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Chick stabs herself below beak with toe.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by smudge, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. smudge

    smudge Songster

    Mar 20, 2013
    Long Island, NY
    Have a chick/pullet that, starting around week 3, panics when picked up and stabs herself on the underside of her beak.

    Yes, she sometimes breaks the skin. Barely a drop of blood at worst.

    The first few times, I chalked up to being accidental/poor body sense, and jokingly told her not to give herself a tracheotomy. We've tried to be more careful picking her up, preventing her from moving her legs that way. We're not always successful, even using 2 hands. She's almost 6 weeks old.

    Has anyone else had a chick repeatedly self harming in panic?

    Please tell me she'll outgrow this.

  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Never heard of this. Chickens can be so unpredictable. If it's one certain toe she doing her picking with, could you trim that nail so she can't hurt herself?
  3. smudge

    smudge Songster

    Mar 20, 2013
    Long Island, NY
    I'm thinking of trying an emery board.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    That's not a bad idea, just dull down the sharp point.

    I don't think I'd call it 'self harming'...she's just flailing her legs and that's where her feet end up.

    Try picking her up by sliding your hand, palm side up, under her from the front so her legs are in between your fingers.
    There was great thread recently with a video that showed it very well, but I can't find it.

    ETA: Found it! https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1138302/holding-a-chicken
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016

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