Month old chicks eating feathers- why?!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex, May 17, 2011.

  1. My chickies are spoiled. The 25 of them have the entire floor (still complete with grass, dirt, and bugs!) of my 10' x 20' greenhouse to play in. They have plenty of water and chick starter in addition to their mini-free ranging. I see them eat worms, beetles, crumbles, grass....but they find shed and fight over feathers which they EAT. My bigger birds don't eat feathers, and never have. They were raised on the same chick starter but they were kept in a smaller brooder in the house without constant access to grass and bugs. So why are the little ones eating stupider things when there are so many other opions?
  2. WallTenters

    WallTenters Songster

    Feb 16, 2010
    Sweet Home, OR
    Because it's fun! They'll soon learn that it's not all that tasty, and give up. They are also going through a period of feather development, so the extra protein is always good. Don't worry, as long as it's not feathers falling off some rotten diseased wild bird, they will be fine.
  3. Should I be giving them more protein? I am planning to begin my bribery this week to make them like me, since they have finally stopped fleeing in terror when I enter and now seem curious about me. I was planning to bring them boiled eggs anyway... maybe I should bring them more. Last time I tried, though, they were not really interested in eggs or bread crumbs.
  4. Pele

    Pele Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    You could solve both problems with one solution, and feed them mealworms for treats! Viola extra protien, and socialization in one go. They'll make friends with anyone for mealworms.

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