ok, how do you trim a chicken's beak?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shend, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. shend

    shend Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 16, 2010
    west michigan
    Do you regularly trim the chickens beaks? I have an easter egger with a crooked beak and in another post someone suggested trimming it.

    How do I do that?!
     
  2. Grand-hen-ma

    Grand-hen-ma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Hudson Florida
    I have an African Gray parrot that I grind his beak and claws. I use a battery powered nail grinder or dremel tool. I made the mistake of getting one of those pet nail trimmers. That didn't work because their wasn't enough power to it. I have used my dremel on my chickens nails too. Sometime the nails get so long their toes look crooked. I also ground down just a little, the spur on my roo. His spur was just too sharp when I would pick him up. I know with parrots you can add things to help it grind it's beak down but I'm not sure about chickens.
     
  3. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a cross beak to and I do use the pet nail trimmer...the pedipaws. She is a silkie and it does work for us so not sure if it would work well for a larger chicken. The dremmel is good and you can also use a toenail trimmer. They do have a vein so be careful to not clip too far back because it will bleed alot! If you do choose to trim with a clippers it might be a good idea to have some quik stop ready to stop any bleeding that might happen.
     
  4. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    X's 3 on using a dremel like tool on a crossbeak. We keep a regular weekly trimming schedule so the quick doesn't grow and we can keep it to a manageable length. Just keep in mind, if you go with a dremel like tool that they work quickly (which is great) but 1) you don't want to pare it down too much...just before you see blood or a tiny bit of blood is ok. Have some QuickStop or corn starch handy to plug up the bleeding and 2) those tools get hot since it's fast friction. Keep your session short. We actually blow on the site to help keep their beak cool.

    For us, we found the manual nail clippers put too much torque/pressure on the beak, head & neck. The dremel lets us take off small amounts (try to get a small head in case you need to do the underside of the upper beak, that way you can better avoid hitting the tongue or inside of the bottom beak) quickly and with no pressure on the head or neck....just vibration. But from having done 3 different birds, they all seem to react when you first touch it to their beak (who wouldn't?!) but quickly settle down and dare I say relax or at least tolerate it very well.
     
  5. shend

    shend Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 16, 2010
    west michigan
    OK, I'm gonna have to look at some pictures of this. My easter eggers, including the one with the cross beak, are not easily caught. They're quick and really have to corner and upset them to pick one up. Guess I'm being too easy on them.

    I was also reading about dusting for mites by hanging them upside down! It just seems almost impossible! I will have to get tough with the girls to care for them properly I guess. So far they are in very healthy shape with none of the problems I've read in the forums. Lucky with this first batch, but I should be ready for everything!
     
  6. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To care for some of my flightier ones, I find wrapping them in a towel helps to calm them down a bit. I have nevr heard dusting for mites by hanging them upside down. I just put the sevin dust in a stocking and then used it like a powder puff to dust them.
    You might have to do a little at a time at first. They will become more accustomed to it and also you both won’t get stressed out so much!!!
    Yes, watch the tongue!! Mine sticks hers out from time to time so just be careful you don’t cut or grind the tongue!
     
  7. shend

    shend Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 16, 2010
    west michigan
    Yes, that was what was suggested. Put the seven in a nylon and use as a powder puff, but it also said to hang them upside down to get under the wings!

    I just caught and examined the easter egger's odd beak and she squaked and fought making it difficult to even hold her properly. Once she calmed down I could see that the beak is offset and the top seems to have more of a downward hook to it than the other birds. Maybe its the same as others have described in here with their easter eggers.

    I'll try the trimming to see if the beak will close better, but it doesn't look as if it will help. Might just be a deformity.
     
  8. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    I just lift their wings up and powder under them.

    Here is a pic of my girl before I started to trim. Does it kind of look like hers?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would suggest trimming is a two person job. One to hold the bird and the other person who is trimming can use their free hand to steady the bird's head and beak. But if you have to go it alone, I think swaddling in a towel would be really helpful.

    BTW, my crossbeak is an EE too. Sigh...

    My recommendation for mites is a bath with a dog flea shampoo that contains permethrin (not pyrethrins) followed by an apple cider vinegar dunk. We use 20 gallon horse buckets so you can submerge the bird up to its neck. Afterward, since any lingering eggs can hatch 7 - 10 days later, we followed up with a natural enzyme spray, Manna Pro's Poultry Protector every couples of days. You don't have to hold the bird upside as long as you can lift their wing and spray under it. We cured a rescued hen that was infested with this method and the lice never came back.
     

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