questions about debeaked chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by stone_family3, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Why are they debeaked? Are they worth buying? Several are selling on cl for $4 each. They are 18 mos and laying.

    Should I go take a look? Will their beak grow back? Can they still eat normally?
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2011
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi there!

    Well, usually the de-beaked chickens have had a portion of their top beak clipped off at the hatchey. It does not grow back, but they can eat normally. Alot of commercial egg companies have this done so they can keep large numbers of hens together, without them pecking eachother, causing injury.

    These hens do look kind of ugly, in my opinion, but they produce eggs, like any other hen, so they would be worth buying if you don't mind the look.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    They don't grow back. They don't eat as well but they manage.
    They're debeaked so they can be kept in close quarters (4 or 5 in a small cage) without pecking, killing, eating each other.
    Chickens given sufficient space don't need to be debeaked.
    I wouldn't be afraid of them.
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I could be wrong, but I believe beaks do grow back, but it takes a long time. Probably wouldn`t get much better fast enough for ya. Of course they`re worth buying. Just because their peak laying days are behind them doesn`t mean they won`t lay for a long time.
    When I was a kid, I paid a dollar for a battery hen. Her nails were almost an inch long, her beak trimmed, no social skills with the other fowl, and she didn`t even know how to scratch for food. She didn`t lay for almost a year. I butchered her and found eggs developing from an egg sack that was huge. She would have begun laying within a week and layed for ever, it appeared. Oh well...... Just because mine was in such sorry condition, doesn`t mean your would be. They are debeaked to prevent cannibalism. Give it a whirl.........Pop
  5. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Thanks everyone. I will give the guy a call then and check them out
  6. 202roosterlane

    202roosterlane Happy Hen on a Harley

    Feb 24, 2011
    Central Arkansas
    That is disgusting and it makes me sick to think of it. There will never be a good enough reason for me to ever agree to debeak a chicken. I'll process a chicken before I will debeak it. I understand this is probably big producers doing this but still. Ohhhh there's my rant for the week. (Think happy thoughts....think happy thoughts LOL)
  7. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 10, 2010
    I am just making an assumption here and please correct me if I am wrong, but a chicken with a trimmed beak will have trouble freeranging, right?
    Would it be adventagious to offer chopped up greens to the poor bird for the boost that they would normally get from eating grasses and such?
  8. JoePa

    JoePa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2011
    Lehigh County Pa.
    My chickens were all debeaked when I got them as chicks - at first a couple had a hard time picking something up from the floor but had no problem eating from the feeder - they are about 7 months old now and their beaks have grown somewhat and are even - the top and bottom are the same length - at first some had the lower beak longer than the upper one - but one thing they didn't peck at each other - I've had good luck with them and would buy debeaked chicks again - [​IMG]
  9. Noobchick

    Noobchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2011
    Creedmoor, NC
    Theres a big difference between debeaking and trimming a beak. Think of it like this:

    Debeaking = declawing a cat or cropping a dogs tail.
    Trimming a beak = trimming a cat or dog's claws.

    Obviously, debeaking/declawing/cropping is a serious and PERMANENT process. (I'll refrain from getting on my soapbox.). Trimmed or filed beaks do grow back though. Sometimes trimming is necessary for various reasons.

    If the birds you're looking at are actually debeaked, their beaks won't grow back, they'll have issues eating an drinking and they may have issues grooming themselves. I'd do a little more research before committing to buy them. (And it goes without saying that you should quarantine them if you already have a flock.)

  10. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:It would have to be real fine, Dreamer. People sometimes give their fowl grass clippings without problems, but I have read that grass clippings can lead to impacted crop. Something about the neccessesity for them to actually pull the blade of grass themselves. Can`t be sure this is accurate, but I was impressed by the article at the time and have never done it. I might try it if the grass was chopped in a blender.......Pop

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