clipping beaks and claws!?!?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Momochicken, May 21, 2012.

  1. Momochicken

    Momochicken In the Brooder

    May 5, 2012
    Spokane Washington
    So I am a new chicken owner. I have 6 barred rocks and they are working on 4 weeks old now. Reading the "Story's Guide to Rasing Chickens" it talks about clipping beaks and claws. My question is how necessary is it? and whats the best way to go about it? as well is if you do it how early do you start in there lives to start clipping? I just want to know what are the thoughts and pro's and con's on my fellow chicken owner friends!

    Thank you!
  2. Cheeky Chick

    Cheeky Chick Songster

    Apr 29, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    I think those things are for show birds. Frankly I've never heard of clipping beaks at all. Maybe someone more in the know will chime in?
  3. Moonkit

    Moonkit Songster

    Apr 20, 2011
    Richardson, Texas
    Clipping beaks is mostly done in a factory farm setting to keep the chickens from yanking eachother's feathers out. For the most part, it's harmful to the bird since it hinders their ability to feed and forage. Hens with the proper amount of space and freedom will usually not feather pluck their comrades. Some people do clip the very tip of their rooster's beak to keep him from ripping feathers off hens during mating. This only shaves off the very tip that will regrow with time.

    Trimming the claws is done for show birds to help them make a good impression on the judge (no judge likes to be clawed up while examining a bird.). Or it can be done to help mitigate the damage they can do to your garden as they scratch for bugs.
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  4. shell3

    shell3 Songster

    May 14, 2012
    Hertfordshire England
    I agree clipping is a factory farm thing to do , so they can cram lots of birds into small spaces and they can't peck each other to death. My understanding has always been that it was a cruel thing to do. Don't want to insult anyone but just my opinion, can't see any reason to do it other than what the last post said about protecting the females during mating, and that's just taking the very point off which will grow back, and think that would be an experience thing, if you know one that does pull feathers a lot, and not needed for every bird.
  5. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    For the most part you really shouldn't have to clip beaks. The only reason you would have to do this is if the chicken has a slight over bite, or has some other deformity of the beak. Occasionally I will get a bird that has a beak where the top will just grow longer than the bottom. It will curve over and can affect how they eat. This is an easy fix should it happen. Every few month you can just take a nail clipper (I used the kind for dogs with the hole at the end) and snip off the little over hang.

    As far as nails go, you shouldn't have to cut them either if they free range or live on the ground in a coop. However, you may have a chicken that has a funky toe that may need to be clipped. Eventually, long nails that go unclipped will grow into a loop and can actually go through the skin of the toe itself, causing lots of other issues. Also, chickens and other poultry raised on wire floors will need their nails clipped regularly. Many people will also clips nails right before a show. If you do need to clip nails, just be sure to take off the tips. Try to avoid cutting too far on the nail, otherwise you will hit the quick and cause the bird to bleed. It's not that big a deal, but can be painful for the bird. On hot days it can be difficult to get the nail to stop bleeding. It's usually wise to have a bottle of styptic powder (flour can be used as a substitute) on hand when cutting nails just in case.
  6. Momochicken

    Momochicken In the Brooder

    May 5, 2012
    Spokane Washington
    wow thanks everyone for the advice. I did think it was a bit extreme and the book did not explain much on why you would want to do so. I think there beaks and claws are fine and I will keep them as they are! I dont want to torture them more than I have to![​IMG]

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