Trimmed-Beak with "Beaked" Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sunshine009, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. Sunshine009

    Sunshine009 New Egg

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    I recently purchased three hens from a farm that, unfortunately, trim the beaks of their chickens. At the time, I didn't have any alternatives as the only farm with adult hens in my area that didn't trim beaks didn't have any hens available until the fall. However, that same farm just emailed me saying that they are now able to give me some chickens - just in time, as I was considering adding two to three more hens to my flock. I'd much rather support a farm that doesn't trim the beaks of their chickens so of course I'd love to get chickens from her.
    However, I'm concerned about how whole-beak and trimmed beak chickens would get along. It seems to me the "normal" chickens would take advantage of the other girls who wouldn't be able to defend themselves.
    Thoughts?
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    From my personal experience, there's no issue. The pecking order is not decided by beak / no beak - it's a complex social issue.
     
  3. NotSoChickenLove

    NotSoChickenLove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do trimmed beaks grow out? I'm pretty sure my girl's beaks are starting to look more and more normal.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They should be fine, you could always file the very tip off the new birds to even the odds if absolutely necessary(last resort tho)....but integration and pecking order can definitely be something to learn about, manage, and be prepared for.
    even with their dubbed beaks, the existing birds will most likely be the aggressors.

    It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
    Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
    eggbert420 and sourland like this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Maybe... maybe not...depends on how they were trimmed.
    If they were cauterized as chicks, probably not.
     
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  6. Sunshine009

    Sunshine009 New Egg

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    Thank you so much, really informative. I'll take this all into consideration. As it is right now, my coop and run are built to house ten or more, but I only have three right now and want to add 2 so space shouldn't be an issue. Creating a second food and water source is a great idea. And I've heard before about keeping them separated at first so I'll be sure to do that. However, this separation works for the yard, but how should I separate them in the coop?
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Using what sq ft per bird standard?

    Keep in mind that you often need 'extra' space for an integration.
     
  8. Sunshine009

    Sunshine009 New Egg

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    Jun 9, 2017
    I've heard 10sqft per bird on average, but I personally like to devote more. My run is approximately 250sqft. The coop is 32sqft with perches+nesting boxes and they're only in there at night.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    The 4/10(coop/run) rule of thumb is a bare minimum IMO.
    Can depend on your climate, whether you feed/water inside or out, and the demeanor of your birds.
    'Only in there at night' does not mean they need less space in coop...they need to go in to lay and get settled on roosts, both can be vectors for battles.
     
  10. Sunshine009

    Sunshine009 New Egg

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    Well I don't claim to be an expert either way.
    I just mentioned the fact that they're only in the coop at night because I read this from the link on space in your footnote:
    "If all you use your coop for is to provide a safe place for them to sleep and you commit to getting up when they do 365 days a year so you can open the pop door, you really don’t need much space in the coop itself."
    It was a really interesting post and you seemed to think highly of it so I just thought it would be relevant to you :)


    Any advice for how to deal with introducing new birds in the coop?
     

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