Very overgrown beak

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FlockO5ive, May 17, 2016.

  1. FlockO5ive

    FlockO5ive Out Of The Brooder

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    Young hen who is having trouble eating. I've noticed how thin she is so I have to figure this out. Her beak has always been overgrown but there is not much "dead" beak to cut off. I've never had to clip a beak before and I'm wondering if it's safe and if I take off too much will it hurt her?
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Trim back the upper bill so it is equal in length to the lower bill. I reccomend using wire cutters as can give quick cut with minimal crushing. Bone of upper jaw ends immediately anterior to nostrils so that should be free and clear of cut. Their will be some bleeding and bird will experience discomfort during cutting although healing will be very rapid. After trimming restrict feeding to use of course particulates such as pellets and intact grains. MAKE CERTAIN GRIT AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY AT ITS CONSUMPTION LIKELY BELOW NEEDED. Once wound cleared you can resume finer particle feeds. Free-range fare will be easy to consume after just a day or so. Weight will come back quickly without special diet.

    Original problem appears to be with lower jaw with that bird. Process sometimes requires repeated treatments, other times not. I have a hen trimmed three years ago that has upper and lower jaws reasonably well aligned after a single trimming although obviously not native configuration.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Also consider angle of that cut.

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    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Following images of five year old hen currently with similar problem you have.
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    This hen has upper jaw damaged first. Correction will be lower jaw.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The beak deformities for both birds make feeding on fine particulates difficult. Both birds can feed by plunging bill deep into feed in a feed bucket. My hen does just that and flies 100 feet a cross yard to land on me before diving down into bucket. She can pickup larger individual items like corn and pellets but takes a lot longer to feed up than other birds without beak problem. She is unable to eat plant leaves and has a very difficult time consuming animal / insect prey.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Provide your chickens with bricks and large rocks in their run. They will file down their beaks naturally.
    No need to start trimming.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    No.

    Problem of this sort is not treatable in such a manner. With healthy beaks with proper alignment that might work. I have yet to see behavior as you describe that would help with beak maintenance.
     
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    The thread starter never stated that the beak is deformed and by the photo it looks to be over grown.
    Chickens do hone their beaks on rocks, trees and other hard surfaces.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I am stating based ops image.
     

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