Need help on beak trimming

Aubby

Chirping
Nov 8, 2016
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129
91
Oklahoma City
I have an Ameraucana that was attached by a dog 3 months ago. She is still unable to walk. I still have her in a sling. My problem is her upper beak has overgrown the lower by almost 1/2 inch. It is starting to impede her eating process. I need to trim her beak to enable her to eat without issue. I ONLY want to trim, I do not want anything permanent. I do not want to harm her, she has wiggled her way firmly into my family and want to make it easier on her. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Wickedchicken6

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To trim any slightly overgrown beaks here, I use a set of dog toenail clippers like the pic below. That is an amount of overgrowth on your bird.

I'd trim very conservatively. If required, do slight trims until she can eat satisfactorily. Since she's right at hand, that makes getting a hold of her very easy. Just be careful and hold her head or get help if she resists. :)

I will just tip the corners to round the edge of the beak so it's not sharp/uncomfortable for her if she's preening.
 

Wickedchicken6

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Is it possible to "quick" her while trimming. And, she is so crippled, I groom her. LOL
Are you asking if it's possible to hit the "quick" so to speak of the beak and cause it to bleed? I've only done the slight trims of what's clearly minor beak overhang. I've never done any deep cuts. I imagine the beak would bleed. And it may damage her beak, not to mention it would be painful for her.

You may find if you trim the beak straight across and leave the corners, she may scratch you as well with her beak. It's surprisingly sharp...lol.
 
Last edited:
Sep 13, 2017
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We have to trim the beak of our rooster. It got very overgrown before we realized - he's fine eating out of the feeder, but he can't pick food off a flat surface. Poor thing had almost an inch of overgrowth when we started, now he's down to about 1/2 an inch. No idea why he doesn't keep it down on his own - all the hens do.

You can quick them, but you can also see the quick if you shine a bright light through it.

I've been told to trim them carefully, just below the quick, then check it regularly until you notice the quick recede. It seems to take longer than it does for dog nails, but that might be because we're so afraid of getting the quick that we don't trim close enough.

Have some cornstarch or flour handy to stop the bleeding in case you do get the quick!
 

Aubby

Chirping
Nov 8, 2016
65
129
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Oklahoma City
Yes, I am afraid of hitting the quick. I don't want to cause her any discomfort. Maybe trim a little each week?
 

Wickedchicken6

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Are you asking if it's possible to hit the "quick" so to speak of the beak and cause it to bleed? I've only done the slight trims of what's clearly minor beak overhang. I've never done any deep cuts. I imagine the beak would bleed. And it may damage her beak, not to mention it would be painful for her.

You may find if you trim the beak straight across and leave the corners, she may scratch you as well with her beak. It's surprisingly sharp...lol.
Here's a little girl who was having issues. Her beak was slightly curved and her beak would get overgrown. I trimmed to where I added the black line across her beak.

20170527_122639 shopped (2).jpg


I would trim a little bit every week or as you felt comfortable that it was still requiring a trim. I've haven't trimmed close to the quick.
 

happyhens1972

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Jul 24, 2013
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If you put a search 'How to trim a chicken's beak' into Youtube, there are some very helpful videos there but yes, you could hit the 'quick' of her beak and either draw blood or cause a lot of pain as it has a nerve supply and is very sensitive. If the beak is overgrown by half an inch, I think you will need to trim it back in a number of sessions....just a little at a time, then leave it to settle. The quick will withdraw slowly. You can usually see the whitish edges of the beak which have no blood or nerves but be careful when you get to dark beak areas. In this picture, you can see the difference between the tip which has broken off and is whitish grey, versus the 'meat' of the beak which is black.

BEAK.jpg


PHOTO CREDIT RESERVED FOR THE CHICKEN CHICK
 

Wickedchicken6

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Pretty Girl! Did it take 2 people? Should it take 2 people?
I do all my trimming; beak and spurs, by myself.

But if you feel more comfortable having help, then I would have someone hold her and someone trim. Whatever makes it most comfortable for you and easiest on her. :)
 
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