Chicken toenails

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tuffy, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. tuffy

    tuffy Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 2, 2009
    Lake Luzerne, NY
    Does everyone clip their chickens toenails? If so, How?, as in, do you wait until night when they are roosting and pick them up, one by one?. I have 24 hens and some of them have very long nails. Others are ok. They have plenty of different surfaces to scratch around in, cement, dirt, grass, etc. Seems some of the very long nails are starting to deform their toes. How often do you clip? thanks
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I never had clipped nails until last week, when I noticed my two BO's nails were so long their toes were turned sideways. Ooops - I felt bad I never noticed it earlier. I had DD hold them with a pillow case over their heads so they would remain calm, while I clipped, using the dog nail clippers. The rest of the flock hovered underneath trying to be the first to grab the nails in the air - treat time for them, I guess (they react the same way when I clip the dogs' nails. They much prefer nail clippings as a calcium supplement than the oyster shell - go figure). Anyway, none of the rest of the flock needs their nails trimmed so maybe I figured it was a breed characteristic for the BO's to grow longer nails, or something.
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Our chickens are friendly, so you can just reach down and pick them up. Since I'm married, my husband and I can do it together. One can hold the chicken while the other clips. If you're doing it yourself, picking them off the roost would be an easy way to do it.

    We do it when they need it. It varies by season and by chicken. They free range during the growing season. I notice the ones that might need it, need it more after a long winter. Some never need it. Sometimes it's just certain toes on certain chickens. We also have a breed with a 5th toe, so those need to be trimmed.

    I like to give the chickens a treat on the patio every day. It's a great place for me to check their feet, as I can see them really well on the concrete. I check nail length, look for any sign of scaly leg mites or swelling. I also look at their comb, wattles, eyes and feathering. Spring is when I usually do a nail clip on any that need it.

    On a day when I want to clip nails, I just bring the treats, the dog nail clippers and my husband along to the patio. [​IMG]

    Nails have a vein with blood in it, in the center. It's what nourishes the nail's tissue and allows it to grow. As the nail grows, the vein recedes, so the end is just dead nail. Closer to the end of the toe is the vein. On a light colored nail, you can see this vein or quick, as it's called. It will look pink. You don't want to clip this part or it will bleed. Just stay a little farther away from the pink part.

    You definitely want to trim the nails if they are too long and causing problems with the toes. I think once they get too long, they don't wear down as well, either, if they don't have a normal shape and position. Then I think it just gets worse, faster.
  4. juliette2009

    juliette2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2009
    Wadmalaw Island, SC
    I usually have to do it on my broody girls who don't leave the nest often to go outside.
  5. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Don't laugh, but I have a "spa" day with my girls just about every month. Their feet get soaked in warm lavender water, washed with an antibacterial soap and scrubbed with a soft brush if needed. Then it is time for their foot rubs... which is when I check them for mites, sores, cuts, etc. Typically they lay back and close their eyes when this is taking place. After this... the PediPaws comes our and their nails get trimmed and shaped... and depending on my mood, sometimes I will buff them to a nice shine.

    During this time, when I am working on Little Gray, I have to trim and shape her beak as well, as she has a scissor beak. With proper maintenance and care, she has no problems eating, drinking or living.

    I love spending the time with my girls... I find them very therapeutic... and lately... I really need them. [​IMG]

    Mrs White likes this.
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Lucky girls! I envy your chickens!
  7. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Quote:Can I come over for Spa Day too?

    Sounds very relaxing!

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