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I'm at the end of my feather...need help for feather eating chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Caniwi, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Caniwi

    Caniwi New Egg

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    We have 9 hens and a Rooster, 7 hens are Rhode Island and 2 are Red Rock Cross. For the first part of last year (their first) they all lived happierly with each other and showed no problems. During winter we noticed feather loss, and put it down to molting orginally. But then it went from 1 hen to another etc and i stayed in their house for awhile during the day to see how they were behaving and noticed afew hens were pulling out the other hens feathers and eating them. We went through all the idea's of being stuck in the house as the temps drop very low where we live (down to -40), so we made sure they had stimulation and before we had the chickens we built a very large house just because of the winter. Always made sure they had cooked oatmeal every day in the winter and put in whole cabbage, lettuce etc.....anyway, still didn't stop the feather eating. Now we are in spring and they have been outside again for afew months now and still they are pecking each others feathers.
    I am running out of trial remedies and need suggestions, we have brought some dog clipping scissors and as much as i don't want to de beck, it looks like our very last option might be at hand, either that or they will be culled out and made into chicken pot pie........really need some inspiring idea's as we are getting rather feather tied on this issue.
    And now just to made matters more complicated, their brown egg's are turning pale to white and afew are laying soft shelled...sigh, what are we doing wrong?
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    They could be bored. Put a suet block out for them to peck at. And try increasing their protein, meat scraps, tuna, cooked eggs, etc.
     
  3. dmccann

    dmccann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been there......i was told mine were getting tooo much protien and they were not burning off the engery....i have cut back the boss and i have put on peepers, feathers r coming back....
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I've been dealing with this same problem for a year. I fed them extra protein feed, got them a flock block, cabbage every few days, free ranging, fed them canned tuna. Nothing made a difference.

    I ordered some pinless peepers. That's my final solution. If that fails, I'll have to eat them.
     
  5. Double T

    Double T Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:What are pinless Peepers?
     
  6. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:What are pinless Peepers?

    I don't think it allows them to see directly in front of them. I could be wrong though. Or it limits their vision somehow.
     
  7. 6chickens in St. Charles

    6chickens in St. Charles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you checked for lice? If your chickens are good foragers, they may be eating lice and their tasty egg cement. Baboons do that too. cheeky monkeys.
     
  8. dmccann

    dmccann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the peepers will help ,i feel your pain,my one hen is starting to look normal,not like she was ready for the oven.
     
  9. Caniwi

    Caniwi New Egg

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    Great feedback folks, as for meat protein, my hubby has said a resounding 'no' to feeding chickens meat. I have tried the cooked egg idea, and even went to the extent of buying tofu because of its high proteins....they love it by the way, but still no change after those added feeds. Checked for lice...can't see any, not to say they aren't there, just can't find any on them.
    Ok, now what are pinless peeper? is that those knitted sweaters i have seen for battery hens?
    What ever they are i am curious, as i would rather find a solution than my only other option which is still chicken pot pie. Will have to call our feed store and see if pinless peepers are available up here in the Cariboo.
    Hope to find a solution soon, as i have 4 Buff Oph's chicks arriving next week and don't want them ending up doing the same once they finally get introduced to the flock.

    Thanks,
    Deborah
     
  10. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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    Quote:If you google pinless peepers you will find them. Basically they look like little "glasses" for chickens without the lens part. Instead they are solid plastic. They work like blinders for horses in that they block vision.
     

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