Tom Turkey is Picking Out Chest Feathersgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
My tom turkey is picking out all of his chest feathers. However, the hen with him isn't. In The Homesteader's Handbook to Raising Small Livestock, Jd said oats can be fed if cannibalism or feather picking is a problem since the high fiber content of this grain is generally recognized as one means of reducing feather picking in chickens as well as in turkeys. The tom I had last year didn't have this problem and was fed the same diet of free choice whole kernel corn and sunflower seeds. Plus they free-range around the neighborhood, and they do like to go visiting. Has anyone else had this problem and does feeding oats help?
-- Ken Scharabok (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 29, 2000
Are you sure he's pulling them out? My toms are molting right now. Might that be the problem? They really look raggedy for a while, but the feathers grow back. Good luck.
-- Mona (email@example.com), June 29, 2000.
It doesn't appear to be molt. The feathers are only gone from the chest area where he can reach and there are about 1" stubs left. The white turkey I have last year did lose and regain his tail feathers.
-- Ken Scharabok (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 30, 2000.
Does he have mites? Dad use to dust them with wood ashes---this is just a guess as it has been many years since we raised turkeys! He use to put ashes out where they could dust in them & it took care of mites in the chickens & turkeys both. Sonda in Ks.
-- Sonda (email@example.com), June 30, 2000.
I now notice the hen is doing it also. I've come to the conclusion it is weather-related. By plucking out the chest feathers, it allows them more physical contact with the cool ground. Otherwise, the feathers would act as insulation.
-- Ken Scharabok (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 05, 2000.