Clipped beaks question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by zoezest, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. zoezest

    zoezest Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 3, 2015
    Gloucestershire, UK
    Hi, asking on behalf of a friend who has recently bought a couple of hens from a local breeder.

    These hens have clipped beaks, not unusual I realise, but the seem to be having a bit of trouble eating vegetable matter and I wondered if this was normal?

    They eat pellets no problem from the feeder but don't seem interested in much of the vegetable matter offered. They also drink gallons of water and although they are both laying an egg daily, the egg whites seem rather watery.

    Could it be that the hens are struggling to peck at the food and are then filling themselves up with water? Which could possibly be affecting their eggs? That is my guess but I have no experience to back it up.

    Would you suggest mashing up treats and veg matter to make it more manageable? Is there anything else my friend can do to improve the eating issues and egg quality?

    Many thanks.
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I had a number of debeaked hens a few years ago and because of the deformity they found it hard to eat vegetable and plant food. Chopping it up and mixing it in with their feed may help some. What I also found helped was wetting the pellets for them and feeding them in deep dishes, so they could get their beaks into it. One hen I had was unable to eat enough without me doing this for her.

    As for the watery yolks, these can be caused by any of the following:

    - Disease such as Newcastle disease, infectious bronchitis, laryngothacheitis or egg drop syndrome;

    - High egg storage temperature;

    - High level of ammonia from droppings in coop (inadequate ventilation/coop hygiene);

    - Loss of CO2 from egg during storage;

    - High vanadium levels in feed;

    - It can occasionally be a reaction to certain vaccinations.

    - There is a higher incidence in eggs from older layers.

    I hope this helps some.
  3. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2015
    Long Island, NY
    What is beak clipping/debeaking?
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Removing the end part of chicken (chick's) beak to prevent them from being able to peck and injure each other. Common practice on factory farms and for battery hens. Some chicken keepers remove a small bit of the end of their chicken's beak in cases of extreme pecking problems, but this is generally done as a last resort.
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 25, 2012
    Why don't you break out an egg laid less than 24 into a saucer or bread plate then post it on this thread? PS: you only have 12 posts and I am unsure about your posting status regarding images. Check in with the Moderator if need be.
    They say that one picture is worth a 1,000 words.

    Vegetable matter and raw flesh are both difficult for chickens to eat if their upper beaks has been cropped.

    Vegetation should only affect the color and consistency of the egg yoke, but not the egg white. I have never graded an egg from 3,000 miles away but I am willing to try that is why I asked for a picture of a broken out fresh egg in a saucer.

    PS: Take the picture in profile, in other words from the side or edge of the saucer so the height of the yellow in relation to the height of the white can be judged. As an egg ages the white becomes more watery that is why I asked for a fresh egg. Make a second photo from directly above the saucer so the spread of the white can be better judged.

    like this link shows
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  6. zoezest

    zoezest Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 3, 2015
    Gloucestershire, UK
    Thank you Sumi and Chickengeorgeto for your advice. All very helpful information. I will pass this onto my friend and if she obliges I will come back with some photos.

    Not been a member on here for long so I'm fairly new to posting and how the forums work.

    Appreciate the input greatly from you seasoned chicken keepers thanks! [​IMG]
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    ZoeZest: As Sumi suggested, wetting the pellets will help. I'd suggest that you go one step further, and ferment those pellets. You can check the fermented feeds thread. It's super easy to do, and results in the bird being able to absorb increased nutrients from the feed. Kind of like comparing yogurt to whole milk. Whether you ferment or not, the girls will be able to handle the feed better if it's wetted so it's about the consistency of cooked oatmeal: It should be very moist, but still hold shape when dropped from the spoon.

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