broken beaks???

chickabiddies

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
48
0
22
This is great ... I have a killer question that I can't figure out and then BAM ... I found this sight. Now I can ask my question and get some REAL help!!!

yesterday when I went out to my barn I noticed that one of my birds (born may 11th) had a beak that was injured. The upper beak tip had been ripped off and was just hanging off one side. My husband and I snipped the hanging beak with nail clippers and separated the bird for the day so nobody would peck at her beak and she could eat, drink, and rest undisturbed. That night I put her back with the other birds.
this morning I went out and she was doing really well .. but I noticed 2 other birds who had sore spots (?) developing on their beaks.

I have googled beak diseases etc. and can't find anything of real substance. I do see some questions regarding this type of issue but have a few questions of my own.

Before I ask my questions here's some background:

We just opened up an outside run so they would have more "to do". Although their coop is big enough, and clean (dirt floor with pine shavings), and they have plenty of food and water (with ACV added) I thought maybe they were still missing something.
Okay here's my real question -
First, what causes this?????
Do they do it themselves or do others do it to them?
Is this a phase, or bad habit like feather picking etc?

Hope someone out there who is more experienced can enlighten me ... I'm truly baffled!
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
576
448
South Georgia
Never heard of it. My guess is that they are injuring themselves, though I can't imagine on what. What kind of feeder and waterer do you use? Anything else in there? Are they in their chicken coop? Is there something in there they could be putting their beak into and getting it stuck?
 

chickabiddies

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
48
0
22
I thought the same thing, but honestly, I can't figure out what they would be hurting themselves on. The two walls are cement, the other two are chicken wire on 4X4's, the floor is dirt, with wood chips, and there are two perches held up by wood.
My waterers/feeders are the regular metal and plastic ones sold at Tractor Supply/Country Max .... I clean them every day and put fresh water, & food in, usually morning and evening since they are not yet hanging and sit no the floor (well, now they are on the grass and a couple in the coop). The walls aren't smooth, and are older ... could they catch it in the wall? Odd thing about that is the initial wound doesn't seem to jive with that theory. The 2 birds I found this morning had a small dot on their nose that looked like if it kept getting irritated (however that is) it could come off in the same area the first one's did. Plus, whenever I watch them they don't even pay attention to the walls. maybe getting it stuck in the chicken wire ... but then I would think more people would talk about it. 'sigh'

Would they be pecking each other? I really can't figure out why they would be unhappy or peck each other. Certainly can't find any weird beak disease lurking in the archives that I didn't know about. Maybe after being outside a couple of days it will stop as mysteriously as it started .....
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
576
448
South Georgia
Mine peck the walls all the time. Maybe you are just missing it.

I don't know; quite a mystery. Maybe it's time to go out there with a book and a lawn chair...
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
576
448
South Georgia
Quote:
That's a thought. I have read they need rock or brick or concrete to sharpen their beaks on.

Had another thought: rats. They bite babies in cribs in the cities, so why not chicks. Sounds like the kind of building rat would love to take up residence in. See any rat tunnels?
 

chickabiddies

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
48
0
22
Okay, just went out to check my birds and it seems (could be my imagination or missing some this morning - they do run fast) there are more with beaks following the same pattern.

They are pecking the walls ... I did finally see that. Wouldn't they stop pecking the wall if it was hurting their beak? I thought it was a sensitive area of their body? Getting it stuck would be more logical but then ...
1. Why would there be more this evening than this morning since they have been outside away from the concrete all day, and
2. Wouldn't it just rip the beak off (ouch, it hurts to even say that) as the first one's did?

Rats ... I'll examine for possible tunnels in the barn. It'll be hard to determine if there are any because we had an issue this winter with freezing and expanding water behind the wall.
Now school me here ... would rats climb over the chicken wired 4X4's, or be more apt to dig under? There are no digging holes, and because the "coop" isn't totally finished yet, it would be pretty easy for them to get in that way if they wanted.

thanks for brainstorming with me. I honestly appreciate it. I love having these birds and don't want to see them hurt or loose any .....
 

chickabiddies

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
48
0
22
Actually, now that I think about it ... I do need to plan for rat possibilities, but I don't think that's my problem here. it would be a mighty smart rat to make such a small mark on their beak, and not take a good bite somewhere meatier ...
I'll have to do a count check tonight while they are quiet.
 

chickabiddies

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
48
0
22
I can definitely get a picture .... and I'll try to post it. New here so I'm not sure what it involves, but GREAT idea. Thank you. I'll run out and try to get the pictures before it gets dark ... it's close enough that they should all be roosting or at least quiet.

I did just read something on another sight that mentioned beaks getting dry? Possibly something missing in the diet (can't imagine what), or illness (they seem to be fine)

They advice putting olive oil on the beak to soften it. I don't know ... what do you guys think?
 

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