Free chicks from in-laws friend

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8 Years
May 2, 2011
Southwestern PA, Flock since 5/2011
About 2 months ago, my father in law called and asked us if we wanted more chicks. A friend of his decided he wanted laying chickens and ordered 15 without consulting his spouse. Needless to say, she was NOT happy and said there was no way she was allowing them. Now he had these chicks coming and no where to put them!
So they came about 4-5 weeks ago, he picked them up from the post office and brought them right over. We had the brooder all set up since my father in law didn't tell us when they would be coming. He brought us 16 red sex links! They were all growing well, seemed to be doing well for the first 5 days. Then I noticed one of them breathing funny and it's beak looked red like it had broken it on the feeder. I picked her up and it looked like she had scraped up her comb, beak and nostrils! Poor baby was huffing and puffing because her nostrils were all swollen. She continued to eat/drink well, grow well at the same rate as the other so I let her be. I noticed another a few days later looking the same. Then I started inspecting them all!
They had been debeaked!!! The poor, poor babies! I didn't inspect them when they came to us, I was at work. My husband just put the box in the brooder and set it on it's side so they could come out. Do I need to be worried about them eating in the long run? Currently they are eating out of a gravity feeder but once they move from the baby coop they will be eating the fermented feed with the rest of the flock.

This one is close to even length on top and bottom, but top beak is rounded.

This beak is all lopsided, hopefully she will grow out of it.

This one has the most normal beak of them all. Still short faced but more even.

Most are somewhere between this chick and the one below in beak conformation.

Concerned about the length of the lower beak. Do I need to trim this? They are about 1 month old

The one who had trouble breathing had her face smashed so much that her nostrils are not normal. She can breath somewhat normally now, though I fear if she got any kind of upper respiratory irritation or illness she would perish quickly.

Her beak is really short and rounded. They finally don't look really painful now.

I would never do this to chicks I had ordered myself. I was horrified!
Poor girls! I'm not sure if you're supposed to trim the bottom beak or not, I've heard somewhere that you do. If the chicks were debeaked when they were young they might grow back a little of their beak, I'm sure that the other BYCers will have ideas.
I am so horrified! Why would someone do that? The poor things! Is there some misguided reason that some people debeak?

Good luck taking care of the sweet things. Keep us updated on how they do!

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