Beaks that were trimmed (hacked) for shipping

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Lydia77, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Lydia77

    Lydia77 Out Of The Brooder

    We bought 8 brown chickens from Southern States, which we pre-ordered ahead of time. When we picked them up they were in very small stackable crates, about 12 per crate. I understand that their beaks had to be trimmed so that they don't peck each other to death however, some of there beaks were so severely hacked off that they look distorted. Instead of just the tips, they cut off a large portion of the top beak. We have had them now for at least a month and it doesn't seem like the beaks are growing out. Some of my girls even have trouble pulling pieces of kale or cabbage because their beak is so messed up. DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THESE BEAKS WILL EVENTUALLY GROW AND EVEN THEMSELVES OUT OR WILL THEY REMAIN AFFLICTED FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Such pullets are typically sold to the production houses, where the close quarters are such that beaks are trimmed to prevent cannibalism and feather eating behaviors.

    The down side of buying pullets ready to lay is that the beaks are often trimmed and the methods used typically prevent the beaks from growing back.
  3. Lydia77

    Lydia77 Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you for you input Fred ... I guess I'll just have to sit out there and continue to hand feed their goodies that they can't grab with their butchered beak!
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Their beaks weren't trimmed for shipping, they were done as chicks as these birds were intended for close confinement which does lead to pecking and cannibalism. They won't grow back.
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Your new hens' beaks were trimmed as if they were going to be sent to a commercial egg production facility, where they would be closely confined and prone to picking at eachother. In such places, all the birds eat is mounds of layer feed, with no need to have the ability to rip and tear. Beaks trimmed in this way will not grow back, unfortunately.
  6. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    I'm so sorry that your birds got their beaks mulitated in this way! They won't grow back because they actually burn them off with a machine. Ive seen videos of this and its done soon after hatching :( its so horrific to watch. You can find videos of this cruelity online if you look up beak removal in chicken factories or something along those lines. I came across the video and wanted to cry. They burn or sear the beak so it won't bleed. The chicks are handled so roughly and are screaming in pain. Your girls have been through a lot God bless them. Those factories act like chickens have no pain. It really should be outlawed its such a sad thing. The healing process is very painful too. because of the way its done(burning it off) sadly they're is not much hope for it to grow back. .. your birds are lucky they have found you instead of the awful conditions of the plant that most go too Wirth their Beaks burned off.. they are lucky girls. I'm so sorry this happened to your birds. Luckily they now have you to care for their special needs!
  7. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    We often buy started pullets, and from most hatcheries the started pullets are beak-trimmed. Meyer sells them for $8 each, and I can't bring a pullet up to point of lay for less than $13/bird right now, so although they look odd, we do it. I figure they were all meant for the big commercial layer barns, so the ones I buy are the lucky ones.

    We do not have any trouble with them not being able to eat, even those that were cut a bit severely. They also seem to forage quite well outside, and I don't see any differences in behavior between the beak-trimmed birds and the rest of my flock. They seem to hold their own just fine, and some are even at the top of the pecking order, even though more than half of our flock was hatched here and is not debeaked. The only thing I can think of that marks them out from my other flock member is that my started pullets are actually a bit calmer and friendlier than many of my other birds. Not sure if that's the hybrid (Golden Comet) or the fact that they probably had more people moving in and out of their quarters when they were young.

    As for your birds, no, the beak won't grow back. It sounds like the hatchery did a really bad job debeaking them. I would personally call the hatchery and give them a piece of your mind and ask for a discount on the birds, because they should not have beaks that are that much longer on the bottom. I don't however, believe that they will always be "special needs" birds. Make sure they have a feeder that they can use, and they will do fine as far as layer pellets. As far as greens, etc, it sounds like they may not be able to rip up kale, etc, but that won't stop them from eating other treats that don't have to be ripped up so much.
  8. wwtamm

    wwtamm Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 6, 2014
    I too have hens with the beak shorter on the top than the bottom. I was going to try to file the bottom so it would be easier for them to eat. I wasn't sure if it would be more pain for them and if I should do it. Just trying to do what is best for the hen. Any suggestions.

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