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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blueseal, Aug 9, 2010.
i saw one of my older birds do that to a new bird i got a week ago.
Could be a dominance thing.
Feather eating could be a protein deficiency. Try upping the protein they get.
Feather eating is a sign of protein deficiency. They need more protein in their diet. Try a little bit of canned cat food or meat scraps from your kitchen. You can try a higher protein feed - 24% gamebird - but real meat scraps from your kitchen costs less - as does a few cans of wet cat food.
Don't go over board with the cat food - 1/2 of a small can every other day for a week to 10 days should get them back on track.
Or you can dig worms or collect grubs, buy a box of crickets or even feed them back some eggs - boiled eggs crushed with the shell included - will do the trick.
Often, it is protein, as MissPrissy said, but I have one particular hen who just loves to pluck the feathers from whatever rooster is with her at the time. She eats the saddle and hackle feathers and her protein levels are the same as everyone else's. Silly Olivia, it's only her.
Anyway, do up the protein and see if it gets better. To do that here, I give canned salmon to the crew, or sometimes mackerel. Drain off the water and that will keep the salt content down.
I have a feather picker. I got "egg boost" pellet food today which has more protein in it and am giving scraps. I am hoping that will help. I just got them a little over a month ago. It took awhile for them to adjust. But shortly after they started laying again they stopped. I only have one laying right now and she lays every other day. I hope this helps.
Most frequently as a source of protein, but boredom may also be a factor.
I had a feather picker, but switching to 20% protein feed and daily scatterings of BOSS for her to eat fixed the problem. HTH