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pulling and eating feathers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by waitin on eggs, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. waitin on eggs

    waitin on eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2010
    Spartansburg,PA
    Today I noticed my girls pulling feathers out of each other and then eating them. Is this a lack of protein or boredom? They are used to free ranging, but because of the large amounts of snow being dumped on us over the past couple days they have not been out much at all. Should I be concerned or just give them more protein? Any advice would be great! Thank you
     
  2. mrkep

    mrkep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2010
    Richwood , Ohio
    As a first time chicken owner, I can only tell you what I learned here, and it seems to be effective: I have been feeding game bird feed (higher protein) and I put a feed block in the coop. The block is also higher protein and it seems to give them something to do when they don't want to be out in the cold/ snow. The feather picking has slowed down and maybe stopped, my roo has already started to regrow feathers.
    Hope this helps, mrkep
     
  3. mrkep

    mrkep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2010
    Richwood , Ohio
    Edit, I didn't totally substitute the game feed, I feed it as scratch and have a small container of it for them to eat as wanted.
    mrkep
     
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Every body's gonna say lack of protein. I say boredom & chickens will eat darn near anything. I read a thread where a guy was butchering a chicken & found a nut & bolt in her gizzard or where ever.
     
  5. waitin on eggs

    waitin on eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2010
    Spartansburg,PA
    Quote:Thank you for responding, I was wondering about the feed block, Do you hang it or just set it somewhere? and is there a particular brand or kind of game bird feed thats better?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  6. waitin on eggs

    waitin on eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2010
    Spartansburg,PA
    Quote:What do you recommend for boredom, It's gonna be a long winter:confused:
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If your birds aren't still recovering from a molt, I'd guess boredom, especially if they're use to being out and about. Will it hurt to add high protein snacks? No. But I'd try to find ways to fight boredom. Try hanging cabbage heads, or shovel them an area or path, throw down a little straw so they can get out and stretch their legs.
    I'm not suggesting that your coop is too small, but that's part of the reason most folks on BYC recommend plenty of space per chicken (at least 4sq. ft.) for people who live in areas that get winters. People complain about feeling "all cooped up" in winter time; that phrase came about for a reason.
     
  8. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Hang cabbage or greens for them to pick at! Flock block can just sit on the floor.
     
  9. waitin on eggs

    waitin on eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2010
    Spartansburg,PA
    Quote:I did try cabbage (they don't like it) I offer them boss daily. Our coop is 4 X 8 and I only have 3 girls I like the idea of the flock block, Do they like mirrors in the coop to keep them entertained or would that just upset them?? (my dd thought of this one)
     
  10. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I've been raking up leaves & throwing them in the run they love scratching around in the leaves.
     

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