why does one chicken peck feathers out of another chicken and eat them

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blueseal, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. blueseal

    blueseal Songster

    Jul 3, 2008
    i saw one of my older birds do that to a new bird i got a week ago.

  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Could be a dominance thing.
    Feather eating could be a protein deficiency. Try upping the protein they get.

    Good luck
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    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.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    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.
  5. Thousand Oaks Family

    Thousand Oaks Family In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2010
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    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.
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Most frequently as a source of protein, but boredom may also be a factor.
  7. Firefly

    Firefly Songster

    Mar 26, 2007
    I had a feather picker, but switching to 20% protein feed and daily scatterings of BOSS for her to eat fixed the problem. HTH [​IMG]

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