Hen eating feathers.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by rawheid, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. rawheid

    rawheid Out Of The Brooder

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    I also asked this in the behaviour section. But thought maybe I should have asked here. I have a hen eating feathers off the ground and off her pen mates. They are going bald. Is she lacking protein? I give then 17% layer. I thought this was enough. She is An ISA brown. I am integrating them into a new flock. I hate for her to pick the new ones bald too.

    What should I do?
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    i thought the feathers were calcium but im not sure. she could just be showing she is top hen but some vitamins wouldnt hurt and some toys too. block feeder, suet. fresh greens. would help the others too. hope this is helpful
     
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Protein. Throw them some cat kibble as scratch to bump it up. 17% is normally fine but if they free range or get lots of goodies, you can easily cut that down way under 10%.
     
  4. farmgirlroots

    farmgirlroots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine were doing the same. Someone recommended black oil sunflower seeds tossed out to them occasionally and it totally worked. I've not noticed them snacking on the feathers since I started giving them seeds. I also give them live meal worms and I think that helps too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  5. farmgirlroots

    farmgirlroots Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Sometimes they need more protein in their diet, cat food has too much salt for chickens, the meal worms are good and also provide some boredom relief. Could you put blue coat on areas where she pecks out feathers on her coop mates? Maybe the icky taste will change her mind. Also if you have some diversion like a hanging head of cabbage, flock block etc. it would give her other outlets .

    If she doesn't stop she should be removed from the flock so the others don't suffer because of her. You also don't want others imitating her.
     
  7. fallenangel79

    fallenangel79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have one hen that eats feathers what do I do ? :/
     
  8. rawheid

    rawheid Out Of The Brooder

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    I like the idea of the sunflower seeds. I can totally do that. Thx! And yes if I need to cull I will too.
     

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