Trimmed Beaks - Lower longer than upper

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Debo's Chickens, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Debo's Chickens

    Debo's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Everett, WA
    I just got these chickens almost 2 weeks ago. They are 9 months old & should all be hens. They are a Barred Plymouth Rock, a Rhode Island Red, and a Black Australorp.

    The guy I got them from had gotten them as chicks from a hatchery. They came to him w/ their beaks trimmed (don't know if there is another term for it - butchered maybe [​IMG] ). I wish they had full, natural beaks, but they don't. This is my first time having chickens, so it's all a learning experience. I figured if they're 9 months old, they must be able to eat otherwise they wouldn't be alive. I try to watch them when they eat, and it does seem like they don't get food w/ every peck. I feed them layer pellets & a little mixed grain stuff I made up myself (corn, oats, wheat, millet, quinoa, black oil sunflower seeds)

    On two of them (the RIR & the BA) the lower beak is much longer than the upper beak. The guy said that if they have access to bricks or the like, that they would grind down their lower beaks to meet w/ the upper beak. I'm hoping that this is the case. The BR's lower beak is already pretty even w/ the upper beak, so I'm hoping that this is true. Anyone know if they will self-maintain their beaks? Here are some pics.

    [​IMG]

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  2. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    They will grind their beaks on hard surfaces. I don't know if they'll ever really even out.
    You will need to keep feed for them in a deep tray or bowl as they can not pick up single particles. It makes it hard for them if they are being free ranged to get anything to eat.
     
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Poor things.

    Yes, keep their feed in deep trays so they can shovel scoop each bite.
     
  4. Debo's Chickens

    Debo's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Everett, WA
    Thanks guys. I will make sure that the feed is deep enough for them to get. It's a huge bummer though - I want them to free-range in my backyard & get all the benefits of a free-range diet. Time will tell - they don't even want to leave the top of the coop that much so far [​IMG]
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Chickens are known to play 'chicken' and act 'chicken'. Give them some time to get adjusted and they will eventually venture out and explore.

    They are shy, in a new place and have to re-establish their sense of their living space and bounderies.

    In a couple weeks they will be fine as if they have lived there for ever.
     
  6. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    beak trimming summary:
    http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/CME/00-72.pdf

    probably more than you ever wanted to know about beak trimming.
    your birds will probably be fine, but do watch them and feel their crops periodically to make sure they can eat. sometimes you need to retrim if the first time it was done poorly.

    Next time get chickens from elsewhere, beak trimming is mostly done for preventing cannibalism in high stress, high intensity farms.
     
  7. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2008
    Your birds will be just fine. If they free range, they will gradually grind off the bottom beaks, and if they live long enough, their beaks will gradually grow back, and become as if they were never debeaked.

    There is an advantage for your birds---You will not have to worry about cannibalism, and they will not be able to hurt you much if they do become aggressive and attack you. Some birds attack others and actually kill their flockmates. I feel that it's definitely preferable to debeak a few cannibals than to have to euthanize them. Some seem to disagree with me on this, but that's their right.
     

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