Do beaks grow back? Alpha hen vs Squirrel

MakNugget

Songster
9 Years
May 31, 2010
467
5
111
Portland, OR
My browser barfed my post so here it is in short:

I believe squirrel and alpha hen got in a fight. The front tip of hens beak snapped back, still attached like fingernail bet backwards, but edges are clearly broken. Scratch on comb, and injury at the top of the beak by the base of the comb that may have been a bite. I treated with weak betadine and plan on giving polyvisol later.

She's acting normal and seems ok. Anything else to consider? I'll post pictures here shortly.

edit - pictures below.

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tigerrrrrrrlilly

Songster
9 Years
Mar 27, 2010
768
4
131
San Diego, CA
I really don't know about this one. I know if it had broken off completely it wouldn't grow back but I wonder if it would mend itself being that it's still attached just not on edges... or did I misread? Anyway I am bumping because you have me curious and I hope another BYCer can help you!
fl.gif
Maybe there is a safe way to "glue" it??
idunno.gif
 

MakNugget

Songster
9 Years
May 31, 2010
467
5
111
Portland, OR
Quote:
It was still attached. I checked back and it's now detached itself completely.

Edit: I should clarify the tip came off, not the whole upper beak.

Poor girl tries to peck but stops short. She will eat her kale if I break them in small pieces just fine.
 
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Chickenaddict

Songster
11 Years
May 19, 2008
3,691
65
223
East Bethel MN
Awww shoot! I was gonna say if it was still attatched just baby her by feeding wet layer feed for a few weeks and keep her isolated so she can't get into any trouble and it would have healed up and stayed put. I know this because this happened to one of my roosters, his cracked right where the beak begins and comb ends straight across but was still on there. I did exactly what I just explained here and he is fine today, his upper beak did shrink a bit tho so now he looks like he has an underbite. She may still be ok even tho her beak is gone now. I would baby her for awhile until she learns how to eat/drink.
 

True Grit

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2010
2,072
11
171
Orono, Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
Owie! That poor girl. When they debeak chickens do they do the bottom beak too? I would hate to do that to her but if she can't eat would that be a solution? I hope she can eat, poor baby.
 

GardenerGal

Crowing
13 Years
Dec 20, 2008
1,245
123
291
Massachusetts
Beaks grow out like a fingernail, which allows chickens to peck the ground for food without having their beaks wear away. The fingernail-like covering keeps on growing. But, there is a base to the beak that is made of boney tissue, and that won't grow back. That's why hatcheries can de-beak chicks permanently so they grow up to be adult birds with half their upper beak missing (I hate that. It disfigures the chicken and also makes it harder for it to pick up smaller pieces of food). Hatchery de-beaking is just the upper beak, btw. You'd never want to remove any of the lower beak, as it could lead to exposed tongue or soft mouth tissue.

If your hen has lost bone, then she is permanently de-beaked. If what snapped is the horn-like covering, it should grow back.

On the positive side, if she has lost the boney part you might be able to make a prosthetic from epoxy. I read an article about a pelican that had a prosthetic upper beak made for it that successfully replaced the natural beak that was snapped off in an accident.
 
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MakNugget

Songster
9 Years
May 31, 2010
467
5
111
Portland, OR
Quote:
I was hoping for such answer. I'm pretty sure she will be ok, but it's just kind of disturbing seeing her unable to peck and shovel dirt around.
 

GardenerGal

Crowing
13 Years
Dec 20, 2008
1,245
123
291
Massachusetts
It does look like a break up in the boney part, which explains the blood. Can you epoxy it in place?
Your hen should be okay even if she loses that piece of beak. Just make sure she has lots of larger food items she can easily grab. Poultry feed pellets are easy for debeaked chickens to eat, and of course treats like large bread crusts and scraps are no problem.
 
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MakNugget

Songster
9 Years
May 31, 2010
467
5
111
Portland, OR
Quote:
The top part doesn't appear to be broken, just ruptured/pierced.

I took a better look and the part where it broke off on the tip. It looks like a little bit of what would be the bone was exposed/pealed off, kind of like another beak but not damaged. The upper part that was bleeding doesn't appear to be broken off anywhere. Hoping things improve
fl.gif
 

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