Crossing the Road
14 Years
Sep 19, 2009
Holts Summit, Missouri
Lately it appears I have gotten method down for salvaging chickens with grievous bill damage. First example below is minor relative to what has been dealt with since. Nastier cases will be shown later.

This had upper bill damaged by fighting a couple of months ago resulting in much of horn being lost. As a result the lower bill began to grow improperly to elongate.




This was more than just a cosmetic problem. As the mismatch increased she lossed the ability to pick up small particles without jamming her bill into something soft below item she was trying to consume. Even larger individuals became more difficult to consume. She also lost the ability to shear plant parts. Result was she began to loose weight and became feed-bucket aggressive she was always famished. To compensate I set out feed bucket so she could jam her head down into feed. That allowed her to ingest enough feed to enabling some restoration of weight.

Approach for correction involved cutting lower bill so it is slightly behind upper. The cause some bleeding that stopped in under a minute.



She still has a mismatch although she can pickup medium to larger particulates without trouble. Notice she still has a gap at tip that degrades ability to consume smaller particulates. Both upper and lower parts of bill will lengthen with regrowth although will not appear normal. Hopefully upper and lower parts of bill will tighten up at tip and along base. Idieally the upper bill should also overhang lower slighty around sides along length of bill. Additional cutting may be needed but those will be months away.
The two roosters to be shown shortly are demonstrating that some pretty serious damage can be compensated for resulting in a quite healthy bird in the end. Time required for healing. It drives home the functionality of the bill. It it not just a bill but rather a multi-use tool.
Current problem, Edgar after second fight through wire. Extreme weather and darkness broke up first fight. Dog broke fight second time. Current swelling making so not getting proper closure. Once swelling down will take some time, possibly 6 months before upper and lower parts of bill come together properly.

This guy got really dinged up last summer. I though he was a gonner. Since he was backup for line-breeding I opted to allow him a change free-range. He was very much underweight until early spring when he packed weight back on so he had to be penned up before coming back into courage. He nearly beat me.
Wetted feed and coarse particulates. Last night he went to roost with full crop so good on consumption rate. Feed also presented as more nutrient dense (i.e. more animal protein and vitamins). This morning I popped him with some olive oil mixed onto the dry oatmeal and raw broken egg. Numb nut still want to let hen have it first so now separated.

I have not named a single one of the birds. Wife and now kids do that. I just specify letter name starts with so consistent with lineage. My skin crawls a little even after what is approaching a decade using all these names. We always had an old cock and hen with a name like a lead cow but not every one.
Good that he is eating. LOL about the names, let the wife and kids name them:) Makes it fun and could encourage interest.

Separating a good idea so he eats well...some days I wander if mine even eats- lets the girls have first dibs, but he's heavy so does it at some point.

Hope all goes well.

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