the fine neck feathers and saddle feathers. The rooster almost never objects, even though they are decimating his good looks and feather quality.

Other hens have a thing about raking their beaks over others' back feathers without yanking them out. After a few week's of this beak action, the back feathers are shredded and look more like fur than the original feathers. It's a bad habit and should be discouraged.

Discouraging feather picking and other forms of feather depredation is easier said than done. You can try pinless peepers on the offenders. You can give the perpetrator a swift poke on the back when you see them engage in the behavior. You can segregate the offenders. You can try increasing the protein in their daily food intake. All have mixed success, though.
 

Silkiechicken66

Songster
5 Years
Jul 22, 2016
469
515
231
It's a form of feather picking even though she isn't yanking out the feathers. It's a habit that should be discouraged as it ruins the rooster's feathers. It's sometimes caused by a protein deficiency, but very often, it's a obsessive/compulsive disorder.

It's very common for some hens to become fascinated with a roo's special plumage. In my flock I have a few hens that compulsively snatch the fine neck feathers and saddle feathers. The rooster almost never objects, even though they are decimating his good looks and feather quality.

Other hens have a thing about raking their beaks over others' back feathers without yanking them out. After a few week's of this beak action, the back feathers are shredded and look more like fur than the original feathers. It's a bad habit and should be discouraged.

Discouraging feather picking and other forms of feather depredation is easier said than done. You can try pinless peepers on the offenders. You can give the perpetrator a swift poke on the back when you see them engage in the behavior. You can segregate the offenders. You can try increasing the protein in their daily food intake. All have mixed success, though.
Thanks! I wasn’t sure if it was bad behavior or not. I just bought some higher protein feed so they’ll get some too.
 

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