I need help with feather plucking!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by CatWomanSha, May 14, 2011.

  1. CatWomanSha

    CatWomanSha New Egg

    May 14, 2011
    Hello everyone I am new to this so forgive me if I come across crazy. I am the first one to have chickens since my great-grandparents and they are gone. My mother and father in law have chickens and now so do I. They have had chickens for over 30 years and this year thier chickens have started plucking eachother bauld! I have done some research and found that they are lacking protein. Is there anything special that we can start giving them. My chickens are free ranges, theirs are not. I have only had my chickens a couple of weeks so mine don't look that way. Are there any foods that we can give them that are high in protein that will help this problem? your help is much appreciated! Thanks!
  2. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    You can put them on game feed..which is about 10% higher in protein, fish meal, meal worms, super worms, tuna, sunflower seeds, cooked egg and there are tons more I am sure others will share.
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    What are they eating, now? Sometimes they need a food with a higher percentage of protein and sometimes they just need to be fed fewer low protein foods, like scratch or plain grains. Adding a lot of low protein food lowers the percentage of protein in the total diet, even if they're on a complete feed that has the right percentage of protein. Animal protein is a better source of the amino acid most prevalent in feathers than plant protein, too.
  4. CatWomanSha

    CatWomanSha New Egg

    May 14, 2011
    They are on laying pellets 16% protein, cracked corn and about 5 cups of grain a day to 50 chickens. They are allowed some free roaming while they are home, but much. Thanks you for your help
  5. TN_BIRD

    TN_BIRD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2011
    I've heard of folks supplementing their feed with yogurt and/or cat food. I haven't done it, but seems I read an article (or BYC forum post) about it.

    You said the birds that were in the coop are having this problem...right? It might simply be a territorial issue. Heaven knows mine are more peaceful when they are roaming the yard as opposed to being in the coop. If so, they might want to increase the size of the coop or at the very least put some roost in there so the birds can sorta get away from one another.
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Depending on the quantity fed, the grain and especially cracked corn may be the problem. I would supplement a meat , fish or poultry source for a while and feed only or mostly layer. They will pick a bone or carcass clean. Canned mackerel is a fairly cheap source, certainly cheaper than tuna and just as good for them. Mealworms or other insect sources are great if you can find them. I've bought a package of chicken backs, microwaved them and fiven them the whole thing; they will pick them clean.
  7. rtlightfoot

    rtlightfoot New Egg

    May 15, 2011
    Is it just me or does feeding them hard boiled eggs make a lot of sense. They are packed with protien and free.
  8. Wildflower_VA

    Wildflower_VA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:It makes a lot of sense and the chickens love it.
  9. CatWomanSha

    CatWomanSha New Egg

    May 14, 2011
    Thank you all for your help. I am going to let them know and try some of these suggestions. I give mine scrambled eggs and the shells, they seem to love them.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by