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Debeaking techniques

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We must all face a reality that chickens do have a pecking order and are often very mean and cruel animals to each other.  Even the healthiest chickens given the best nutrients and feeds out there ---DO NOT CARE--- and will often on occasion kill another chicken.  I've been raising chickens for many years, and I can assure you that they do get a "blood lust" once there is an open wound.  They LOVE the taste of blood.

 

People come up with a lot of reasons for pecking - and sometimes they make sense - but most of the time the reality just exists that pecking order is natural and chickens can be awfully cruel.   THIS THREAD IS NOT TO DISCUSS THIS.

 

Nor is this thread asking for suggestions on alternatives such as "Peepers" which are plastic devices that can fall off.  I understand they are effective but I'd rather not discuss them.   

 

Nor is this thread asking for a lecture on the whether or not debeaking is cruel.   (so is letting chickens get pecked to death by others)

 

 

So basically I want to avoid ideological, moral, and ethical discussions about debeaking in this thread!  Debeaking is a major part of the poultry industry for a reason!  Many of us backyard chicken keepers may not need debeaking.  However when your flock gets over 500 chickens, different needs arise.  So please let's be friendly and stay on topic and not debate here.

 


Let's talk about debeaking techniques, how it is done, and alternatives to expensive debeaking machine.

 

 

First, I was curious if anybody has ever used a hot knife to debeak (not part of a machine)?  Something like this.

http://www.harborfreight.com/130-watt-heavy-duty-hot-knife-60313.html


I was considering drilling some holes of various sizes in a piece of sheet metal and putting about 1/3rd of the upper and lower beak on a 5-10 day old chick through the hole.  Then running the hot knife down the backside directly against the sheet metal with the tip of the beak poking through.  I believe this will cut/melt the beak and cauterize any bleeders.   The knife's temp runs similar to Lyon unit debeakers.  I am unfamiliar if Lyon blades are actually sharp, but is more like a "melt cut" does anybody know?

 

 

Second, does anybody know of less expensive brand debeakers than Lyons.  Putting up $300++ for a debeaker is pretty high for non-commercial purposes.

 

 

Any ideas?

Thank you

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeshuaisiam View Post

Many of us backyard chicken keepers may not need debeaking.  However when your flock gets over 500 chickens, different needs arise.
Quote:
Putting up $300++ for a debeaker is pretty high for non-commercial purposes.

Do you need a debeaker, or don't you?
post #3 of 7

Sorry, I know nothing about debeaking.  I am just amazed that someone can have 500 pet chickens.  What do you do with the eggs if you are not selling them?  I'm fairly new to all this and thought I was a bit crazy to have 14 pullets with just the 2 of us to eat the eggs.  I have several happy neighbors getting free eggs. 

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Family, friends, but mostly give them to people at church.   Now that's out of the way

Quote:
Originally Posted by wamtazlady View Post
 

Sorry, I know nothing about debeaking.  I am just amazed that someone can have 500 pet chickens.  What do you do with the eggs if you are not selling them?  I'm fairly new to all this and thought I was a bit crazy to have 14 pullets with just the 2 of us to eat the eggs.  I have several happy neighbors getting free eggs. 

Not trying to be ugly, but this kind of hijacks my thread.  But to answer, family & friends get free eggs, but mostly people at our church & homeschool group.   We also hatch a lot of chicks and raise meat birds.   I eat my pets sometimes.

 

Now let's talk debeaking.

post #5 of 7

Not trying to hijack your thread.  Look at it this way.  I just wrote on it.  Now it will go to the top again and be seen.  Every time someone posts on your thread it goes to the top.  That is good for you since your topic is not a favorite on this forum from what I've seen.  From what I've read around here, most are anti debeaking.  So, if no one answers on your thread again, it is not because I asked you a question.  It is because no one has anything to help you in your endeavor.  ​

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wamtazlady View Post
 

Not trying to hijack your thread.  Look at it this way.  I just wrote on it.  Now it will go to the top again and be seen.  Every time someone posts on your thread it goes to the top.  That is good for you since your topic is not a favorite on this forum from what I've seen.  From what I've read around here, most are anti debeaking.  So, if no one answers on your thread again, it is not because I asked you a question.  It is because no one has anything to help you in your endeavor.  ​

I was very specific that I didn't want to discuss the ethics about this - but rather just the techniques used.  Once again, your reply is not discussing the topic and baiting me to go into the ethics. 

I stated in my first post that chickens ARE cannibals, they do LOVE to eat blood, and the reality is that debeaking is a worldwide industry standard.  We don't have to like it.  It is even written in USDA books as a method to keep chickens from tearing each other apart.  Some call it even more humane than watching a chickens vent being torn apart by the flock because it had egg block that day.

 

My thread is to discuss techniques, and no, not everybody will agree with it.  Some do however, because when they have large flocks they don't like to go outside watching 40 chickens gutting another bird just because that poor bird got cut on something in the yard.

 

Now please, I'm interested in learning debeaking techniques only.  There are different techniques used worldwide by both novices and professionals alike.   Some use hot cutters, some lasers, and some cut and cauterize.... I'm trying to learn of other techniques, that is all.

post #7 of 7

Thank you for starting this thread, as I too need to know how and when  to debeak.

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