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Why are my chickens eating feathers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mamachicken888, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. mamachicken888

    mamachicken888 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2011
    East Oklahoma
    They're not only eating them, they're plucking them right out of each other's little fluffy parts, if you know what I mean. Every so often, I hear a "squaaawwkkk!" and I know what just happened because I've seen it several times. Is there a reason they are eating the feathers? They are getting standard chicken food and it looks like a real good mix of grains.
     
  2. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Because they're nutritious and delicious? [​IMG]
    I think it's a protein thing.
    You can type Eating Feathers in the Search box above, it searches all posts on this site.
    Someone with more knowledge on the subject will surely answer.
    Free bump up!
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  3. BCchick

    BCchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 3, 2011
    Mine eat feathers they find on the ground, but I've never seem them actually pluch each other.
    From what I've read, it's a fairly typical behavior.
     
  4. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 5, 2011
    my friends hen use to be really weird she wait till every one was on the perch then she would run up and jump and pluck a frwather out there bums then run and hide then keep coming back and forth doing it
     
  5. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Chickens require a certain amount of protein in order to remain healthy. If they don't get what they need they will pull feathers from other chickens and even from themselves, and eat them. (Feathers are protein). This can lead to injuries and bleeding, and can be a dangerous situation around other chickens, since the sight of blood usually inspires a vicious attack.

    Feather picking can also be a problem of space in the chicken coop. They will peck at each others feathers trying to force the one next to them to move over and after a few days of this it can be quite damaging and lead to cannibalism within the flock. Birds who lose the most feathers can go from being the dominant bird to the victim of flock aggression and death in a matter of days.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011

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