Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How and when to clip a chickens nails

Chickens nails grow.....A lot! They keep them filed down by scratching in the dirt for all those yummy bugs and worms. The rough particles act like sandpaper and file the nails down bit by bit as they scratch and dig in the dirt. Normally all of my chickens keep their nails short. The only ones I have a problem with are the most broody of the Silkies. When they go broody, they spend 3 weeks just sitting in a nest box keeping those eggs warm. After the chick hatch they spend the next several weeks sitting on them and keeping them warm. Have you ever tried to go almost 2 months without cutting your nails? Not pretty.

trimming chickens nails


Clipping a chickens nails is fairly easy though all you need is a guillotine style dog nail clipper. You simply clip the end of the nail off, just like you would do for a cat or dogs nails.

Cutting chickens toenails

Much like a cat or dog though, they do have a vein inside their nail. If you cut it, it can bleed a lot! You may want to grab the blood stop powder to keep on hand just in case. (or cornstarch) The end of the nail will be thinner and often curved. This is the part you want to clip. The top part of the nail will be thicker and in light colored nails it will be darker. This is the part you don't want to cut!

Clipping a chickens nails

If you're not sure where to stop, just cut a tiny bit off the end and give the chicken a few days to see if they get it filed down themselves. Often that is all it takes to get it to where the chicken can manage it on their own. You can always go back and take a tiny bit off again in a few days. You don't need to remove a lot of it, just enough to allow the foot to be in it's natural position. We use a guillotine style dog nail clipper to clip chickens nails. You can also buy the type with a guard on it to prevent over clipping.

Pet chicken, clipped nails

The chicken will be more comfortable once the excess nail is gone and it allows for proper scratching in the dirt. The better they can scratch, the better they can find all those yummy bugs and grubs!

~L
(this post contains affiliate links. If you chose to purchase something through the link, I will get a small amount from Amazon to thank me for sending you their way and help support this blog. It will not affect your purchase price)

10 comments:

  1. Thank you for this tutorial! I've always wondered how to do this. I noticed my broody hen's nails were getting pretty long, so I put a small piece of concrete inside her enclosure so she could file them down if need be. Good to know I can also clip them if I have to!

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    1. YW! The broodys get pretty bad sometimes. Is the concrete working?

      ~L

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  2. Oh good to know this. I have already learned how to trim a beak.

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    1. Awesome! I hate trimming beaks, but sometimes it is necessary.

      ~L

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  3. Our hens have not started laying yet so of course we have not experienced the broody hen, but this is good info. I never thought about this. I just wanted to stop by and let you know that your post will be featured at tomorrow's The HomeAcre Hop. I will also tweet, like, and +1 your post. Please stop by and grab the featured button at:

    http://summersacres.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-homeacre-hop-25.html
    Congrats!
    ~Ann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for featuring us! I added the button right away, I was so excited!

      ~L

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  4. I am so glad I found this, good to know, a few of my girls will be getting a manicure tomorrow! Sounds simple enough! Thank you!

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    1. It's super simple.....let me know how it work out!

      ~L

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  5. Good to know! I'll keep this for future reference as our chickens are still quite young yet. Thank you for sharing this at the HomeAcre Hop! We'd love to have you back: http://blackfoxhomestead.com/uncategorized/the-homeacre-hop-25/

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  6. Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop! Hope to see you again this week. :)

    ReplyDelete

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