Rescued roo that was debeaked

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickepoo, May 1, 2016.

  1. chickepoo

    chickepoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2007
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    I am a police officer in a first ring suburb of a major metropolitan city, so getting dispatched to a report of a rooster standing in a parking lot was highly unusual. Even with new poultry laws allowing backyard chickens, roosters are a no-no around there. Anyway, he was easy to catch and since our impound typically houses dogs and cats, I eagerly brought him to my home in the country with an ample coop and acreage to run until the owner comes forward. I'm sure that won't happen but regardless, I'm concerned about the condition he came in. He looks great from a distance; healthy feathers, bright comb, good looking feet. Up close, he appears to have had injuries to his eyes as there is cloudiness in portions, his spurs were removed, as has the top of his beak. He can't pick grass or seed from the ground and it looks like he tried desperately during his freedom days. The beak is not clean and straight, more jagged and ground down. We are making certain he can eat what we give him and he's integrated well in to our flock.

    I'm wondering if his beak will grow back or if there is a way to tell if it was cauterized. Being that his spurs are gone too, is that a sign of a more industrial chicken source that he was born into? I don't do either and where I'm from, it's not done unless it's a chicken breeding facility and those are way up north.
     
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  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Can you post some pictures?

    I'm no expert on debeaking, so hopefully others will give their input.
    Usually it is to help prevent pecking, I am assuming this would be if they are housed where it is more crowded.
    Some people do trim the spurs on roosters and hens if they get too long. Spurs can sometimes cause injury/damage to the hens when mating, so trimming may help lessen the damage/injury.
    Without seeing the injuries to the eyes, I can't say, but chickens can peck one another, eye pecks are fairly common.

    Generally once a beak is trimmed, it usually will not grow back - I would think especially if it is cauterized.
    Some rescued/ex-battery hens with trimmed beaks benefit from having food place in a deeper dish/container so they can "scoop" their food, so that's something you may want to consider if he is having problems. He may never forage well, but over time he may learn to adapt. If the eyes are cloudy, then he may have trouble seeing his target.
     
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  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I started to say that at least he was not in a cockfighting situation but thinking about it, I’m not even sure of that. There is a lot about that that just doesn’t sound right. What color is he? Can you guess at breed?

    In industrial situations cutting off the tip of the top beak is sometimes done to keep them from eating each other when they are packed really tightly. But that is usually done right at hatch and is cauterized. Those don’t grow back. That’s one reason they often feed them wet mash because they have trouble picking up bits. They can eat wet mash fine. It sounds like his beak may have been cut later in life.

    Spurs grow back after they are cut. It sounds like those were cut fairly recently.

    I’m having trouble coming up with rational explanations. Perhaps someone just enjoyed being cruel. In you line of work I’m sure you’ve seen that. Or maybe someone was doing some kind of ritual, though usually that involves killing the rooster, not mutilating it.

    Another scenario that makes little sense is that he was being kept with other roosters for breeding purposes and was mutilated to keep them from killing each other. Cockfighting roosters will attack each other and fight to the death. I’ve never heard of it but maybe this type of mutilation will stop them from killing each other if they share a flock. I’d really expect them to keep going after each other anyway, leading with the claws, until one was dead.

    Perhaps it had nothing to do with cock fighting but someone had two roosters that were going after each other and this was an attempt to keep them both which failed, so they dumped the rooster. That would explain the head damage.

    For something this bizarre there is probably a simple explanation, so simple we’d never think about it.
     
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  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    That also crossed my mind @Ridgerunner but I don't know enough about that to make a good guess.[​IMG]

    Perhaps photos are on the way [​IMG] would love to see him.
     
  5. chickepoo

    chickepoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2007
    Buffalo, MN
    I'm almost certain he's a Rhode Island Red. I don't have any closeups yet. He's at the very bottom of the pecking order, and seems traumatized in his reaction to being approached. Closes his eyes and is almost limp. Breaks my heart but I'm hoping he'll learn to love our place in no time. [​IMG]
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I’m not sure what he is. Are you sure his spurs have been cut? He looks like a young cockerel whose spurs have not yet grown to me, not a mature rooster. That would explain him being at the bottom of the pecking order.
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Not sure what he is either, but he's handsome.
    From what I can see it looks like normal beak trimming that you see in battery hens and in some hatchery "started pullets", but I'm not sure if hatcheries sell the cockerels that way.
     
  8. mg15

    mg15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ridgerunner suggested mash. That is a very good idea.
    I have a brand of mash with many wheat berries in it so I put
    that into the Vita Mixer zip it up to full blast and it is a powder.
    Then I add broth or water and it pulls together almost sticky and
    when the girls eat it they get globs of the meal.
     

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