Question about Trimming a Beak?


Oct 29, 2019
North Texas
My Coop
My Coop
Our girl has a pretty gnarly scissor beak (and , and we've generally speaking done really good when it comes to making accommodations for her. Last time I tried to trim her beak, I used a pair of dog nail clippers and started a bleed that I thought nearly killed her. I could just be overly dramatic, but still, lot of blood and the cornstarch did nothin. This time I'm going to buy some real deal Styptic Powder ahead of time.

My question has to do with the "quick". My main question is asking for confirmation for something I saw online; I can cut a small bit off one day, wait a week for the quick to recede, and cut a small bit again (rinse wash repeat until enough has been taken off). Is this true? Will the quick recede after I cut?
My second question is more about how to properly cut. I honestly have no idea how to predict where the quick is. Is there any way for me to better see? I have heard that for a darker beak, "when the beak turns from dark to light" but that is really vague and I still don't know...
Thanks in advance for any tips!


Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Feb 14, 2016
I am not an expert on the quick of beaks but you could look into purchasing a container of Blood Stop. My local farm store carries it over by the cow medicine section. It also works on dog nails if you hit a quick.

Coops Dad

May 10, 2020
too close to Waco, TX
I had a RIR that had scissor beak, and I used a small round file to dress it. I'd sit on the ground with her pinned between my thighs, left hand holding her head still and thumb and forefinger holding her beak open. I'd slowly file her beak back into a "better" shape with my right hand.

It helped to use a file because you can tell when you go a bit too far- she'll jump or startle before you get to the blood. I kept a shaving styptic pen on hand just in case, but never needed it. I drew only the barest trickle of blood, once, and learned where her beak went from alive to just beak.

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