Beak trimming as part of wound after-care maintenance

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tlagnhoj, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. tlagnhoj

    tlagnhoj Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Indy
    About a month or so ago I posted that one of my hens broke her upper beak. It looked like she ran smack straight into something because the break was across the entire surface of the beak and it was pushed back towards her head. I'm happy to say that minimal intervention from me (really, there wasn't anything I could do anyway) and nature have resulted in a perfectly good replacement beak growing back.

    My problem now is that without the normal foraging activity on the lower beak, it too is growing...beyond the natural length. It's bad enough that the food has to be kept extra deep for her to get to it with the upper beak being shorter, but now the lower one is adding to the difference by growing! [​IMG] I'm thinking a quick trim back to normal length is a right proper solution. (There is a growth line visible on the lower beak to act a guide, lucky me.) But I am not sure the best way to do this. Obviously with a second set of hands, but what tool is best? Do they make a clipper shaped specifically for trimming beaks or would the claw trimmer I use on my dog work? His nails are probably a lot harder than the thin little bit of keratin that's growing on her lower beak, so I don't think it would take much pressure. My biggest concern is keeping it shaped as close to natural as possible. I'd file it down for her, but not sure she'd sit still long enough for that!

    Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Jenn
     
  2. jamesnoldsr

    jamesnoldsr Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2011
    North Central Texas
    I used a fingernail trimmer (human) to trim the beak of a slightly crossbeaked rooster we have. Just do a little at a time and reevaluate your work after each snip rather than trying to get it all in one clip. You should be fine!
     
  3. Mudsow

    Mudsow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2009
    I've used a dremmel tool with the sandpaper wheel to trim the upper beak on my hen. She was kept indoors, so her beak would grow parrot-like on top, and she would have trouble picking things up off the floor, so I would trim it even. Again, she had a grow out "guide" to help. It was really easy and fast. And you can go a little at a time, so it's not like WHACK.

    Mine was battery operated, but they make plug in type that are variable speed too.

    I also use them on my dog's nails to keep them ground down.
     
  4. tlagnhoj

    tlagnhoj Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Indy
    Quote:Thanks. Did you cut straight on to the beak or angle the clippers to be more parallel to each side of the beak? (Am I making sense with that question?) Thankfully, it's not very much at all but I want to get it before it gets any longer.
     
  5. jamesnoldsr

    jamesnoldsr Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2011
    North Central Texas
    We cut parallel to the beak but that was because his grows slightly crooked so that the one side gets longer than the other. If your hens beak is growing too long, you might have to trim straight on to it but then round it out with your nail trimmers to smooth out the corners. Just go nice and slow cause as I think you know, you can hurt them. I would imagine it would be like quicking a dog by trimming its nails too short. Won't kill them, but it hurts.
     

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