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when do I cut chicken toe nails

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by farmnut, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. farmnut

    farmnut In the Brooder

    Aug 25, 2008
    i have 19 week old barred rock hens no eggs yet. but today I saw a mess on one of the pullets backside, and something dryed on the perch. I picked her up and clean her backside because the others were strating to peck her backside. I notice her toenails were very long, so are the others.
    do I cut them and if so how far back. And with what?
  2. roosmom

    roosmom Songster

    Jun 3, 2008
    upper peninsula
    I dont think you do.....[​IMG]
  3. a2ms4chickens

    a2ms4chickens Songster

    Dec 16, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I use dog nail clippers to cut their nails.

    They are like a dog's nail, so you don't want to cut too short, or they will bleed. This can be stopped with cornstarch, sand, etc.

    If their nails are white, you can see the vein, so you don't cut them too short. If they are black, just clip a little at a time.

    My son shows his chickens at shows, so we cut their nails on a regular basis.

    Good luck!!!
  4. Moose The Ameraucana

    Moose The Ameraucana Chirping

    Jun 19, 2011
    I just tried to cut one of my chickens toe nails...big mistake! i used a blood stopper powder because if you dont they can bleed to death! I was so scared! Of course i only cut a little snip but still it bled like crazy! I feel so stupid! [​IMG]
  5. greenbottle27

    greenbottle27 In the Brooder

    Jun 11, 2011
    Southern NJ
    Is there a need to trim the nails? I would think that all that scratching would sorta help file things?

    Forgive the stupid or redundant question, I just bought Raising hickens for Dummies and have not finished it yet.
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I'm kind of interested in this as well. I just noticed my 5 yo hen has nails that are kinda long. She does scratch all day, but it's in soft dirt and grass/moss. Might try cutting her nails.

  7. Theapplechicks

    Theapplechicks Songster

    Apr 13, 2011
    I've never cut mine. I do let them free range during the day. I've never trimmed their beaks either.
  8. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    If you've never done it before, it may help to just take a tiny bit off at a time using dog nail clippers. Or even just using a nail file or a pet nail groomer tool (like the dremel type). As long as they are not preventing the chickens from walking properly, they will be fine.

    Another solution - give them something to scratch in - such as a box of sand.
  9. Stingrayg4

    Stingrayg4 Chirping

    Apr 27, 2011
    Are you guys serious? Cutting a chickens toenails? That's silly! [​IMG]

  10. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    If I have a rooster that is a little over zealous when mounting the hens I will trim the toes to lessen the damage they cause to a hens back. When you still have to watch how much is removed to avoid bleeding, I have found the most effective method is a drum sander on a Dremel tool. The sanding action generates heat and will cause the blood vessel in the nail to retract. If you need to remove quite a lot don't do it all at once. Remove some then go to the next, and the next till you come back to the first. Cutting still leaves a sharp edge while with sanding you can shape and blunt the nail lessening the damage it is capable of doing.
    1 person likes this.

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