Should we have our chicks debecked?

LeghornGuy

In the Brooder
12 Years
Jul 18, 2007
82
0
39
New Orleans
I am planning to order 40 leghorn pullets in May.
However, my sister and mother are going to take 20 pullets.
That will leave me with 20 pullets.
I am going to raise all 40 pullets for 3 months or so.

Should I have them debecked?
Are there any disadvantages to getting them debecked?

What are the advantages?
If you have debecked chickens, do you notice any difference between your flock?

My yard space is limited and I have a flock of 14 hens.
I will not free range the younger pullets for 4 or 5 months
Let me know
(Waiting till May before I order my pullets)
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
975
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Unless you are gong to raise them like a factory farm where they have no room to move around, there is not really any reason to debeak. It's only benefit is that in conditions where the hens cannot get away from each other, they can't peck on each other. In a free range situation, they may have harder times keeping up with eating bugs and keeping up in the pecking order with intact beaked hens. However, some members do have rescues and debeaked hens, which are doing just fine. Just keep the feed dishes deep.

I personally think it is unnecessary and shouldn't be done if you plan to have just a back yard flock.
 

LilPeeps

Songster
13 Years
Jan 13, 2007
3,925
13
221
SE Mass
I agree, unless you plan on confining them in very close spaces, there's not really any reason to debeak, I would personally never do it.
 

luvmychicknkids

Canning Squirrel
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
5,679
28
261
Floresville, Texas
I, too, would never debeak my chicks. It is an extremely painful procedure for the chick and I have heard that they can have residual pain their entire life. Also, like others have mentioned, it makes it difficult for them to catch bugs and such....something that I know is a huge part of my chickens happiness.
 

unionwirewoman

Songster
12 Years
Sep 14, 2007
788
10
151
Kalispell , MT
I have never done it ....nor will I ever....but my grandmother did it for egg eaters (she's almost 92 and has lived on a farm all her life ) Clipping the beak , if done properly is like cutting your fingernails or trimming a horses hoof . If you clip the proper amount there is no pain , but if you clip too deep , it will draw blood and will be very painfull . As I said , I wouldn't do it or recomend it especially if you have the room for all the chickens .
 

Cetawin

Chicken Beader
11 Years
Mar 20, 2008
13,752
127
333
NW Kentucky
I personally would never do it. I mean a beak is an intricate part of a chicken...any bird for that matter. IMHO that is a disfiguring cruelty. Would you do it to a canary, parrot, eagle or hummingbird? if not, why do it to a chicken? Just my personal 2 cents worth.
 

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