My chicken is snapping her beak, have you seen this before?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fintuckyfarms, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. fintuckyfarms

    fintuckyfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 31, 2013
    Finley WA
    My chicken that was recently attacked by a dog has started snapping her beak. It sort of sounds like our human teeth chattering but more deliberate. I noticed it a few days ago but it was really pronounced today when I put her in with a group of younger chickens. I was wondering if it is an intimidation thing? There is nothing wrong with her head/beak area and it was not involved in the original injured area. It does not look overgrown or misaligned. It is just this weird new behavior and I was wondering if anybody else experienced this.
    Tracy
    [​IMG]
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    It's not an intimidation response or behavior, as chickens don't do that to threaten one another or in response to being threatened, at least I have never heard of it.

    But I do recall one case of an animal that did a beak clattering thing, and in this case it was in response to maggots eating the animal alive. These were not the normal harmless blowfly maggots which almost always stick to rotted flesh, these were two different species of very physically different maggots, segmented and hairy, that got into an apparently healthy bird through no discernible wounds, and ate him alive. It was too late by the time I discovered what was wrong, they'd eaten through the tendons and muscles all around his tail and legs, crippling him, and were into his guts. Very strange that none of my hundreds of other birds ever experienced those flies.

    Since she was attacked by a dog recently I really recommend you check her wounds carefully. The beak clattering thing is akin to their preening motions when removing lice or external parasites, but of course they can't do that with internal parasites, so they respond to the itching the same way but don't move their beaks to the source most times.

    Hope she has a better ending than my rooster did. Best wishes.
     
  3. fintuckyfarms

    fintuckyfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 31, 2013
    Finley WA
    Omelet is doing great! She is still in with the teenagers and laying an egg almost everyday. I want to put her back with the layers but they attack her every time. Now she just has to worry about the EE roo but she puts him in his place quick.
    She only did that beak snapping thing the first day I put her in the teenager pen and has not done it since. I think it was just an anxiety or intimidation thing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014

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