Plucking feathers out because stress?

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,607
23,439
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
I would try free ranging, or at least, fencing off a larger area within your yard that they can use, to give them more space. You have enough space technically speaking, however the issue with super small runs is they simply don't have enough space to add clutter: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/ which helps keep chickens busy and provides hiding spaces if they get picked on.

I'd also caution you on the use of the flock block - they might enjoy the goodies in it, but I bet it's diluting down the protein in their overall diet, which can contribute to picking problems.
 

3chickchick

In the Brooder
Oct 14, 2020
40
36
36
I would try free ranging, or at least, fencing off a larger area within your yard that they can use, to give them more space. You have enough space technically speaking, however the issue with super small runs is they simply don't have enough space to add clutter: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-cluttered-run.1323792/ which helps keep chickens busy and provides hiding spaces if they get picked on.

I'd also caution you on the use of the flock block - they might enjoy the goodies in it, but I bet it's diluting down the protein in their overall diet, which can contribute to picking problems.
Thank you so much for your advise. We are working on extending the chicken run for them. Hopefully we finish up in couple days. Thanks again.
 

LaFleche

Free Ranging
Sep 22, 2012
3,110
10,826
512
Germany
That sure is severe feather plucking.

Did it start right after she began to lay? If so, it might be due to a nutrient deficiency. What exactly are you feeding them?
 

3chickchick

In the Brooder
Oct 14, 2020
40
36
36
Hi LaFleche, It seems like right around the time she started laying eggs.
we feed them Purina Organic Layer Pellets. It was recommended by our feed store. It has 16% protein and oyster shells in it. (https://www.purinamills.com/chicken-feed/products/detail/purina-organic-layer-pellets-or-crumbles) We also have Kaylee Mealworm and corn as treat. I put some grits and oyster shells on the side dishes. We also have Kalmbach feeds all natural poultry block for them to peck on. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QXJDA0O/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
Should I add some more protein treat on the side?
Thank you.
 

LaFleche

Free Ranging
Sep 22, 2012
3,110
10,826
512
Germany
Is there a complete list of ingredients somewhere?

16% crude protein might not be enough if it consists of only herbal proteins. The total amount of 16% crude protein does not mean 16% digestible protein. A hen that is not free-ranging and therefore not able to feed herself the necessary animal protein in addition to the layer feed, might quickly develop nutrient deficiencies that she tries to balance by feather plucking.

If you want to stick with this feed you might want to consider improving the protein percentage by adding brewers yeast. 18% protein might work much better and you could mix with all flock raiser (20% crude protein) or similar feed to bring it up.

As a first aid you could try some real butter which provides them with a lot of valuable nutrients:
https://www.naehrwertrechner.de/naehrwerte/Q610000/Butter

This helped with my chicken when some years ago because of the avian influenza here in Germany we all had to coop up our formerly free-rangig poultry and of course they started the plucking game shortly after.
 

3chickchick

In the Brooder
Oct 14, 2020
40
36
36
Can you get chook feeds with animal protein over there?
Hard to find here.
I checked the website again.. It says:

Nutrient
Min / Max
Amount
Crude Protein
MIN
16.00 %
Crude Fat
MIN
2.50 %
Crude Fiber
MAX
6.50 %
Calcium (Ca)
MIN
3.25 %
Calcium (Ca)
MAX
4.25 %
Looks like it only has crude protein 16%. Do you have any other feed with better quality protein that I can get for my chicken?
 

LaFleche

Free Ranging
Sep 22, 2012
3,110
10,826
512
Germany
Can you get chook feeds with animal protein over there?
Hard to find here.
Yes, here it is allowed again after some scandals in the past. But it will be added fish/seafood clippings or else. And the chicken industry processes and feeds their own worn-out layers back to the newer ones.

But I don't feed it. ;)

My chicken get additional dairy produce, venison/game etc.
 

LaFleche

Free Ranging
Sep 22, 2012
3,110
10,826
512
Germany
I checked the website again.. It says:

Nutrient
Min / Max
Amount
Crude Protein
MIN
16.00 %
Crude Fat
MIN
2.50 %
Crude Fiber
MAX
6.50 %
Calcium (Ca)
MIN
3.25 %
Calcium (Ca)
MAX
4.25 %
Looks like it only has crude protein 16%. Do you have any other feed with better quality protein that I can get for my chicken?
Yes, that's what I found on their homepage. You might want to mix with their All Flock Raiser, but be careful not to get the medicated stuff:
https://www.purinamills.com/search?s=all flock
 

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