new hen with 1/2 a beak. How do I keep her healthy?


'Birds Momma
10 Years
May 25, 2010
'Bird 'n the Fluffy Butts coop in Ohio
I adopted two hens yesterday. One has a birth defect beak. the upper part is very short and rounded (no sharp edges) the bottom part is normal but looks to be starting to curve upward from the lack of the upper beak I think. It looks like someone had tried to trim it in the past. Should I trim it? How short? file it? any suggestions? She is eating and drinking fine with it. there seems to be no infections, pain, etc.


Both girls are not in the best shape feather and size wise. Both look a little ragged. they were both rescued 'city chicks' from Buffalo.
What can i give them for 'immediate' health?
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She really looks like she's been de-beaked. Lots of hatcheries that sell started pullets, they automatically trim their beaks. Just the top beak, not the bottom. It keeps them from pecking eachother.

She'll definitely need layer mash, and she'll need a deep bowl to eat from so that she can "scoop" up the food easily with her bottom beak. Vitamins and electrolites in their drinking water wouldn't hurt a bit either.

Yes, you could definitely trim that bottom beak to be a little bit more aligned with the top beak. You could nip it with some toe-nail clippers, or you could also file it, or file it smooth after nipping it.

She doesn't look bad at all. Now, if it's a deformity, as you've mentioned, beak deformities are often really deformities of the skull, and often worsten over time.

Good luck with her! I'll bet she'll do just fine in your care!
I kinda thought debeaked as well. the top part seems rounded off though, not a straight cut. I have never seen one though to know.

She is eating well. deep dish, yup, already did that for food and water. she's doing well on crumbles so far. Scoops it up. She got into the bucket of scratch last night and looked like she was doing pretty well to me! i taught her how to get dandilion pieces all by herself. She is going to be a happy girl from here on out. I think she's gonna be special.
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I had a rooster whose top beak got broken in a fight with another rooster and I would trim the bottom beak back, not so far back it would bleed. Eventually, the top beak grew back out (about 8 months).

Good luck on your new little girls!

She looks just like one of mine. It was done at the hatchery, and I didn't realize it until I got two of them home. One is worse, like yours, and the other one has both shortened but even at least.

My Gammaw, name because she reminds me of an old lady with her teeth out, is a toughie. She can't peck as well as the others, so she knows mom always spoils her and gives her some by hand making sure she gets her fair share. She does fine with the crumbles. She is one of my favorites!!
if it was trimmed it will grow out but takes a while.. months.. my roo got his stuck in the hardware cloth and ripped 90 percent off of his off.. was going to cull him but we hand fed him greens and other goodies that he couldn't get on his own.. he ate fine and drank fine.. and now he is a handsome devil.. just give her a little help when she needs it.. and she should be fine
I did some research on the debeaking and it says that it will always hurt her and will always be sensative. it doesnt seem to hurt her and she seems to be doing great. I agree, she is going to be my 'special girl', she likes to be held and cuddle with me. How could she not? I am wondering if I should try and trim back the bottom a little? I am really scared to do that. Would I be better off if I just used a nail file on the two edges??????
I think using nail trimmers and just nipping off little bits is better than the file. It's actually easier to do and probably would cause her less stress. You can't file it without holding her head really tight, but nippering can be done quick and easy. Just take off a couple of little bits every day or two, not all at once.

That's what I'm doing for a roo I just got that has a too-lon lower beak. The upper is there, but it's short.

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