“Beakicures”: BEAK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES for Scissor Beak/ Cross Beak/ Crooked Beak Chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Gregory Peck, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Gregory Peck

    Gregory Peck Out Of The Brooder

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    “Beakicures”: BEAK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES for Scissor Beak/ Cross Beak/ Crooked Beak Chickens

    Hi everyone,

    My partner and I are very new to urban chicken raising (as of March 2012). We have a Scissor Beak/ Cross Beak/ Crooked Beak hen in our flock and are trying desperately to find more information on how to manage her beak situation. It is still illegal to keep urban hens where we live, so we can't see a vet for fear of being 'outed' and reported.

    This website has been so helpful! There is SO MUCH information, scattered in so many threads, along with so much other banter that does not address the initial question to poster asked about...not to mention varying names for this condition.... it's overwhelming! So far I have found that BYC people seem to chose the following:

    · Human nail files (emery boards & motorized)
    · Human nail clippers
    · Pet nail files (motorized, i.e. ‘Pedi Paws’)
    · Pet nail clippers
    · Dremels (from what I understand, these are tools with small, differently shaped rotating attachments that sanding)

    We have likely put in over 8 hours on this site, trying to find detailed info on how to go about managing her overgrown-hawk-like beak...I hesitated to create yet another thread... until today! What if we could organize the information - it might be easier for newbies (like me) to get the information needed without needing to sift through all the other threads (yes...I am ambitious and idealistic, but it’s worth a shot right??)

    Here’s what I was thinking, we could organize our posts with numbered bullet points and headings, like this below. Just copy & paste, then fill in the blanks (I added some prompts to help ya get started):

    1. Preparation: (what do you do to keep your chicky calm/keep from wiggling? Tool & prop set-up? Done inside?Outside etc...)
    2. Tools/Props used: (Brand name? Speed? Attachments? etc...)
    3. Beakicure Procedure: (How do you start? What do you do? How do you end? etc...)
    4. Why does this method work for you?: (Time efficiency? Ease? etc...)
    5. Tips/Additional Info: (what TO do? What NOT to do? etc...)
    6. Videos/ Photos: (I have seen SO MANY requests for videos/photos--> PLEASE SOMEONE!! Show us what you do! A picture is worth a thousand words...and a video, maybe a zillion more!)

    Here is a photo of our little scissor/cross/crooked beak chicky at 3 months (who is now 7 months, with an even worse beak). We were told she was an Ameracauna...but she may be an Easter Egger. Quite the character...as most of our differently abled chickies are!


    [​IMG]



    I HOPE THIS THREAD PRODUCES SOME DETAILED, EASY TO FIND & HELPFUL INFO
    FOR THE CHICKEN KEEPERS WHO ARE NEW TO

    SCISSOR/CROSS/CROOKED BEAKS!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
    2 people like this.
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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     Doing this on a stupid IPad.

    1. Preparation: (what do you do to keep your chicky calm/keep from wiggling? Tool & prop set-up? Done inside?Outside etc...)

      I hold mine I'm my lap when I work on them. Some might say to wrap in a towel. Have tools/supplies readily available. Choose well lit area, inside or out. Lately I've had to wear reading glasses, so I always have them when treating a bird.

    2. Tools/Props used: (Brand name? Speed? Attachments? etc...)

      I only have one beak to trim and she's not that bad, so I use nail clippers or wire cutters for small gauge wire.

    3. Beakicure Procedure: (How do you start? What do you do? How do you end? etc...)

      Cut excess beak off.

    4. Why does this method work for you?: (Time efficiency? Ease? etc...)

      Total time is less than 10 minutes. That includes the time it takes to find tools and catch bird.

    5. Tips/Additional Info:  (what TO do? What NOT to do? etc...)

      Do not trim too much. Take little bits at a time to avoid quicking.

    6. Videos/ Photos: (I have seen SO MANY requests for videos/photos--> PLEASE SOMEONE!! Show us what you do! A picture is worth a thousand words...and a video, maybe a zillion more!)

      I was just thinking about doing mine... I get some before and after pictures for you.

    One thing that helps theses birds is feeding out of deep dishes or giving them pellets/crumble mixed with water. I let mine eat right out of the feed bag, lol.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. birds333

    birds333 New Egg

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    I love your little girl!
    We have a little one that is about 5 months old right now.
    She is the most loving of all our chickens.
    Hope she continues to do well.
     
  4. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    My Coop

    Welcome to BYC!

    -kathy
     
  5. Gypsylion

    Gypsylion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thus far I've trimmed many beaks and toenails that were long, though only a couple of crossed beaks. HOWEVER, one of the polish babies a friend and I are raising has a pretty significant crossbeak issue going on, so I suspect I'll gain quite a bit more experience in the near future. [​IMG]

    So, here's my experience thus far. I'll try to post some before/during/after pics of the current chickadee when I trim its beak tomorrow evening.

    1. Preparation: (what do you do to keep your chicky calm/keep from wiggling? Tool & prop set-up? Done inside?Outside etc...)
    -- I have a lot of experience handling/restraining a lot of different types of animals, so I just hold them relatively still, usually on my lap and slightly under my left arm (leaving my right hand free to do the trimming). Sometimes with chickens it helps to lay them on their side or nearly on their backs and wait a moment for them to accept that they are restrained.

    2. Tools/Props used: (Brand name? Speed? Attachments? etc...)
    -- I find human toenail clippers (like this) to be pretty useful, mostly because that's what I already have on hand. [​IMG] That said, I like the previous poster's comment about using wire clippers - nail clippers are usually slightly curved, and if you're trying to straighten out the side of a beak the curve is less than helpful.

    3. Beakicure Procedure: (How do you start? What do you do? How do you end? etc...)
    -- I generally think about what a "normal" beak looks like, and what parts of the misformed beak are "in the way" so I can figure out where to trim the *least* to have the greatest possible positive effect. Then I trim a little bit at a time - probably 1/2mm or less most of the time, or a bit more if it's the end of a fairly long beak - usually starting with the tip and finishing with any parts along the sides. Like with dog/cat nails or your own nails... you can take more off of a long nail to start, but then you get a bit more careful once you get closer to the skin.
    -- All-in-all it really only takes a few minutes at this point.

    4. Why does this method work for you?: (Time efficiency? Ease? etc...)
    -- I already have the tools on hand, and it seems pretty straightforward and easy for me, and therefore relatively easy and straightforward for the birds too.

    5. Tips/Additional Info: (what TO do? What NOT to do? etc...)
    -- The biggest thing-I've-learned-from-experience is how to gauge when they will be holding still for another 1-2 seconds and when they are about to move/struggle. When in doubt, be patient and calmly wait the few seconds until they hold still again before you go for the cut.

    6. Videos/ Photos: (I have seen SO MANY requests for videos/photos--> PLEASE SOMEONE!! Show us what you do! A picture is worth a thousand words...and a video, maybe a zillion more!)
    --Will post some soon!

    Hope this little bit of experience is helpful to someone. Cheers! [​IMG]
     

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