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Chickens use their beaks for most of their activity, it is their most valuable tool. They use it to eat, drink, dig, communicate, groom, explore and do whatever else they need to do. Any injuries to the beak should be looked at and more serious injuries can even prevent a chicken from eating and drinking which will threaten its ability to survive. When any such injuries occur it is important to know what to feed a chicken with a broken beak.
A chicken with a broken beak will most likely not be able to eat by itself. They need food that is easy to eat and that does not require them to use their beaks too much. You can mix normal feed with water to create wet feed or make mash that they can easily scoop up.
If a chicken with a broken beak is not cared for properly it will be in danger of dying. It is therefore important to take a look at exactly what you can feed them and how to feed them.
Chickens will normally be fed dry feed. This can be a mixture of cereal grains, seeds or other grassy materials. This diet can also be complemented with different food scraps like fruits or vegetables. I wrote an article on how much to feed chickens here
For a chicken with a broken beak, they will have a very hard time eating any of these normal foods. It will be necessary to prepare special food for them and the exact food will also depend on how severe the damage to the beak is.
The exact food can be anything from their normal grain food that has been soaked in water to fruits and vegetables that have been mixed and blended with water.
If the damage to the beak is very severe we also recommend taking the chicken to a veterinary expert to get a consultation on how to proceed.
If this is not an option, or if you prefer to care for the chicken by yourself, you can use the information in this article to make sure the chicken gets fed properly until it can care for itself again.
The best food to feed to a chicken with a broken beak is wet food. The normal dry food will require the chicken to peck it up with their beak, which is not possible with a broken beak. The wet food will make it possible for the chicken to scoop up the food or to gulp it up directly into its throat.
If the beak is severely broken then the feed would need to be as wet as possible to that there is minimum beak usage necessary. As they heal you can make the feed less and less watered down.
Some chickens can still eat even with a partially broken beak and some injuries are so severe that the chicken cannot eat at all.
The approach you will take will depend on how bad the injury is. If you are unsure about what to do, reach out to a veterinary expert to get some advice.
Some chickens will still be able to eat but they will require special food as mentioned above. This is especially the case when the top part of the beak gets broken. Here they can still use the bottom part of the beak to scoop food.
When the beak is partially broken or if only the top part is broken, you can make a wet mash from their feed for the chicken to eat. You can serve this to them in a shallow bowl so that they can use the bottom part of their beak to scoop up the food.
In cases when the entire beak is broken and the above solution is not possible you can mix in some feed into a gravity feeder. It would have to be very watery but then the chicken can let the wet feed run down their throats.
Cracked beaks do heal because they always keep growing. They might need some assistance to heal from an injury. If the beak is cracked it will heal by itself, but if the beak is more severely cracked or broken it needs to be splinted to be kept in place and supported while it heals.
Throughout the life of the chicken they do damage to their beaks by eating and scratching, but the beak keeps growing so it is not a problem. Also, when only the tip of the beak gets chipped off, no assistance is needed, it will grow back naturally. Only when the beak gets deeper cracks or breaks will it require splinting to help with the healing process.
What We Learned
If you have a poor chicken with a broken beak and you want to know what to feed a chicken with a broken beak then it’s recommended to mix the chicken feed with water into a mash that’s easily scooped up.
Their beak should heal in time, although it may need some assistance – in such cases, it’s always recommended to consult a vet.