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Night Terrors & Feather Eating

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bionic_chicken, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. bionic_chicken

    bionic_chicken Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    Spring, TX
    Two things:

    My 7 pullets are 10 weeks old today and moved out into their coop 4 days ago. At night, they are really needy. Chicks that don't really want me to handle them during the day are crawling into my lap in the evening as the sun sets. Everyone on the roost scoots over as close as possible to me. It's really cute but I also feel sorry for them because they seem, well, scared of the dark. I did put in nightlights. The first night, someone slept on them.

    Second, I'm seeing them eat feathers. Anything medium-sized on down. What's up with that? Is this OK? I've heard it's a sign of deficiency? They are on 20% protein medicated starter.

    Thanks for your advice!
  2. ella

    ella Songster

    They aren't picking the feathers off each other are they? If they're just picking them off the ground that's normal they'll do that their whole lives.

    The night terrors are normal too. It's chaos in my coop until everyone gets settled and it's totally dark. They'll try to huddle on top of and underneath each other. I think it has to do with snuggling up under the momma hen- the strongest chick gets the best spot by fighting for it.

    Leaving a light on will help with that BUT it will also mess with their cycles when the grow up and white light can cause aggression and stress with all ages. I know it's hard but it's probably best to let them sort it out. That being said I still do go out there at night and snuggle them up when they're stressed out about roosting. [​IMG]
  3. bionic_chicken

    bionic_chicken Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    Spring, TX
    No, they're not picking each other's feathers off, just eating them off the ground.

    Thanks for the response, ella! [​IMG]
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Cold turkey, no light and 2 or 3 days they will have adjusted and be fine.

    Feather eating means they are seeking extra protein. You can give them meat scraps, a hand ful of kitty kibble a couple times a week, or a can of wet cat food. Becareful and not too much cat food or you will get their mineeral balances off. If they don't get enough protein they will pick feathers and cause you more troubles than you want.

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