Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Poultry and Pets => The Hen House => Topic started by: Lewjam on April 28, 2011, 08:09

Title: Beak Questions!
Post by: Lewjam on April 28, 2011, 08:09
Hello again... again...!

Sorry lots of questions recently but im new to all this!

Two things - one of the girls i got has got a small bit of the upper part of her beak missing, doesnít look sore, is this normal/ a problem?

I got her with two others that have no such problems so I donít think they have been clipped intentionally?

Unrelated but still beak related, one of them seems to have a habit of scrapping her beak back and forth on a bit of wood in the run?  Again is this normal behaviour of a sign of boredom?

Cheers

Lew
Title: Re: Beak Questions!
Post by: joyfull on April 28, 2011, 08:13
It sounds like the breeder has beak clipped the bird, they do this to help stop them pecking other birds when they are in crowded conditions (ex-batts etc will come with clipped beaks), they are fine and can eat ok.
The scraping of the beak on the floor is just their way of wiping their mouth (mine do it after porridge - usually on my shoes  ::)).
Title: Re: Beak Questions!
Post by: Lindeggs on April 29, 2011, 00:29
Mine wipe their beaks on my trouser leg if I don't step away fast enough!  ::)

I noticed my Light Sussex this morning wiping her beak repeatedly on a brick.  She wasn't doing it to dislodge anything that I could see, and I did wonder if she was smoothing the edges, a bit like filing her nails.  She was doing it after everyone had eaten their breakfast and they were sitting in the garden to rest and preen.

Lewjam, I wonder if your girls might benefit from something a little more solid in their run, like a brick or paving stone (assuming they don't already have one).  Or you could give them each a little nail file.  :)
Title: Re: Beak Questions!
Post by: evie2 on April 29, 2011, 14:11
I remember seeing or reading something about hens do this to show where food is.

I know mine do this and  if the others see it, they run over to see what's going on.
Title: Re: Beak Questions!
Post by: hillfooter on April 30, 2011, 02:52
I remember seeing or reading something about hens do this to show where food is.

I know mine do this and  if the others see it, they run over to see what's going on.

Hens scrape their beaks to clean them as Joy says and also to file them.  Caged birds have a cuttlefish bone to do this and in fact there's no reason a chicken can't also use a cuttlefish bone thought usually a sandstone or similar abrasive stone will do.

Hens bob their heads up and down to show their chx where food is (they only do this with chicks not other hens).  Chx react rapidly to this gesture.   With chx you can simulate their action to encourage them to drink in an artificial brooder by tapping your finger hooked downways into the water (or chick crumbs for that  matter).  Hens don't do this with other hens though cockerels will with hens usually picking the food up and dropping it again.  Hens when they find food will try to monopolise it by taking it to a corner and sticking her head in to prevent other hens stealing it.
HF
Title: Re: Beak Questions!
Post by: Lindeggs on April 30, 2011, 11:31
When I find an interesting worm or bug I tap the ground with my finger and say "look look look!"  Chickens come running from miles around with their heads down and necks stretched in front of them.  Never fails.  :lol:
Title: Re: Beak Questions!
Post by: Lewjam on May 03, 2011, 18:48
Cheers for the help! From this and another topic I have added a couple of bricks to my pen for both beaks and to put my.water hoper off the ground so they stop putting dirt and grass in it!