Chicken with a Split Beak: Solution

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Melora, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Melora

    Melora Hatching

    Dec 26, 2010
    Just wanted to share something because I hadn't seen anyone post about it: My chicken recently split her beak right down the center. (Visually, like if she were a human, it would have looked like she had a huge gap in her top front teeth.) It went from the tip, half way up her beak towards her nostrils. So, basically to the crest of the beak. Anyway, that night, I was looking online to see what people had done about similar situations: and couldn't really find anything about that exact kind of split. Much smaller splits were told to trim, but this was way too long to be trim-able. It was obvious that it was going to be very dangerous too. Even if I could have trimmed part of it off: It was going to be really easy for her to catch it on stuff, or get stuff stuck between it splitting it further, or be broken off if she hit it on anything: which would have made it really easy for her to permanently deform her beak and/or bleed to death in the worst case. (It was also too far up to file down, obviously.) We were also worried that, even with a safe glue or acrylic applied to hold it together and fill the split, that it would continue to grow apart: like wood once it had a wedge in it.

    So, what my vet did was a little ingenious: He used a "Soft Paw" to hold it together. AKA: one of those things people get put on their cat's and dog's claws to keep them from scratching stuff up. It's been on for 4 days now and she can do everything normally. Dig with it, eat, drink, preen, peck the dog, etc. They're also small enough that I don't think they could be a choke hazard for a chicken IF it happened to fall off and get eaten.

    One of these things: (Except he used a clear one)


    He said it might come off after a few days, (because soft paws are NOT permanent,) but it still seems like it was a great idea. He said next time he's going to use one made for a dog, because the cat ones have too much of an overhang on the tip- which gave her a "witch's nose" -so he dremeled the overhang on it off.

    So, anyway, like I said: just wanted to post about this in case anyone else finds themselves in the same situation. :)
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
    mattkinnick and ladynthestamp like this.
  2. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Crossing the Road

    Aug 23, 2012
    Thats awesome, will it regrow together? I have super glued but this is cool!
  3. Melora

    Melora Hatching

    Dec 26, 2010
    It will, and it did! We removed the soft-paw after about a month and her beak had grown out perfectly. The old part was still split (of course) so we just filed that off -but all the new growth that came after that had grown together like we needed it to. :D
    1 person likes this.
  4. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Crossing the Road

    Aug 23, 2012
    How fantastic!!! Thank you for sharing the info!!!
  5. DivorceOrBust

    DivorceOrBust Hatching

    Jan 3, 2016
    Use the dog sized.

    I didn't read all the way through the OP
    Our chicken split her beak all the way up.
    Trimmed overhang.
    Applied cat sized. Too small. But rotated it so hook is parallel with ground, then trimmed hook. This basically leaves a sheath around the tip of beak.


    Bottom of beak sometimes catches on sheath.
    Chicken now doing everything to get it off.
    Sometimes scissor beak-ing.

    A different chicken was attached by a hawk, leaving bruising and a small wound. The whole reason I came online was to get tips on wound care.
    Set up chicken hospital.
    Bathed chicken, cleaned wound, blow-dried chicken.

    While inspecting other chickens, we noticed the split beak.

    Now I'm sitting in a chair in front of the 2-chicken hospital, waiting for beak chicken to mellow out and drink water.
    Update: Success. BUT I did have to take the beak chicken out, and do a little beak dipping and chin lifting with the water, then I put in some food.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
    mattkinnick likes this.
  6. mattkinnick

    mattkinnick In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2018
    St Paul, MN
    My Coop
    This is brilliant! Thank you for sharing. Our Golden Laced Wyandotte has her beak split up to the crest as well. Can I get these Soft Paws on Amazon and put it on myself? Got a link for me? Dog sized recommended?

    Thank you!

    I will repost with follow-up.

    PS. How does a split beak like this happen?!
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019

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