My girls are 'plucking' mad!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TroubledChicken, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. TroubledChicken

    TroubledChicken In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2017
    Hi all!

    I have about 20 or so chickens (Australorps, Barnevelders, Isa Reds and one lovely Wyandotte) and I'm noticing that about six of them that were all hatched out in the same batch are plucking their lower back feathers out and eating them (I'm assuming). We have one large Australorp rooster but he doesn't seem too rough on them and the other hens I have are fully feathered! The skin isn't bleeding, red or looking irritated, it just looks.. Well, plucked!

    Does anyone have any ideas? I've tried swapping their food to a higher protein mix and it doesn't seemed to have helped?
    featherhead007 likes this.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Thread title made me :gig!!

    I have some of those too, never really found a satisfactory reason why or solution to remedy it.
    I guess they either have more brittle feathers than others and/or are mounted and/or picked more often.

    Feather picking can be a nutritional deficit and/or just a bad habit.
    featherhead007 likes this.
  3. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Crowing

    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    If it's the other chickens doing it it sounds like they are looking for extra protein. I would guess it's the rooster tearing up their feathers when breeding. :hmm
  4. My hens gang up on the rooster, and pluck feathers from his Polish white crested mop head! He doesn't seem
  5. to mind very much!
  6. TroubledChicken

    TroubledChicken In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2017
    It's very strange! Like you guys said I might up their protein a bit. I think they're getting around 13-15% at the moment so I'll see how they go with something a little higher. I noticed today that one of the girls missing feather has very bendy pin feathers coming through.

    Or perhaps I ought to tell Robert (the rooster) to just go a little easier on the poor girls.. Haha!

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