Trimming a scissor beak?

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
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I recently noticed one of my newly acquired flock has scissor beak. She is a little smaller compared to the other chickens but I assumed she was a pullet because I have a few of those. She is an EE and I’m not sure if she is laying yet. She has obviously made it past the critical chick stage, and she has access to crumble food that I feed the ducks, but I’m wondering if trimming her beak would make it easier for her to eat. If I do trim her beak, are there any tips that have helped others?
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
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It was easier to file it down with a pet manicurer, it will always be there, I spent months having to do it at least weekly, you do not want to let her breed though as it is thought to be a genetic issue. Once she was out and about from the grow out pen I have to do it maybe one a year, she does fine eating and drinking just looks odd but 2.5 years old now she is still good egg layer
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
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Western Washington
It was easier to file it down with a pet manicurer, it will always be there, I spent months having to do it at least weekly, you do not want to let her breed though as it is thought to be a genetic issue. Once she was out and about from the grow out pen I have to do it maybe one a year, she does fine eating and drinking just looks odd but 2.5 years old now she is still good egg layer
Pet manicured? Like the thing that grinds down the dogs nails? How much do you trim it back? Looking at mine I think I’m going to have to take the upper beak back about half way. Does that sound like too much?
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
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Idaho
Pet manicured? Like the thing that grinds down the dogs nails? How much do you trim it back? Looking at mine I think I’m going to have to take the upper beak back about half way. Does that sound like too much?
Yes on the one for doing dog nails I got a battery operated one , it has a stone to do the filing,have stypix or corn starch, go back to where you need to with it or it starts to bleed then stop

Easier to wrap her in a towel to keep her calmer and don't forget a treat afterwards
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
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Idaho
I hadn’t even thought of bleeding. I have both the of those items for dog nails. Thanks for the tips! Now I need chicken treats...
Luckily chickens are happy with most things as a treat as long as you don't do it all the time lol, either some yogurt , bit of fresh green leafy. or a few meal worms are my hens favorite after being stressed.

That hen would come willingly the next time I needed to trim it for her, and decided some snuggle time was good.
 

SurferchickinSB

Free Ranging
Feb 23, 2018
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Pet manicured? Like the thing that grinds down the dogs nails? How much do you trim it back? Looking at mine I think I’m going to have to take the upper beak back about half way. Does that sound like too much?
Yes, that’s way too much. Just do a little at a time. You will see a little vein, just like a dogs nail, just go to that spot and stop. The dog nail grinder’s work really well and there is way less chance for error or cracking the beak. Good luck with your little one
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
1,092
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Western Washington
Luckily chickens are happy with most things as a treat as long as you don't do it all the time lol, either some yogurt , bit of fresh green leafy. or a few meal worms are my hens favorite after being stressed.

That hen would come willingly the next time I needed to trim it for her, and decided some snuggle time was good.
Sounds better than chasing her with a net every time. So far these birds don’t seem to appreciate being handled so I have my work cut out for me. I appreciate your tips, I think I will be much better prepared now!
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
1,092
2,650
231
Western Washington
Yes, that’s way too much. Just do a little at a time. You will see a little vein, just like a dogs nail, just go to that spot and stop. The dog nail grinder’s work really well and there is way less chance for error or cracking the beak. Good luck with your little one
Even if I can’t trim it as much as I think she needs, she is still likely to benefit from some trimming, right?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
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Jul 3, 2016
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Treat it like a dog or cat's nail. If the beak is light colored you should be able to see through it enough to see where the "quick" is versus the overgrowth at the end. I trim off a little excess with a dog nail trimmer (I would not use this if I couldn't see where the quick was), then use a non-metal nail file to blunt the end and even the edges up. I also file the tip and sometimes edges of the bottom beak as well, as none of my crossbeak's edges quite line up so there's a bit of unevenness I try to minimize.
 

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