Where these beaks trimmed? Should I do anything?


In the Brooder
May 24, 2020
I just bought these birds last night from a backyard breeder. My husband said they had maybe 40 birds in 2 smallish pens that they were raising and selling. We noticed that the lower beak on one is way longer than the upper beak. The other hen is much less pronounced difference. Were these birds debeaked? Should I trim the longer lower beak on the one hen? I feed them from a 5 gallon bucket feeder with the 90 degree elbow they stick their heads through so I don't know how well she's eating. Just that she looks healthy and is the larger and more dominant of the two. I don't know how they were fed in the original home. They are supposed to be 6-8 months old. Thoughts?


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Their beaks don't look trimmed, but the first chicken has cross beak, also called scissor beak. She probably can't eat very well. Cross beak is a genetic defect that comes from poor breeding. I don't know how you an fix cross beak. For the second chicken, you can trim her bottom beak to match the top beak better. I had a chicken with a large bottom beak, and trimming it allowed her to eat better.
Agree, the first one has scissor beak. More info here:
The second one looks like it was broken. So hopefully it will grow back with some time.
If you have large rocks or concrete blocks in your run, they can hone their beaks on these themselves (you will often see them rubbing their beaks after eating or drinking) and it can help a great deal. I personally would not trim the second one unless the bird is having difficulty eating, I would just give her access to the rocks or concrete. A bird that is debeaked generally looks more like the picture below.

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