Friday, July 11, 2008

Edwina Scissor Beak

Poor Edwina has a scissor beak. When she was just a chick it didn't effect her much. She seemed to be eating just fine and developing normally but lately I have noticed that she is spending a lot of time going round and round the feeder pick pick picking and not getting full. I have recently switched their crumbles for pellets and Edwina seems to have trouble keeping them in her mouth. I think. I have spent a lot of time watching her eat and can't tell if she is getting anything or not. She is the only hen that has learned to climb right into the top of the feeder so only her tail sticks out. Not very sanitary.
Her obsession with food has led me to believe she is not getting enough to eat. On closer inspection her beak is very long and hooked where the other hens have naturally worn theirs down. So I wondered if I could trim her beak. Not wanting to hurt her I was hesitant. So I Googled it and sure enough you can really hurt them if you trim their beak wrong.
Today I was at our friendly neighborhood feed store buying chicken food and happened to ask the owner if he knew anything about chickens and he said he did. I explained the problem and he confirmed that you do have to be careful because there is a lot more going on in that beak than you realize. Those poor factory hens that have their beaks cut can be in for some chronic pain. His suggestion was to still feed crumbles. She would be able to keep more of it in her mouth. So I bought a bag of crumbles from him. The nice thing about his brand of crumbles is that it is ground so that there are small and large crumbles, something for everyone.
I brought the feed home and filled the feeder. Then I caught her and took a good look at her beak. There was a definite part on there I was sure I could trim off. I took my handy tin snips and gave that girl a beakicure. I put her by the feeder and she was ravenous. She couldn't get enough...poor girl. I hope this does the trick.
On another note I am having a bit of trouble with my Ramona's choice of a nest. She has chosen the stack of my son's motorcycle tires as hers. I have locked her up in the coop to get her to lay in there but after a couple of days of nothing I finally softened and let her out. She ran as fast as she could to the tires and shot out an egg. She must have been keeping her legs crossed. I guess I don't mind so much. It does seem fitting that we would have a hen that can appreciate a good set of tires.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Poor sweet Edwina! She's such a pretty girl, even with her unfortunate over/under bite.
What a good chicken Mama you are to make sure to have crumbles for her and to een carefully trim her beak.
Alot of people would have already culled her indtead of working with her 'disability'.

Funny Ramona the Brave! Maybe she just prefers round beds over square? haha

Chanda said...

That poor chicken, she just knows where she wants to lay those eggs. I don't know about the beek situation, maybe file it alittle. I think thats what a vet does,They file horses teeth down why not a beek

Christine said...

OMG, that that's too funny about the tires. Crazy birds. Ya gotta love 'em. Sounds like you've got the beak thing under control. I'm sure Edwina is very grateful.

Heidi said...

LOL - thats were the rubber met the road hen!! LOL My granny had chickens like Edwina - she would use a finger nail file - a metal one with a bit rougher bit - and file the sides down a bit along with the tip of it. She could trim them suckers down in a few sittings, like 1 time a week, until you could not tell the they had a problem. She said not all at once because it will hurt them. Arnt old grannys smart?!?

Did Ramona run knock kneed all the way to the tires!!! TO FUNNY!!

Anonymous said...

Edwina is a cute gal. I am glad you trimmed her beak.
I sure am relieved Ramano got those legs uncrossed in
She is like the little bantie that insisted on getting in my husband's shop to knock everything off a shelf so she could lay right there. No where else would do.
Hens can be so head strong.
Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

I have a chicken named Hoot that has scissor beak. At first I thought she had broken her jaw. She is an Aracauna. She looks a bit like an owl. She runs around the feeder repeatedly and eats frequently. Today I tried to feed her a grub and she could not even peck at the correct spot on the ground to pick it up. She is on the small side. Does Edwina lay eggs? I'm not sure Hoot ever will. I'll try trimming her beak...carefully.
Cindy in FL

Wendy said...

We bought 15 Auracanas from a local feed store in AZ two weeks ago and one of them has a scissor beak. With 15 chicks I didn't notice it right away because they all look the same. However, I have noticed food getting stuck in her top beak. It collects there and I have had to scrape it out. I hate to think this is something I am going to have to do on a daily basis for the next six years.