|Posted by Peter Shands on January 2, 2013 at 5:40 AM|
While I was publishing the 2 fact sheets on feather picking today I re-read Fred Jeffrey's excellent section in his book BANTAM CHICKENS. This section is now included in our site.
What occurred to me was that the Campine naturally ticks a few of the "predisposing boxes".
I select for slow feathering birds as I believe they more often than not become the best marked birds ... slow feathering birds are natural targets. Also bright coloured birds seem to be targets (according to Fred Jeffrey) which explains why my Campines get feather picked even when running with my wyandottes that are not.
This year in an effort to keep the chicks busy I fed wheat as scratch mix and probably too much of it perhaps, so this led to a reduction in the protein intake and therefore a demand for more via feather picking.
And despite my very best intentions my work schedule meant I did not mover growers into larger pens early enough.
End result I now have to manage the results of my own influence ... I don't any longer believe it is a breed fault. Simply, there is a natural accumulation of predisposing factors that are inherent in the Campines and that means we breeders must learn the best practices and follow them.
So if you have any observations please post these here so the breed benefits.
Oh by the way ... I cannot let the Campines run free here due to the fox highway we live on and the aerial predators that to date have kept sparrows, starlings and Indian Mynah birds away (for over 25 years). Two neighbours have had midday fox raids this week with heavy losses.
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