Why do chickens eat feathers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenchickenbulkbulk, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. chickenchickenbulkbulk

    chickenchickenbulkbulk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our older chicken will pluck the feathers out of the your chickens..when they do the will eat the feathers. Are they lacking something in their diet or is this just chicken behavior?
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    They could be lacking something. Some people have said when they increase the protein in their chickens' diet they pick and eat feathers less.
     
  3. kees

    kees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    Are they picking the feathers from the top of the other chickens' heads? If so, it might a dominant behaviour.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. kwynn's birds Alaska

    kwynn's birds Alaska Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i've seen this too. I was wondering the same thing. I saw my older leghorn rip the rear feather out of my young light brahma, and was eating it. and about increasing protein. (when i was younger my aunt told me to not feed my quaker too many sunflower seeds, because they contain a lot of protein, and make him more aggressive.) if I feed them extra protein, will it make them aggressive?

    sorry to take up your post...maybe it'll help us both out [​IMG]
     
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    I've not heard of extra protein making them mean or nasty. I throw in a few handfulls of dry cat food once a week for my 14 adult layers. This has seemed to eliminate the problem for me.

    It could also be out of boredom they are feather picking. If you search on here, you can find all sorts of things folks to to give their chickens something else to focus on other than picking. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  6. kwynn's birds Alaska

    kwynn's birds Alaska Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:any special type of cat food?
     

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