I think I found a miracle cure for feather picking

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
18,258
21,961
912
Colorado Rockies
Seriously. It's a nutritional supplement and I tried it as a final resort for feather picking.

I've written about Flo, my two-year old EE who began her nefarious career of feather picking at the very tender age of three months. At the time, I thought it was a protein deficiency so I fed her canned tuna for weeks. It had no effect on her. By this time she was eight months old, going about her liberating of the feathers of the flock in a determined and frenzied manner.

I decided to obtain pinless peepers, and when they came, I immediately installed a pair on her. They helped, but she adjusted to them to the point that she was still able to pick feathers off any back that was under her beak. I trimmed her beak. It helped a little. Then she reached the point a few months ago where the pinless peepers stopped working all together.

So I tried bumper bits. This device prevents the beak from closing all the way, and it was so cruel, and Flo couldn't eat, I removed it before one day was over. There was nothing left to do but to eat her. No, wait, I'm just kidding. I segregated her. She spent days in a separate enclosure and nights in a separate coop. Additionally, this feather picking problem had spread to four others in the flock, who were all sporting pinless peepers, too.

Around this time, I was over at some friends for dinner and the topic of managing pets with strange fixations came up. These people had great luck with a product called "Forco" in curbing poop eating in dogs. This product is a nutritional supplement for all animals, a cereal based substance full of vitamins and natural intestinal nutrients.

I decided to give it a try on Flo so I ordered some. When it cam, I offered it free choice, one scoop a day, to the entire flock of fifteen. After a few weeks, I removed the peepers from the other four hens, and around week seven, I decided to remove Flo's pinless peepers. Much to my surprise she showed no inclination to pick feathers. Even during the later afternoon, when her feather picking was usually at its most frenzied, she appeared calm and uninterested in feathers.

It's been almost a month now that Flo has had the peepers off and she still isn't feather picking, nor are any of the others. While this isn't a controlled experiment, I have seen enough to believe this Forco works. Here's the web site http://forco.com/, and they sell it in selected feed stores around the country. I order it by phone 1-866-383-2458. It costs around $25 for a 5 pound bucket or you can also try the one-pounder for less. It includes shipping.

I'm in no way employed by Forco, by the way, just wanting to pass on a tip on something that seems to work for a very heart-breaking problem almost all of us chicken folk have encountered.
 
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azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
18,258
21,961
912
Colorado Rockies
Yes, the one for horses, believe it or not. Forco feed supplement.

I spoke at great length with Jim, one of the business owners, and we talked about my problem with feather pickers, and he said he feeds it free choice to his chickens.

It was my idea to try this after finding out my friends feed it to their horses and dogs, and how it cleared up a variety of problems with their pets. It's a feed supplement for all animals, not just horses.

My chickens adore the taste. I put a scoop full in a cup inside their oyster shell bin each morning, and they fight each other to finish it off. I haven't had a problem with feather pickers at all since the flock has been eating it.
 

7L Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
4,635
68
231
Anderson, Texas
Yes, the one for horses, believe it or not. Forco feed supplement.

I spoke at great length with Jim, one of the business owners, and we talked about my problem with feather pickers, and he said he feeds it free choice to his chickens.

It was my idea to try this after finding out my friends feed it to their horses and dogs, and how it cleared up a variety of problems with their pets. It's a feed supplement for all animals, not just horses.

My chickens adore the taste. I put a scoop full in a cup inside their oyster shell bin each morning, and they fight each other to finish it off. I haven't had a problem with feather pickers at all since the flock has been eating it.
Ok, I ordered some. I will let you know the results. Now if it doesn't work do I send you the bill. Just kidding I hope it works.
 

7L Farm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
4,635
68
231
Anderson, Texas
Ok I got the stuff now how do I feed it to them. You said one scoop your meaning one ounce are what? I have three coops one coop has 10 hens another coop has 16 hens & one roo my other coop has 17 pullets & 4 cockerels.
 

Laura Bonilla

Hatching
7 Years
Aug 18, 2012
2
1
8
Just wanted to say thank YOU for taking the time to post your experience with that product. I will be ordering it Monday morning because I don't know what's about summer, half of my hens at least (out of 30) are in a mission of getting all the roosters(7) naked! it's SO weird, because they are not doing it to each other... I assume it's because the boys like to be groomed and cared by the girls, so they don't really realize what is happening... until it hurts because it goes to bleeding!... I am HOPING Forco does it for my flock as well... I figured it was a nutritional thing, but knew it could not be protein in my case...
thanks again,
 

Mavrik

Songster
8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
263
19
111
Looking at Forco's website, this product looks to be a probiotic. Avians need a specific type of probiotic, giving a horse probiotic to avians is not a good idea. This horse stuff may be doing internal damage to birds. Forco's website also says "There are no supplemental vitamins, minerals or proteins". In nature chickens never eat tuna, why would you give it to them. The chickens may have had issues trying to digest the protein from fish. Feather plucking is a protein deficiency, there is protein in feathers, that is why chickens eat them. Try something more suited for avains, like game bird feed, it is 24% protein instead of layer feed that is 14-16% protein. Or mealworms, around 50% protein.
 
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