beak trimming - i'm not gonna do it, but what do i need to do?


7 Years
Apr 1, 2012
So there have been loads of articles on here, and elsewhere saying beak trimming is cruel etc etc.

I agree. We have two parrots and won't trim cut their flight feathers either! People use the same argument - its safer not to have them flying....but IMO, it just means the owner is lazy. Put the effort in and they'll be safe.

ANYWAY, if i don't trim their beaks (the chickens), do i need to do anything to stop them hurting each other as chicks or adults?

Give them enough space to live, and enough food for everyone, and they won't need to hurt each other. Sure, you might have some pecking order tussles, but chickens with enough space, water and food don't need to fight and kill each other. We raise HUNDREDS of chickens, and have never cut a beak!
I came into possession of a pair of hens that were debeaked. The poor dears cant scratch or feed like the other hens. In the area where I live its an accepted practice and common. I am against it though. The method used on them was to remove the bone under the beak and cauterize the beak to prevent it from growing back. So all they have is a lower beak. Another method is to use a tool like a dremel and sand it down to a dull point.

If your worried about over growth, I dont think that should be a problem. My chicks are almost a month old and I have not needed to worry about any form of beak trimming. They dont need it that I can see. Yeah they peck at each other but thats normal. As long as they are not tearing out feathers and causing open bleeding wounds.

As they get older they should be able to control thier beak growth by scratching and such outside, unless they have no access to something that is a natural abrasive.

As adults, again they should not do it to any real harm unless (as I have read here) there is one that is instigating the behavior and causing an open wound. Chickens peck at open wounds, its what they do. If you have one that is causing the problem, separate the offender. there are some nifty tools out there to prevent pecking.

Blue cote (sp) is supposed to prevent other birds from pecking or harassing a wounded hen or rooster.
Like Cassidy said, plenty of room and food for all and they should be fine. They will establish their pecking order but shouldn't actually hurt each other. They start on the pecking order at a pretty young age and it's amusing to see little fuzzy butts chest bumping and neck stretching. You'll learn what's normal pretty quick.

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