Sunshine’s Boo Boo

May 13, 2011

Sometimes things just happen and you have no idea how or why.  Yesterday, before the girls settled in for the night, I went out and visited them.  I happened to notice that Sunshine’s beak was blemished.  It had a red streak running horizontally across the middle of the beak.  In the center, appeared to be a gash.

I went inside and grabbed a wet paper towel.  I returned to her in the run; grabbed her and held her in my lap.  I rubbed her beak with my finger.  The blemish was smooth and clean.  Even when I rubbed it with a paper towel, nothing came off.  How strange, clearly this must be a beak injury. It looks like blood underneath of a fingernail.  I needed to do some research.

I locked the girls up for the night and went directly to the backyard chickens website. There, I did a quick search revealing that beak injuries can and do occur.  The injuries occur while people trim them or if chickens get into injuring predicaments.  Little did I know, like dogs’ toenails, beaks have a quick.  Beaks have an actual blood supply running through them!  Wow, what an interesting fact!

Armed with my new information, I racked my brain on how she hurt her beak.  I hope it doesn’t cause her pain.  Truly, she seems unfazed by the whole situation.  I went to bed with Sunshine on my mind.

When I woke this morning, I soon realized what could have caused the scrapelike injury.  Sunshine loves to eat her food out of the top of the feeder.  The feeder is hung from the coop ceiling by a chain and a hook.  Perhaps, there was a rough spot on the feeder or the chain.  I quickly went outside and investigated my theory.  As the girls scratched in the run, I discovered a sharp edge on the chain.  With metal cutters, I clipped off that portion of the chain.

So far, none of the other girls have beak injuries and I certainly hope that I have solved the mystery.  I just wonder how long it will take to get her beautiful beak to heal.  I hope that I was right on what caused the injury in the first place. I guess time will tell.


Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest


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8 thoughts on “Sunshine’s Boo Boo”

  1. Awwww. Poor little Oyster Cracker 🙁 Yes, they do damage their beaks. I have a few, my big roo included, that have beaks that grow too long. Even one of my turkeys had this issue. And all of them end up breaking off the tip of the beak. It grows back and it may take a little time adjusting to a shorter beak (much like we adjust to shorter fingernails) but they are just fine. And if it breaks too close to the quick, it will bleed for a little while. But not too long. I think Oyster Cracker will be just fine. She's got a good mama, after all 🙂

  2. Hi Basicliving! Thanks for the tips! I had to go back and edit my post, after closer inspection it was Sunshine not Oyster Cracker! They are so hard to tell apart! Thank you for the kind wishes and the lovely compliments. Now, I only hope that blogger will restore the rest of my blog….

  3. This is very interesting. It makes sense, but I had never considered a quick in their beaks.
    I hope she heals quickly and that the problem is solved.

  4. Well, I've learned something new today. Never did I ever guess or think of a quick. Makes sense though. If something similar ever happens to one of ours, then I'll at least know how a living beak works, grows and heals!


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.