Debeaked?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CHIC, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. CHIC

    CHIC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got some chickens yesterday that are debeaked. They are really funny looking and it almost seems inhumane. Is there anything I should know about these chickens? I got them for eggs because I have close to 40 chickens that won't give me any eggs until spring. All these chickens and no fresh eggs! Anyways, I have had trouble finding any in my area and these were for a good deal so I went ahead and got them. I hate that the beaks are cut, but I already have them now so no turning back.
     
  2. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2009
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    Debeaking isn't my favorite thing, but it's already done, and if they're old enough to lay eggs, then they're used to not having part of a beak. It doesn't hurt anymore, and they've been eating okay, or you wouldn't have them now.

    Feed them like any other chicken, treat them like chickens -- outdoor runs and dust baths and little treats and things. If they've been kept in cages until now you'll get a lot of entertainment out of watching them learn how to be chickens.

    And with normal chicken living you'll find that their eggs will be pretty good.

    Also, if they've been living in cages, their toenails might be too long. Check that out. You can clip them with dog toenail clippers. If you don't know how to do that a vet or a dog groomer might be able to help you out.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    If you use the 'search' utility you will find a buncha threads on this, and the answer is basically that it does not normally affect the chickens' behavior.

    The only thing I'd say is to make sure your food is in a container with a bit of depth to it, as they cannot pick up tiny particles very well from a single layer on a hard surface (b/c the tips of the top and bottom beaks no longer meet)

    Otherwise, much as I disapprove of it (although mostly what I disapprove of is keeping chickens in conditions that cause so much cannibalism that it is 'necessary'), the chickens usually do just fine.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. CHIC

    CHIC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They were in a coop that they could never go out of- never. Barely any natural light. Poor things. I have to say, they are about the nicest full grown chickens I've ever encountered. I think they will be fine. They will have a much more normal life with me, at least a run. Can they free range and catch bugs with their beaks clipped?
     
  5. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like some others here on this forum, we say we have a chicken rescue ranch, having adopted other peoples' hens once they were considered to be over-the-hill. Four red sex links came to us debeaked, awful looking; however, they have become the leaders of our little flock of fifteen hens. They are good layers, they do look strange, but they are no slackers when it comes to feeding from the long metal feeder we have, when free ranging, or even when keeping themselves securely at the top of the flock pecking order. Show Girl, one of these little red hens, is not at all shy about keeping everyone else "beneath" her firmly in line. So, expect normal chicken behavior from these girls and celebrate their discovery of backyard chicken life after the crowded constrained conditions in which they had lived previously! ~G
     
  6. CHIC

    CHIC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the encouragement. Do they debeak them at the hatchery or when they are older? Just seems cruel.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    They debeak them as day-olds. That is probably why there tends to be so much variation among chickens in exactly how it comes out -- teensy tiny baby chick beaks are hard to put in the machine in exactly the same way each time.

    It is probably less cruel than letting them peck each other bloody and kill and eat each other, which they WILL do when excessively confined. That is the purpose of debeaking, to limit cannibalism.

    Pat
     

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