Who Cut My Chickens Beaks Off!

| 2/14/2013 1:16:43 PM

clipped beaksThis 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 

dehorningLily, 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.

7/28/2016 11:17:54 AM

I was just curious about the chickens beak. I recently just picked up 2 chickens from a man that raises them and one of them has a short beak, like the one in the picture, however her bottom beak is a little longer than the top one. I am a little concerned because she can't seem to pick up mealworms but she has been eating normally besides that. Will her beak grow back normally? And is there any way that I can make things easier for her? Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated.

t brandt
2/19/2013 12:14:33 PM

You owe no one any apologies. Those who would protest have probably never ever gotten any manure on their boots, had thsoe boots stepped on by a hoof or placed themselves in a position where they could get gored in the ribs by an inadvertant bovine horn. You're a good steward respecting your livestock, providing for their needs at great sacrifice to yourself.. You don't get to avoid your chores because its too hot or rainy or too cold or you're sick...Those who object to these normal farm practices are apparently graduates of the Bambi School of Environmental Sciences, headquarters in Fantasyland, where all things are always perfect, at least to thier way of thinking.

2/19/2013 3:16:21 AM

hugs to you Kate! After helping my husband build a shelter for our new girls coming this weekend, in the brutal cold wind, it is nice to hear kind words. It IS hard work, but for some odd reason, we both enjoy it and get tremendous satisfaction from bettering our farm, their lives, and the lives of those who come to the farm.

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