New layers.... and a little dissappointed with the Debeaking... *pics*


12 Years
Apr 29, 2007
I don't like to debeak my birds at all as this limits them on what they can forage for. But yesterday I went and picked up 250 started pullets from a hatchery and the beaks were absolutley mutalated. It's very disappointing as some of the birds have 2/3 of their beak chopped off. Some of the beaks have grown back pretty good but they will never be 100%.

Does anyone have this problem from started pullets from hatcheries? They are wonderfull birds but it's just a shame to see their beaks cut off like this. I understand why but it seems to me that a very unskilled worker was doing the deed and didn't seem to care what he/she was cutting. In all honesty it seems like they were cut off with a chain saw... I will post some pics later today...

I normally like to raise my own pullets from day old but given my situation this year I didn't have a choice and the hatcheries do not offer birds with full beaks. Go figure.


Their first time seeing grass...

And what seems like a leap of destiny

It rained all day today but they are getting use to their surroundings and they are gettting a little more brave....
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I got 6 started pullets last spring that came from a hatchery and I was shocked when I picked them up and saw them debeaked. It was something at the time that I wasn't even prepared for.

Now, nearly a year later I have three left that I have kept (I sold the other 3) and they do okay!
Ones beak is crooked almost, but with the feed hoppers I use they can eat okay and as for foraging if they cannot get what they wanted on the first peck, they sure keep trying until they get it!

Don't worry
It's sad, but they will be okay. They're lucky to have a caring owner like you.
I believe debeaking is an extra service hatcheries provide, if you want it you have to pay extra for it.

If the chicks have enough room, not overheated, having option of moving to cooler area according to their comfort, and you are using the red (infrared) light (s) you will have no problems.

I brooded as many as 250 at a time, never have problem with picking.
Some hatcheries offer the debeaking as an option for chicks.

For the started pullets, it's pretty standard. It's to prevent picking and cannibalism. I'm guessing that the hatchery started pullets are raised in pretty crowded conditions, just like any other big commercial chicken operation that debeaks.

It's not necessary for people that are raising chickens with adequate space to debeak their chickens.
Its cruel and unnecessary. How are they supposed to preen their plumage with no beak tip. This is asking for stock with very limited lifespans. It should be banned.
It's not a fun experience at all, like I said normally we get chicks and raise them straight through. But given our situation, I didn't have a choice.

The debeaking is standard and I see why they do it. They slam 14,000 birds in a huge pole building and it's jammed packed. Pictures on the web do not do these birds enough justice for what they go through. The catchers went in and about 10 of them did the work and it was so cloudy and feathers everywhere from the birds running around. The fans that were blowing out the air from the barn were in overload as it looked like a giant cloud of fecal dust coming out of the barn.

I was only there for an hour and they had half of the trailer loaded with crated pullets. They work extremely fast and effecient. This is a big competitive buisness so I understand the reasoning for everything. Unfourtunatly we are the ones that support this kind of industry. Every time you eat an egg at Mcdonalds, from the store, or a restuarant... your helping this industry.

The hens they I did receive are going to be the "rescue hens" and will be the example of what commercial poultry go through.
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The sun has shinned all day and it hasn't made the birds want to come out anymore than a few feet. They come out to see the sun and run back in... spring is almost here but in the meantime they will have to munch on brown grass.
poor girls, that looks so unnatural. I think you're right, someone unskilled debeaked them. Sure hope thats not how they do them all. They don't even look like chickens like that. I agree with you. Their beaks do grow back some, right? Maybe not perfect, but more functional. I'd be upset also.

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