Must debeak today. Help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Maineegg, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. Maineegg

    Maineegg New Egg

    Jan 11, 2010
    I have raised chickens from '76 - '97 always about 30 - 50 each year for eggs in a coop and the bantams 10 - 20 bantams ran free. Started again 4/09 with 50 blackstar. Coop correct size, always water, layer pellets, lights 14 hrs. garden surplus ended in Nov, now some kitchen scraps, and now for winter cracked corn.
    I have lost 4 to Cannibalism and rescued two in the last two days.
    Years ago i had a small cauterizing disk that was screwed into an electric socket. Only used it one year just as a preventative but decided I would rely on it only when cannibalism got out of hand. I can't find the disk or where to get one. I absolutely can not spend 350.00 for the "new and improved" model.
    Have been advised to:
    1. as I have done in the past trim upper beak only to just past lower.
    2. as above and then trim lower to the upper so both are slightly trimmed.
    And do it by:
    3. cut with dog nail clipper. if blood appears it will quickly stop. If need be cauterize with red hot steel/knife
    4. just cut beak with red hot knife blade such as sheetrock/utility blade.

    The small cauterizing disk was easy, temp was fixed, chickens tongue and my fingers were protected and chicken recovered in minutes.

    Would appreciate advice.
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Corn can deplete protein levels. Try adding sunflower and safflower seeds to their diet. I also give mine small sized dog food in winter. Perhaps a Flock Block that would help prevent the bordum that often starts that behavior. Try putting down wild bird seed and covering with hay. They will keep busy trying to dig out the food. As far as beak trimming, you can get a rechargeable dremel tool with a grinding stone on it for like $20 at Wal. Very helpful and pretty safe for both of you. The friction also helps prevent bleeding..... Best Wishes
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Like some others have said, I'd try giving them more to keep them busy and up their protein before I'd resort to the beak trimming.
  4. Maineegg

    Maineegg New Egg

    Jan 11, 2010
    To SurprisingWoman: Thanks for the healthcare link. I got 1 point of why from it: I switched from mash to pellets and the link said don’t. Also adding salt to the water every 3 days for several hours may!?! Help.

    To chickenzoo: I just added corn 1 week ago as scratch having read that corn will help add calories for the cold winters up here in Maine. The feed has 18% protein but I can add the dog food for protein or add fish meal if they need more than 18%.

    And I do have a Dremel tool so thanks for the idea. I’m going to try that first. There are several different wheels and I was a dental lab tech. way back so great idea if it works.
  5. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    You really don't have to debeak. Add protein to their diet and please don't add anymore salt to their water. Thats not recommended. A balanced chicken food should contain all the salt they need.

    Some night this week roast a chicken (not one of your own) and have it for dinner. After dinner take all the meat off the bones and throw the carcass to the chickens. it has lots of protein and tthe activity of stripping it clean will keep them busy and not picking on each other.

    Another good activity to prevent picking is to add a cabbage to the coop so they can peck at it or if you can still find a pumpkin or squash cut that in half and let them go at it.[​IMG]
  6. Orphy

    Orphy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2009
    Magnolia, TX
    The cabbage works wonders! I hang a huge head from the coop ceiling and let it hang like a pinata. It keeps mine happy, hey peck at it and not each other. when they try to peck at it, it moves around, making them peck it even more. depending on how many you have you might want to try several cabbage pinatas.

    I had some leghorns that started to vent peck a broiler very badly. I put one of these up and they left him alone.
  7. Maineegg

    Maineegg New Egg

    Jan 11, 2010
    Birds thank you for stay of debeaking ....... for the moment. Salt removed (really thought it was not good to do that), Cabbage and protein will be added.
  8. lilblessings5

    lilblessings5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2010
    I was wondering how your problem cannibilism is?

    I have been having issuses with my chickens as well. I hate to say it but I'm ready to debeak them. They are literally eating each other to death. The dog got in their pen on christmas and took 2 of my birds- but left and injured one that I didn't spot. The next day my hens had feasted on her. Since then they have killed 4 others and I have 4 more that are penned seperatly due to injuries. I've tried everything else - so they either go into the freezer or I need to try and debeak them. However- I've never done any debeaking before and was hoping someone would have some tips.

    AND - my biggest question is- Will Debeaking Solve the problem?

  9. norcal

    norcal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    Northern California
    I have a pecker too that I'm at my wits ends with (no cannibalism, but feathers being pulled). Am thinking of trying the cat food idea (cat food was mentioned elsewhere, and I figure it's smaller??). How do you know how much cat food to add? I have seven hens that are about 10 mos old.

    Sorry, don't mean to hijack this thread.....

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by