Hen pecks feathers from bird and eats them

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FarmerCarl, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. FarmerCarl

    FarmerCarl Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    32
    Jan 28, 2009
    West Michigan
    I have a RIR hen that chases my Cornish X chicks (5wks), plucks the feathers from them and then eats the feathers. Is that weird or what! I always know it's happening because I can hear the chicks squawking and running away. They stay in a stall in the barn and the hen jumps in there to bully them and have a feather snack. [​IMG]

    I have seven RIR hens and only one is pulling feathers. What does this mean?
     
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    11,199
    43
    311
    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Could be protein deficiency. What are you feeding them?
     
  3. FarmerCarl

    FarmerCarl Out Of The Brooder

    40
    0
    32
    Jan 28, 2009
    West Michigan
    They have free choice Layena and I have oyster shell out for them too. They free range and get assorted bugs and greens in season. It's been too cold for them to catch many bugs but that will change this weekend with highs in the upper 70/ low 80's. Woohoo!
     
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,225
    673
    396
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I had one RIR that was particularly aggressive. She would jump on the pullets and pull their feathers out. After a few surprise shots of water from a hose she has let up.
     
  5. Renee

    Renee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    CALIFORNIA
    You should probably stop her from doing this, as it can progress into cannibalism.

    Sometimes addtional protein in the diet will stop the behavior.

    Good luck!
     
  6. beginnerchick08

    beginnerchick08 Out Of The Brooder

    78
    0
    39
    Dec 19, 2008
    Alabama
    I had a hen loose some feathers and another one came and ate them. I thought it was very weird also but i just figured she was trying everything bc it was their first day free ranging.
     
  7. Dragonwolf

    Dragonwolf New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Aug 23, 2008
    Mine are doing the same thing, except I think it's an aggressive dominance thing. I have 2 Auracanas that are doing it to my 2 Salmon Faverolles... Usually they get along, but, lately they've been totally cowed! They cower in their pen while the Auracanas come out and forage....[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by