GQF MFG Debeaking Clipper 0216

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Prevent Picking


Debeaking is done to protect your birds from each other, and to help protect them from disease. An angry bird with a beak is much more dangerous than a bird without. This can help prevent picking of other birds, as well as occurences of cannibalism among chickens


Recommended debeaking between a week and ten days of age, again at six weeks of age and again at twelve weeks of age. All that is required is to cut the upper beak about one third of the distance back. 

SKU: 0216

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$3.17
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Debeaking is done to protect your birds from each other, and to help protect them from disease. An angry bird with a beak is much more dangerous than a bird without. This can help prevent picking of other birds, as well as occurences of cannibalism among chickens.

Recommended debeaking between a week and ten days of age, again at six weeks of age and again at twelve weeks of age. All that is required is to cut the upper beak about one third of the distance back.

(Size 4'') 

Debeaking Debunked

Commercial egg producers routinely debeak their chickens to prevent cannibalism. Operators justify the practice by balancing the temporary pain endured by the young chick with the damage and loss of life that would occur in the long run. It doesn't take a new chicken owner long to learn that chickens can be fierce and brutal. However, there are other methods besides debeaking to keep a flock from fighting.

Why Not Debeak? Ignoring the immediate pain and stress caused by the process when it occurs, in the long run the chickens' lives are forever altered by debeaking. Debeaked birds that are later allowed to free range have a very limited ability to forage for insects. They simply no longer have the tools necessary to catch prey. Debeaked birds also have trouble managing foods other than commercially processed chicken feed.

Keeping Calm in the Flock So, what can the backyard chicken owner, or even a small to mid-sized commercial operator do to prevent aggressive behavior from becoming a problem? The Virginia Cooperative Extension Service traces aggressive behavior, pecking and cannibalism to several environmental conditions, first and foremost among them, overcrowding. Chickens that are given more space to spread out are much less likely to peck each other. As little as 1.5 square feet per bird will reduce pecking.

Another factor that keeps birds agitated is light. Some operators use artificial light sources to keep chickens producing during short winter days. This practice, while effective in keeping egg production up, increases aggression. Let the birds follow a normal yearly cycle, including a molting period in the winter, and they will be calmer. Laying nests should be situated so that they're darker than the rest of the coop, too. Provide 1 nest for every 5 birds to share. Fewer nests will lead to fighting.

While chicks need to be kept warm, excessive heat also causes aggression. Brooding pens should be kept at 95ºF for the first week and then decreased by 5ºF per week until outside temperatures are reached. If lights are used to heat the brooder, use infra-red bulbs rather than white bulbs.

Something as simple as keeping feeders full can help in reducing aggressive behavior. If the chickens are pecking at the feeder, they're not pecking at each other. Having a sufficient number of feeders and waterers reduces confrontations in the flock. Keeping the birds on a balanced diet minimizes problems as well. This is rarely a problem in flocks that are allowed to free range in grassy fields. They will find a balanced diet, if left on their own.

Remove crippled, injured and sick birds from the general population. The weak will be picked on, no matter what. When they're gone, the next weakest will take their place. If that's a healthy bird, the contest will likely end in a draw, and no one gets hurt. But, if a crippled or injured bird is picked on by one, soon the entire flock will join in.

Certain breeds are less prone to aggression than others. They may not be quite as productive as other breeds, but to have peace in the coop, a little productivity might be a small price to pay.

Large egg producers may never adopt environmental changes in place of mutilation, but for the small or private flock, it is the right choice for many reasons.

Additional Info

Additional Info

Manufacturer GQF Manufacturing
Model No
MPN No
UPC Does Not Apply
Chicken Egg Capacity No
Goose Egg Capacity No
Quail Egg Capacity No

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