How bad are the de-beaked hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by boykin2010, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. boykin2010

    boykin2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2010
    South Georgia
    Lately, i have been buying my hens from a livestock auction. Right now laying hens are selling around 7$ each. Last weekend someone brought in about 40 debeaked rhode island red crosses grouped into 5 groups. All 8 of the hens in each batch was selling at about 25- 30$
    It seemed no one wanted the debeaked hens even if they were good layers. I didnt buy any because i wasnt sure. I stuck to the few hens i wanted that werent debeaked and bought them for a higher price.
    My question is
    1. Do the debeaked hens eat their feed ok?
    2. Do they get along with other hens if they dont have beaks?
    3. Why would someone debeak a chicken? I realize that sometimes they fight but do they really need to be debeaked?

    Let me know what you think... Should i buy some of the cheap hens next time i am there?
  2. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    1) I'm not sure

    2) I think it would be difficult for them to hold their own while the flock is establishing a pecking order.

    3) They are debeaked at hatcheries so they can be kept in crowded conditions with out injuring each other. Pecking can quickly become life threatening.

    My opinion....I would not purchase debeaked birds. I believe it to be inhumane. I also do not buy from hatcheries or feed stores that order from them.
  3. Miyashi

    Miyashi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2011
    Gaylord, MI
    I would buy a few just to be kind to the poor things.
    I too consider it inhumane.
    If they are so crowded that they are hurting each other just to get some air, should probably cut down on some birds, not punish them for being stuck with "your" crappy company. By "your" I don't mean you, just the people who do this and see it as the solution.
    I think it's very sad. I've been trying to find some debeaked birds actually....I'd like to give them some happy years with plenty of room.
    I know they aren't perfect and they have a more difficult time with things....but if you can afford it and have the stomach for it, I think it's a great idea to help any disabled creature.
  4. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    Quote:I can tell you are a kind and caring person. Here is another way to think about it though. If you purchase from places that do this....they will be encouraged (financially) to continue doing this. It works just like puppy mills, you buy one to "save" it and they have room to breed more.
  5. FuzzyButtsFarm

    FuzzyButtsFarm Rest in Peace 1950-2013

    Quote:X2 NEVER NEVER NEVER by a debeaked brid. [​IMG]
  6. Poultrybonkers

    Poultrybonkers Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 22, 2011
    That is disgusting! When you buy from a hatchery do they come like that? or do they have their beak?
  7. 1shotcleaner

    1shotcleaner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2011
    duke center pa 16729
    hi i have had thousands of debeeked chickens. they eat fine and can even eat grass and forage in the yard. debeaking is for there protection in large groops as with the breaders that we all get our hatchlings from and egg producers that thoes other people buy eggs from. i buy them because they are cheep. as far as getting along with other chickens well every where except Cail. they should be fine, there they will need a prostetic beek or they wont fit in. no realy if you pass them up you are just missing out on a cheep hen that is laying already. they are probably n.h.reds or what ever the popular name is in your state if they are r.i. reds thats a great deal for the price,
  8. Buff-Island-Australorp

    Buff-Island-Australorp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Bixby, OK
    it's a double edged sword. I see both pros and cons to buying de-beaked birds.
  9. boykin2010

    boykin2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2010
    South Georgia
    I only have a small flock of 14 hens and i have room for about 10 more. I wouldnt mind getting 2 or 3 to " help them " but i also dont want to support debeaking. As long as they are eating fine and get along ok with other chickens i wouldnt mind getting some. Although i really dont like the unnatural look of debeaked hens i think i may try to get one or two for cheap especially if they are laying good. In the cages at the auctions almost every hen will lay an egg in their cage so this lets me know they are pretty good layers.
    I am torn. I just dont know what to do.....
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It occurs to me that they may be past their good production years and you would not get a lot of eggs from them. Like another poster, I can see good arguments both for buying and not buying them; I think it's a personal choice.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by