Why is my rooster chewing his tail feathers?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CS-Flock, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. CS-Flock

    CS-Flock New Egg

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    One of my 18 month old Silkie roosters is chewing his tail feathers, not plucking them. The shaft (Rachis) of the feathers are still there, and cut short, but the vane of the feather is gone. I haven't actually seen him in the act, I just assume that's what he's doing, because my other rooster and my hen's feathers look just fine, so I didn't think it could be a parasite. Oyster shells are mixed in with the feed every day, so it can't be a calcium deficiency either. Any thoughts???




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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  2. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He's lacking protein..... What are you feeding.... What's the protein content... I may have to revise my thoughts.....
     
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  3. Roan

    Roan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I'm not mistaken, oyster shells are supposed to be free-choice. Give it to them separately for awhile and see what happens. I could be that he's filling up on oyster shells more than actual feed since they're mixed together.
     
  4. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Too much calcium, oyster shells, is not good for roosters... they don't lay eggs so they don't need the calcium...
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Look closely for parasites...or it could be one of the other chickens eating them.
    You have 2 roos and a hen living together?
     
  6. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't rule out feather mites. I understand they feed on and hide in the feather shaft. He could be the one who has them first.
     
  7. CS-Flock

    CS-Flock New Egg

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    They're all separated in their own coops, I know I can't have two roosters in one coop together and the hen is quite a few years older than both roosters, and
    I've been told it's better not to have a big age difference between coop-mates. In the morning I'll take a closer look for bugs. If that's what it is what would you suggest I use to get rid of them? Today I bought an all natural poultry protector, which takes care of mites, lice, fleas and ticks, because I've been needing to buy something for red mites. I also occasionally bathe my chickens, I used to use baby shampoo, but then I switched to Organic Oscar (an all natural and organic shampoo). I use the Holistic Bite and Itch Relief formula because it heals and prevents bug skin irritations, I checked the ingredients and it's safe to use on them, and makes them smell really nice too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
  8. Roan

    Roan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try Diatomaceous Earth. Put it in a shallow area out of the weather so they can dust bathe in it. Make sure you get food grade!

    We had a situation where we got eggs out of one of the nest boxes and it was covered with chicken lice. We sprinkled DE in all of the boxes, and on the coop floor and no signs of lice anywhere since then. That was almost a year ago so I'm sure we need to do it again but DE really does great! We employ the deep litter method so our birds use the coop floor for dust bathing.
     
  9. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also use food grade diatomaceous earth. I mix it in with the sand in their dust bathing areas, and have put it in the nest boxes, on the floors, on the roosts, and on individual birds. Mites hate it. When I first discovered mites I used permethrin powder for poultry, which worked for around a year, then the mites built an immunity towards it.

    I would use caution on bathing with soap and water, because it washes their natural oils off.
     
  10. Roan

    Roan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2
     

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