Feather picking

oberhasli1August 4, 2008

I have 4 australorps that are about 5 months old. I ordered them from our feed store. I usually have good luck, but I am pretty sure instead of 4 hens, I have 2 hens and 2 roosters. Bummer. But, one of the roosters likes to sidle up to the other Australorps and pull feathers and then eats them. He only does this while they are in their large outdoor enclosure. Is this a dietary problem or just a nervous habit? They get Purina Layena pellets and scratch every day. I already have a rooster, so I will eventually have to get rid of the new boys, but in the meantime, I was wondering if the rooster in question needs more protein? I have read that giving them dry cat chow is a good way to increase their protein. Any thoughts? Anyone need a nice looking Australorp rooster?

Bonnie

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sullicorbitt(z5 MA)

Hi Bonnie,
there are a number of theories concerning feather picking, one like you mentioned is a lack of protein (which you can remedy by adding extra to their diet). Another is boredom, you can try various techniques to keep them busy like hanging cabbages etc. In my opinion the quicker you deal w/the problem the better. Once a habit has started it can be difficult to break it. You could try separating the offender for a couple of days. Or you can order rooster booster's "pick-no-more" lotion, it works well, you put it on the bird being pecked and it pretty much takes care of that bird. I've had this problem in the past usually in the winter months when the birds are bored and confined more. I always add extra protein during these months (via gamebird feed), but to be honest this never fixed the problem. The only relief I found for my birds was the lotion mentioned above.

Hope this helps.

Sheila

Here is a link that might be useful: Rooster Booster

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 6:04AM
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