Pullets eating feathers...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickiegrrl, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. chickiegrrl

    chickiegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2013
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    Two of my pullets are eating feathers off the run floor. They're not pulling them from themselves or others, they just chase the feathers when they blow around, catch one, and eat it like spaghetti. I raked up a bunch of feathers and threw them out, but any remaining were gobbled up by these two! They are free fed on Purina Start and Grow. They had a sprinkle of scratch and some tomato ends, a spoon of leftover cream of wheat, and a bread crust today. It's only my Buff Orp and Easter Egger that are eating feathers. My RIR and Australorp are busy with scratching and dust bathing. This is the first day they've spent in their run, we just finished it and I wanted them to get used to it. Tomorrow they're going back to the chicken tractor during the day. They eat feathers there, too, though. Is this normal for 3 month old pullets?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    That is usually a sign of either a habit or of a lack of animal protein in the feed. Purina is vegetarian. Normally, Start N Grow performs well for people, but sometimes not.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  3. chickiegrrl

    chickiegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the quick reply, Fred's Hens! Would it help to feed them a hard boiled egg a few times a week? Or should I look for a food with a higher protein content? I thought Purina was supposed to be good food. Sorry if these are dumb questions, we're new at hens, these are our first girls.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Eggs would be worth a try.

    It isn't necessarily the amount of protein as much as it is the kind of protein. Animal protein is different than vegetable. Not a chemist and do not play one on BYC. But there is a difference. Feed them a bag of feed that DOES contain animal protein as the third ingredient listed. See if it slowly changes their need to eat feathers. Trial and error. Worth a shot.

    Not all birds are the same and not all birds react to such differences.
     
  5. chickiegrrl

    chickiegrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2013
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    Thank you! I will try an eggs, then when our bag of Purina runs out, I'll switch them to a food with some animal protein in it. Thank you so much, I appreciate your reply. It was so disturbing to watch them horking down feathers like crazy! [​IMG] Off to boil some eggs. [​IMG]
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Well, my humor is dated. Doubt anyone under 55 gets half of my jokes and inferences.
     

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