Rooster eating feathers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Celizwalsh, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. So I am pretty bummed because I had to cull my cuckoo Maran rooster. The fact that he was a rooster was a strike against him already because my father and neighbors didn't want to hear the crowing noise each morning. I really didn't want to get rid of him after reading all the pros to keeping a rooster around (plus he was respectful towards humans and very pretty) so I got him a stay of execution. His second strike was the fact that he kept attacking my hens. Each morning when I let them out of the coop he would target one and attack which totally stressed out the whole flock. The final strike against him was when I caught him eating some of the hen's feathers. I watched him deliberatly pluck feathers from three different hens and then proceed to eat them. I didn't want my hens to pick up that bad habit so I culled him immediately. So I guess my question is why was he eating feathers? I have seen my hens occasionally eat a feather or two off the ground but never directly off another bird like he did.


    I am still sad that it had to end this way because I hand raised him but I know I made the right choice. The mood in my flock has totally changed since his departure. They are much more relaxed/curious and no where near as flighty as they were. ​
  2. ShockValue

    ShockValue Songster

    Jan 10, 2010
    West Sound, Washington
    Not enough protein is often cited as a possible cause, stress being another.

    What do they eat on a daily basis?
  3. They have chicken feed available 24/7. Its a mix between the dumor grower/finisher (;-poultry-grower-finisher-15%-feed-50-lb) and a layer feed from gehman feed mill (I got it from a farmer friend who feeds it to his layers but unfortunately it doesn't list the % of protein). They also get a scoop of producers pride scratch grains (;-scratch-grain-50-lb) and acouple handfuls of mealworms (;-3-1-2-oz) every two or three days. Other then that they eat all kinds of fruit/veg scraps and occasionally some grass/weeds. Oh and they are about 16 weeks old if that helps at all.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: