Had It With Cannibalism- Anyone Know Best Way To De-Beak Tip of Beak?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickeepoo, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    After much doctoring, moving hens around, making an extra coop available, and cutting number of hens together, one of my 1yo RIR went after her coop-mate today and picked her apart pretty much the same as they did my Chickeepoo in January… I'm ready to take the sharp end off of the beaks of at least one of those hens so I don't have to cull/get rid of them. Someone had posted back in February to use sharp kitchen shears and take a little more off the top than the bottom beak- would new, sharp dog toenail cutters (sterilized) do the same thing, if I don't have sharp kitchen shears? I'm sure there's a tool specifically for this but I don't have it, and time is ticking. I already let one hen go to my friend's flock to keep her from getting torn up by these other hens, and another to my neighbor; now these two are starting again on each other. These hens are good layers but rotten cell-mates… I'd like to hear from anyone who has had to do this, and how you did it. Thanks.
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Hi there,

    De-beaking is a hugely controversial topic around here and I'm not sure you'll get very many how-to tips.

    One option is to get "pinless peepers" to help prevent picking. That has helped many around here.

    Best of luck to you with whichever path you take.
  3. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    You probably won't find a fan of de-beaking here on the forum. There are other ways to try and prevent cannibalism. Let us know what you are feeding your girls, how many you have and what sized area they live in. Sometimes chickens will do that because of lack of protein, lack of space, or boredom.
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    You don't have to debeak them, but you can certainly trim the point off a tiny bit so they can't pinch so easily. Space is generally the issue. You may want to consider less birds or more space or even separating them.
  5. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    Dog toenail clippers will work. All you do is cut off a 1/3 of the top beak. But an easier way is to use peepers. [​IMG]
  6. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Thanks, I forgot to say they're eating Dumor layer feed, scratch, BOSS, greens and occasionally fruit. These 2 are sharing 8x3, which gives them 24 sq feet. They eat well, lay regularly, and in other respects are behaving as they should…
  7. equus2

    equus2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Please consider using peepers.
  8. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    I would start by cutting out the scratch. It really has no nutritional value and it's a hot feed. Give it as the occasional treat only. If they have a choice, they will always go for the scratch and not for the stuff that they need. Another thing you can try is feeding them some scrambled egg. It has protein in it and a lot of times, lack of protein is what makes them turn to cannibalism in the first place.
  9. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    what are these peepers??
  10. New adventure

    New adventure Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2009
    Pueblo, Colorado
    I'm going to ask this question on another thread but maybe it pertains here too. I have a 2 week old EE chick who is starting to get a scissor-beak. I trimmed a Very slight amount off its top beak, really only 1/32" or so and it won't stop bleeding. I've put corn strach on it and the bleeding stops, then it gets a drink of water and of course starts bleeding again.

    Anyway my question here is: If you cut 1/3 of the beak off, how are you going to stop the bleeding? Just something to consider.

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