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.
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!
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.
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!
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