Freakishly long toenail


In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 5, 2008
Long Beach, CA
Leona the chicken has one super-duper long toenail. My solo attempts at snapping a photo were unsuccessful, but the tip is about 3 times the normal length. It looks like it's impeding her gait a bit. And it looks weird. Should I cut it, or is this bothering me more than her? If so, any tips like what to use and how not to mess up the procedure?

Other stuff about my 2 chickens in case this may impact your theories regarding toenail growth: The girls have the run of the backyard with plenty of dirt to scratch. Leona is not laying right now, and her health has been up and down for about 6 months. She was but is not currently on Baytril. Her only symptons of ill health now are brown runny poo. She has a good appetite, eyes are clear and bright, isn't under weight, etc. Their regular diet includes lay pellets, oyster shells, whatever tasty bugs or vegetation they find. They also get scratch and a few scraps as treats.


11 Years
Mar 7, 2008
Western Kentucky
Depending on how big she is, use cat or dog nail clipper/trimmers. I get them in good light so I can see where the Quick begins (you can tell where it becomes darker within the nail) and take a bit off. If in doubt about the quick only take a little off at a time. Have blood stop ready just in case. I have one indoor pheasant that is handicapped and can't scratch to file her nails, so she gets trimmed every couple weeks. I have another whose nail grows curving upwards so it doesn't file either and I trim it.


Flock Mistress
14 Years
Jan 12, 2007
Land of Lincoln
Ive got a SSHB girl that needs a pedicure often! sometimes over the winter, she would grow corkscrew nails.

In order for me to trim her nails, I would give her a nice warm bath water to soften up her nails and scrub her legs LOL. Then I would cut off the nails and if I get crazy and wanted to doll her up, I would add fingernail paints LOL!


11 Years
Jun 17, 2008
Middle Tennessee
I keep an eye on my girls and occasionally trim as needed. Fourfeathers gave excellent directions on how to do this. If the birds are handled somewhat, it shouldn't be a terrible thing for them. Mine don't think anything of a weekend pedicure.

Just be sure to snap a pic of this odd toenail before you trim!

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