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#1 2010-04-07 01:46:02

lou
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From: Moose Jaw Saskatchewan
Registered: 2009-08-09
Posts: 1345

How to trim a beak

I noticed my golden laced polish has a very long beak. The top beak is quite a bit longer than the bottom. I also noticed that she is quite a bit thinner than the other girls. Has anyone ever had to trim a chickens beak before? If so what would you trim it with and could this be why she is thinner than the others although she seems quite healthy. Thanks  for any info.   Lou


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#2 2010-04-07 02:23:32

lou
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From: Moose Jaw Saskatchewan
Registered: 2009-08-09
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Re: How to trim a beak

Thanks Jayme  I'll try that. I'll trim just a very very little and see how she does.   Lou


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#3 2010-04-07 03:37:18

ChickieBooBoo
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From: Winnipeg MB
Registered: 2009-12-25
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Re: How to trim a beak

I have a White Leghorn hen from a local colony. Their beaks were trimmed before I even got them. Her upper beak has grown and has curved off to the side and is now growing down beside her lower beak. (if that makes any sense) Should I cut it? She doesn't seem any thinner then the others though... :confused:


You haven't seen a tree until you've seen it's shadow from the sky. --Amelia Earhart

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#4 2010-04-07 05:07:52

toybarons
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From: Parkland County, AB
Registered: 2008-08-05
Posts: 2519

Re: How to trim a beak

Beaks have a blood vein. This vein can sometimes be seen on light colored beaks and is next to hard to see in dark colored beaks.
On beaks that are over grown, you will notice that the over growth is thinner. Chickens usually will break off the over growth themselves. If you have to trim, nail clippers work well on poultry with small beaks. If the beak is thick, just use toe nail clippers which are bigger.
If you can see the vein in the beak, you want to snip just below it. Cutting the vein is like cutting your nail's quick. It is painful to the bird. So if you can't see the vein or you are not sure, snip off just the tip.

In a healthy bird, the lower beak never needs to be trimmed.
There are some medical conditions that can cause a lower beak to overgrow. As far as I'm aware, I don't believe poultry is prone to those conditions. The other is in the case that a bird has been improperly debeaked. I have a hen that is like that. She was debeaked by her previous owner. Sometimes her lower beak grows too long which makes it difficult for her to eat. If she doesn't break it off, I carefully snip the overgrowth.

Oh and if you do happen to cut the vein when trimming the beak, you can stop the bleeding with a septic pen. Some people use cornstarch. Some use a product called Stop Kwik [pet stores sell it.]


Coming November 22 & 23, the Canadian Heritage Breeds Club presents the 2014 APA Canadian National Poultry and Waterfowl Show in Red Deer, Alberta.

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#5 2010-04-07 05:34:50

toybarons
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From: Parkland County, AB
Registered: 2008-08-05
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Re: How to trim a beak

ChickieBooBoo wrote:

I have a White Leghorn hen from a local colony. Their beaks were trimmed before I even got them. Her upper beak has grown and has curved off to the side and is now growing down beside her lower beak. (if that makes any sense) Should I cut it? She doesn't seem any thinner then the others though... :confused:

Sounds like scissor beak. It's a deformity of the beak where the top doesn't line with the bottom. In severe cases the upper beak will cross over the lower.

If your hen is having no trouble eating, then I would suggest leaving it alone. Keep an eye on it. If the beak continues to grow and curve, then you may need to trim. But do be careful to trim only the thin overgrowth of the beak. In serious cases of scissor bill, the trim should be done by a vet or by an experience poultry person who knows how to properly do this sort of cut.

If your hen is eating fine but the overgrowth is plain bugging you cause it looks bad, you can trim back the thin overgrowth. I have a Silver laced Polish roo that has a scissor beak. I had to trim it once when he was around 5 months as he couldn't seem to break off the thin ovegrowth. Since then he has no problems maintaining it.


Coming November 22 & 23, the Canadian Heritage Breeds Club presents the 2014 APA Canadian National Poultry and Waterfowl Show in Red Deer, Alberta.

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#6 2010-04-08 18:53:11

LynneP
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From: Nova Scotia
Registered: 2009-08-08
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Re: How to trim a beak

It's also a good idea to have something abrasive in the coop and run so birds can rub their beaks and scratch their nails- cinder block, brick, hunk of granite...


Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral. ~Frank Lloyd Wright

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#7 2010-04-09 03:54:24

toybarons
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From: Parkland County, AB
Registered: 2008-08-05
Posts: 2519

Re: How to trim a beak

LynneP wrote:

It's also a good idea to have something abrasive in the coop and run so birds can rub their beaks and scratch their nails- cinder block, brick, hunk of granite...

Never thought of that. Thanks =)


Coming November 22 & 23, the Canadian Heritage Breeds Club presents the 2014 APA Canadian National Poultry and Waterfowl Show in Red Deer, Alberta.

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#8 2010-04-09 04:16:33

lou
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From: Moose Jaw Saskatchewan
Registered: 2009-08-09
Posts: 1345

Re: How to trim a beak

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate all the valuable info. I just wasn't sure what to do. But now I have a pretty good idea.   :thumbsup:   Lou


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