How to trim a cross-beak on an untamed bird? Also taming in general.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PhDtoFarm, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. PhDtoFarm

    PhDtoFarm In the Brooder

    Aug 13, 2013
    I have a bird who's got a mild cross-beak. It's not too bad in terms of misalignment, but the upper beak is definitely getting WAY too long. She can still eat and drink, but it's getting harder for her to peck at things on the ground.


    This is her next to a flock-mate. She's a little more gangly than the others, but she's feisty and gets on well enough without needing tube feeding, etc.

    I got my flock when they were over 3 months old, and they weren't socialized as chicks. Now that I have an untamed, special-needs bird, I'm not entirely sure how to tackle this problem. And, more generally, I have an untamed flock that I would like to tame, at least to some degree.

    So here are my questions:

    1. How long does it take for untamed hens to start trusting you? I have bribed them with food (especially bugs), but I still can't actually catch one. They get close enough to pick the mealworm (or whatever) off my hand, but then they run away.

    2. How should I catch them if needed? Fishing net? Pool skimmer? Burlap bag?

    3. Is catching them this way going to traumatize them and make them distrust me all over again?

    4. Will I have to net forever? Do they at least get used to netting? Or is it possible to start with netting, then eventually be able to just pick them up off the ground?

    5. Should I try getting the cross-beak used to handling before trying to trim? Or should I just go for everything (catching, handling, trimming) all at once?
  2. Lacrystol

    Lacrystol Hatching Helper

    Jun 13, 2009
    Diamond, Ohio
    1. They may never trust you, they may be the kind that just don't like human contact period. I have some will jump in my lap and others that will get close but as soon as the hand is out. BOOM good by..

    2. Catch them at night when they go to bed. You should be able to just go right up to them and grab them.

    3. Touching them or holding them each night that you grab them, may calm them down.

    4. No they will not get use to netting, your best bet is getting them when they go to bed and hold them for some time. Let them get used to your hands so they know your not going to hurt them.

    5. I would trim then hold her for about 15 maybe 20 minutes, touching all over, the legs, under the wings, the beak just all over.. so that she knows your not there to harm her that your there to help her. If you just trim and let her go, She'll have the nightmare next time of: "oh gosh, here she comes, she's going to kill me".. sort of speaking..

    The more handling you do, the calmer they will get.. Build up the trust..

    if she is to CRAZY once you catch her and can't get the beak trimmed, try holding her upside down, it puts them in a paralyzed stage sort of.. makes it easier to do the trimming.

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