When is a beak to long ? What to do with a very nasty chicken ?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CluckyChook, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. CluckyChook

    CluckyChook Out Of The Brooder

    Hello chook lovers [​IMG]

    I am totally new to keeping back yard chooks, (we did keep them when I was a kid and my grandad had a big flock of duel purpose birds, but that was a long time ago!)

    Can anyone give me advice on beaks, I have just taken on some pullets and their beaks seem to be longer on the top then on the bottom, is this normal ? I suspect that they have been barn raised as they had no idea how to scratch and scrabble in the dirt so I was also wondering if their beaks will wear down naturally once they start to adjust to the outdoors.

    Also I seem to have a total bully hen who goes out of her way to make my other girls life a misery, typical top hen I hear you say, but has anyone tryed any methods that have worked that might help her chill out a bit ?

    Thanks for your advise. CluckyChook x
  2. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    If they have no problem eating, I would not worry about the length of their upper beaks. If they are having problems eating, you can carefully trim the beak back to the quick with dog nail clippers. You might try removing the bully for a week or so until the others establish themselves. Upon reintroduction she may exhibit a modified behavior. Be aware that if you remove her another will most likely step up and take her place. Unless she is causing real damage to the others, I would tend to leave her with them and allow them to work things out. Enjoy your birds.[​IMG]
  4. MissJenny

    MissJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Let me be the first to say [​IMG] Glad you're here -- this is a really helpful forum. And very addictive.

    For your beak question, I don't really know the causes or if it's a problem. I have one similar to what you describe and my answer is that since she can eat and drink comfortably, I'll leave her alone.

    As for the bully -- some people put their bully in "Chicken Jail" , a dog crate away from the general population, for a few weeks. What this does is cause the flock to re-adjust itself, pick a new leader and when the old bully comes back she will have to find herself a new place.

    Good luck and again, glad you're here,
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Be sure you have a large rock/brick/cement block for them to drag their beak on. I see mine doing this frequently and have no problems.

    If the boss hen is drawing blood or really making the rest of the flock miserable, you can remove her. Sometimes isolating them will cause them to lose status, and when you reintroduce her to the flock she'll have lost standing and not harass the others. If she's just being the boss, like eating first or chasing others away when she wants to drink, I'd just leave her. This is normal boss hen behavior and if she doesn't do it, someone else will.
  6. CluckyChook

    CluckyChook Out Of The Brooder

    [​IMG] Thank you all for your advice, I'm sure I will get the hang of this pretty quick.

    The bossy hen has drawn blood but it dryed very quickly and she doesn't seem to be picking on that hen to much or re-opening the wound. I am keeping a very close eye on the situation and have made plans to isolate her if I need to. I'm going to leave to beaks alone and see what happens once they start using the outdoor pen a bit more, I have put bricks and other objects in there for them to grind them on.

    I'de like to introduce my girls although they don't have names yet ! I have a small mature light brown mongrol (the bully) who must have silkie genes some where down the line as she has a little top nott of feathers on her head - she's very cute and a bit evil, the other 2 are langshan pullets 16 weeks they are very handsome neat and tidy looking birds with feathers growing down their legs, I have a suspicion that one is a rooster so I'm hoping that my neigbours are going to be tolerant !!

    This forum is great I'm glad I found it - thanks again
  7. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    a rooster will sort out the bossy hen...

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