Trimming my hens nails?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MsChickenMomma, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    22,927
    118
    351
    Dec 2, 2012
    Michigan
    I have a special needs hen who is quite a bit different than the rest of my chickens. She used to belong to my grandfather, and wasn't well cared for. I think she may have been dropped as a chick, or kicked when she was older. She can't jump, or roost, so she sleeps in her nest box. She is half blind, so she doesn't scratch with the other chickens. Because she can't scratch, her nails are starting to get long, and I was wondering how I should trim them. She is my sweetest hen, and it should be pretty easy to trim them. I just don't know how to do it without accidentally hurting her.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,945
    178
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    If they are white, you should be able to see the quick in the nail, and then just avoid the quick, and trim them like you would a dog's.
    You can have a styptic pencil handy to stop bleeding if there is any.. If they are black or opaque you can trim just the part where it starts to hook though that can be trickier. If you are hesitant to do it yourself, there are many vets who will do it for free, and pet stores, too. I know Petland will, or did at one time, anyway, and probably most pet stores will that carry birds. They can also sell you the right kind of tool to use, a claw clipper.
     
  3. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    22,927
    118
    351
    Dec 2, 2012
    Michigan
    Alright, thank you! Her nails are white, and very dirty. I may have to clean them really well before I trim them. Will a dog trimmers work? We don't have a pet store anywhere near us, and her nails really need to be trimmed. Waiting for a claw clipper to come in the mail won't be an option at the moment...

    I noticed while I was feeding the chickens this afternoon that it is starting to look uncomfortable. We will probably trim her nails tomorrow once she is up and moving around in the morning. She is soundly asleep in her nest box right now. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,945
    178
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I dont know because I've never tried it, I think it would probably depend on the size of the hen. I know the claws will be pretty tough.
    If you aren't sure I would just try a small tip first. That way you'd get an idea how tough the claw is too maybe. Someone else on here tried trimming their rooster's spurs, and for those they used a small saw, which she said worked well. Let us know how it goes, good luck!
     
  5. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    22,927
    118
    351
    Dec 2, 2012
    Michigan
    I trimmed Henny's (my hens name) nails yesterday afternoon. We used a dog nail clippers and it went really well. She is in much better spirits now that her nails are shorter. We didn't have to trim them much, but it was enough to please her! We accidentally nicked the quick a tiny bit on one nail. It doesn't seem to bother her though. My dad had some quick stop powder that he used to use on his old bird, and that did the trick! Thankfully her nails are white, so we were able to see the quick very easily. Thanks for all of the tips and tricks!
     
  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    4,945
    178
    301
    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    NP, glad it worked well. [​IMG] I remember Henny Penny in an old children's story when I was little. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by