Buying Chicks or chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by casablanca, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. casablanca

    casablanca New Egg

    Jan 14, 2014
    I haven't been on this board for at least 5 years but I wanted to share something with you that I recently observed. To establish my creds I can tell you that I have been raising chickens since 2003 and before then for several more years during the 80's when I lived on a farm. I recently bought 6 hens from a man near my house and when I got them home I noticed their beaks were cut. My operation is all free range and these hens I bought have never seen the Sun or even set foot on the ground but lived their whole life in a coop. Needless to say they thought they died and went to Heaven when they came to my place. After about a week of getting them acclimated to their new surroundings I let them out with the other hens. A little timid at first they all eventually went out and started to explore the land. I noticed that though they tried they were virtually unable to pick anything off the ground with their cut beaks and they mostly hung around the feeder or else they would starve to death. My other hens (6) with intact beaks are out from about 10 AM until dark when they go into the hen house to sleep. All day they are scratching for grubs and bugs and eating a lot of clover and grass. Now I keep meticulous records on everything and I have noticed an incredible increase in the amount of feed I'm going through. Way more than double as I expected from doubling my head count. This whole story has led me to the following conclusion. Cutting a chickens beak is a terrible idea unless the birds are going to be kept in extremely crowded confinement with barely enough room to turn around so it doesn't matter if they only ever eat out of a feeder. However if the birds are going to be on mother earth the worst (and most expensive) thing you can do is to cut their beaks. Companies that produce chicken feed probably love the practice of cutting a chicks beak because it garrantees that they will sell more feed. Sometimes I think this is the real reason for the practice.
    1 person likes this.
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You won't find a lot of people here who would do this, or have it done. I wish hatcheries wouldn't offer it, personally.

    How sad for your birds -- but how great that you removed them from that life!
  3. clutterbegone

    clutterbegone New Egg

    Oct 11, 2008
    that is so sad. I have never cut any of my chickens beaks
  4. shmccarthy

    shmccarthy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2013
    That is really sad. :/ after I started keeping chickens I looked a lot more into chicken factory farms and it made my stomach churn. I had no idea how bad it was for them, living in such bad conditions all with their beaks cut and not being able to set foot on grass. It just makes me want to raise chickens even more. I figure that's less money in their pocket and I get to know my eggs came from chickens that are happy and healthy :)
  5. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2012
    New Jersey
    Their history is sad but at least now they will have a wonderful time living the life that chickens should have. Free ranging. NOT being kept in a cage. [​IMG]

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