Pecking Chickens


8 Years
Aug 29, 2011
Our chickens are about three yers old. We recently had one die so we are down to 5. We are only getting about 1 egg aday. A few of the chickens are pecking themselves on the back side of their neck and some have lost all their feathers on their wings. They seem healthy otherwise and we keep their coop very clean. Any ideas about what is going on?
I recommend that you pick them up and inspect them closely for lice/mites. They could be going into molt, causing feather loss. Consider worming them if you havnt done so.
Sounds like calcium deficiency. Even if it is in their feed, if they free-range they may not be getting enough calcium and from what I remember feathers have calcium and they will peck on it as a supplement. Oyster shells on the side, mixed with their feed, or hidden in treats are a few ways to sneak it in. I once couldn't find any pet calcium locally so got regular calcium pills from the market, crushed them and hid the powder inside corn treats.

For more info search: hen calcium pecking.
I do not recommend feeding calcium for feather loss. Feathers are made of protein. You could increase protein intake with gamebird feed which is about 22% protein vs 16-18% protein in layer feed to encourage feather regrowth. I only recommend gamebird feed during molt if that's what it is.
Protein or calcium. I was thinking the latter because of the huge amounts of calcium a hen needed for egg production.

Oh and you can search all over the net that lack of sufficient calcium is a major factor.
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