Meyer Hatchery sells started pullets during certain times of the year. These started pullets are between 16 and 20 weeks of age, with their beaks trimmed and have been fully vaccinated. Let’s explore more what beak trimming involves with our started pullets.
Why Do It?
Chickens, by nature, are flock animals and they work out their pecking order among themselves. There will always be some aggression and pecking between them, no matter how much space a flock has to roam and avoid each other when needed. Because of the number of pullets that are raised in the grow-out barns, and because they are not allowed outside access for biosecurity reasons, some pullets take out their aggressions on their flockmates. To protect the pullets from unnecessary aggression that may lead to injury or death, we choose to trim the chicks’ beaks using a cauterizing technique at around five days old.
Does It Hurt?
The cauterizing technique is done at around five days of age. It takes less than a second to complete and there is no bleeding. While there is some immediate pain at the moment, it quickly subsides and the chicks return to their usual activities. Compare it to accidentally touching a hot stove burner. Within a few minutes, we go about our activity while the burn begins healing. Chicks immediately learn to eat and drink as usual with the healing beak tip.
Will The Beak Grow Back?
Approximately 1/3 of the beak tip is cauterized and is not expected to grow back, leaving the beak permanently blunted as the pullet grows into adulthood. In some cases, the beak may grow back nearly entirely. Regrowth completely depends on how far into the beak tip the cauterization technique is performed.
Do You Sell Non-Beak Trimmed Started Pullets?
The short answer is no. It is not possible to manage part of the started pullet flock as beak trimmed and another part with non-trimmed beaks. They are all beak-trimmed as young chicks.