Strange hen behavior?


In the Brooder
11 Years
May 12, 2008
Howdy all! It's been a while since I posted, so I'll give a short update. Since I wrote last, we lost 3 chickens.
Two to a neighbor dog that broke through our fence. grr (The owner fixed the fence and we built a much better run.) And the third flew over our old run fence and was stepped on by a horse in our pasture. So, after putting a nice 6-ft fence around the run, predators of all types are shut out and my remaining chickens are safe.

My banty hen started laying small tan eggs and my RIR hen also started laying. How fun it has been for my children to find eggs in the hen house now. In fact, they get disappointed when the girls don't lay. I've got 7 more hens who should start laying in December or January - providing they lay in winter, which we have yet to find out.

My question for today is that my RIR hen has been plucking the bum feathers out of my smaller hens and eating them. At first she was finding only the softest small feathers on the ground and eating them up, now she's pulling them out. The smaller hens are trying to avoid her like the plague, as this hurts!! I tried to research a bit online and found where it could be a protein deficiency? Strange thing there is I have 3 types of food available to my chickens... Starter, layer food, and grower/finisher. I also offer treats such as meal worms, veggies, yogurt, oatmeal, and scratch on an almost daily basis. (Not all at once, but one or two treats a day.) Could she really be deficient in protein or is this a bully type behavior? Thanks for your help!

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