This week I went to pick up 20 new chickens from an older gentleman in our area that raises them in a sprawling red brick building. He was so kind that when I looked at the chickens and saw they didn’t have beaks, I didn’t know what to say. Being a little speechless, as I had forgotten they still clipped beaks and my mind was trying to grasp the thought, I didn’t know what to say. It was hard to get angry with him and “tell” my elder what I thought was wrong with him, consequently, I kicked myself all the way home that I bought them. It was just so cold and windy and all he was wearing was a thin pair of coveralls, so in trying to hurry for his sake, my mind could not come up with a proper reaction until I was homeward bound.
The reason they clip them is so that they do not peck one another to a bloody demise when many birds are housed close together. Occasionally, that is a problem in any environment, but it is usually a side effect of too many chickens in to little space. I did call him back and order 50 more WITH their beaks.
Our chickens are getting older and not laying as we would like so we will make chicken broth and soup out of the older hens and replace them with younger layers.
Infection From Dehorning
Lily, one of the Dexter/Mini Jersey crosses that we dehorned just recently, has a pretty good infection in her horn root. I had to get her in what we call the triangle (a gate installed close to a corner and when we close it against the wall, it forms a tight triangular place to work with a cow (see pic). A very cheap alternative to a shoot for vetting, haltering a cow that is shy, etc.
We cleaned out her horn area by spraying it with very diluted iodine to soften and then used a brush that we cleaned in Clorox water and rinsed out to brush away the dried up gunk. I then doused it with peroxide and then treated it with a product called Vetricyn Wound Spray which is a non-toxic healing spray that every household and barn should have. (A rep told be that it should be refrigerated after opening to keep it at full strength.) We use this for pink eye and almost any wound that needs treatment. It works very well and is safe. You can buy it at about any farm supply store.
I continued the Vetricyn treatment twice a day for a few days and all the seeping is now gone and it is dried up and looking good.