Hen pecked? My poor roo I saw a hen eat his feather right off his hip

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ksfnewtobirds, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. ksfnewtobirds

    ksfnewtobirds In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2011
    My Chickens are 18 weeks I have a mottled houdan rooster and 4 silver wyandotte hens. Yesterday we noticed maybe he was bleeding... it was just a little raw..he was missing a few tail feathers. Today I saw the hens peck at his hips, one hen who got a feather actually ate it. Is this normal? I know hens can get tore up from being bred but why would they pick on the roo? He is breeding them and I just got my first egg yesterday. Any advice would be helpful....the hens are not being nasty it just seems that when he walks by if the opportunity is there they peck. When I looked closely at roo today he is missing several feathers on both hips so this has been going on I just now caught it...is he going to be bald soon? Thanks

  2. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    I don't know about the eating feathers part, but if he is bleeding, they will keep pecking at him & it will get worse, not better. Can you separate him until he's healed?
  3. DancingHen

    DancingHen Songster

    Mar 11, 2011
    Central Oregon Coast
    I once read somewhere that feather eating can be an attempt by the chickens to get more protein in their diet. I know that chickens will peck at one another as a form of dominance, and feathers can get pulled out, but the fact that they are actually eating the feathers could mean they want more protein.....as feathers actually have a high protein content. I would seperate the roo for a few days to allow him to heal, and to break the pattern of behavior. But I would probably also offer the hens some extra protein as well....boiled eggs, higher protein feed, or some other source of protein. It's probably just chickens being chickens though..... [​IMG]

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