Turkey's Eating Feathers

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by toto65, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. toto65

    toto65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Recently I have noticed one of my Blue Slate hens walking up to any of the three Royal Palms I have, reaching over and plucking a single feather from their back and eating it. She, the BS, is the one hen that I have that is agressive with the other birds. Is this just a way of showing her dominance? Or is it a sign of a lack of something in her diet??? I know in the past when I have dressed off some of my BBW's I would find small feathers in their gizzards but I never saw any of them purposely pluck and eat another birds feather like it was spagehtti! [​IMG]
     
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    I have noticed the feather plucking as well but mine do not eat the feathers. My hens do that to the tom. I wonder what that's all about. I'm waiting to see if an expert will chime in and give you the answer to your question. [​IMG]
     
  3. ziggywiggy

    ziggywiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I would definetly not call myself an expert but, it can be a lack of protien that causes poultry to eat feathers.
     
  4. toto65

    toto65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My birds eat layer pellets mixed with 16% sweet feed, they also get all the greenery they can eat although in Northern VT it is getting a bit scarce for them to forage. If it were a feed deficency I would think it would be all of them not just this one hen. Thay also ahve oyster shell free choice in a separate feeder and I have recently added a "flock block" to the food and treat menu. Out of my hens, she is the "top dog" so to speak, she is the one that will strut right along with the toms and try to gobble with them too.
    I too am waiting for one of the turkey experts to chime in on this subject. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  5. ziggywiggy

    ziggywiggy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Well maybe the rest of us should go away and leave the forum just to the "Turkey experts."
     
  6. toto65

    toto65 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Holland, VT
    First of all to ziggywiggy, I would like to say I was not attemting to be rude or lessen your experience in any way and my comment was addressed more to kuntrygirl, agreeing that I would like to hear from additional people who are knowledgeable about turkeys. I guess my quest to get answers to my question ruffled some feathers. Up until now I have not had any negative responses to any questions or issues that I have posted but I can see that some issues are touchy subjects here. Too bad that an innocent remark and a request for help with an issue that I have never seen before is getting a negative response.


    "I too am waiting for one of the turkey experts to chime in on this subject."

    I guess I should have said, I am waiting to see if anyone agrees or feels that there might be another reason for feather eating. [​IMG]
     
  7. turkaholic

    turkaholic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Although I've raised turkeys for years, I hardly consider myself an expert, since I'm always learning something new when it comes to these birds. My birds will eat feathers primarily during the molt, mainly the soft body contour feathers, never anything more than two inches in length. I thought it might be a protein or vitamin deficiency, but even adding more protein and vitamin suppliments hasn't stopped it. I think it may be a way of recycling nutrients rather than a lack of. Now birds that pick feathers out of another bird could be a sign of either stress or boredom. Stress, if too many birds are in an area or pen that doesn't give enough "personal" space to each bird . Pecking from boredom results when the birds have nothing to keep themselves occupied. Turkeys spend a good part of their day scratching and searching the ground, walking and foraging for anything edible. I am constantly providing my birds with watermelons, pumpkins, bamboo branches, and anything else for them to pick at .
     

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