What to cut claws with?

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Icemaiden
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What to cut claws with?

Post by Icemaiden » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:47 pm

We adopted three ex-commercial layers from the BHWT Kent team on 19th September. They're settling in really well but one of the new girls has very long claws that're stopping her from scratching properly.

There's a handy article on claw clipping in this month's Practical Poultry that I've been able to show to my husband (it sounds as though he'll have to help), but it doesn't tell you what tool to use for the job. The photos appear to show claws being cut with a pair of pliers and with a pair of cross cut wire strippers. What should I actually be using? Do I have to buy a pair of claw clippers that I might never need again, or would pliers or secateurs be OK? I don't have strong toenail clippers.
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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chrismahon
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Re: What to cut claws with?

Post by chrismahon » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:53 am

We use the cross cutting wire strippers Icemaiden. They are called Bib cutters because that's the original manufacturer and they are very cheap. As they cut from 4 sides simultaneously there is far less chance of splitting the claw.
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Marigold
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Re: What to cut claws with?

Post by Marigold » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:59 am

I use the claw trimmers that I use for the dog. My hens seem to grow long claws quite fast, especially the older ones, who also grow enormous Spurs which need attention every couple of months. Maybe this is because they don't get a lot of outdoor scratching time on hard ground? So whatever you buy, it would be worth getting a suitable tool I think.
I just pick one up, sit down on a stool or bale of Aubiose, and with the hen facing forward I hold one arm over her wings and the hand on the same arm firmly restraining both feet. Then I use the other hand to position one of her legs out in front of the other one, and change my grip so this leg is secure. Then just trim the claws, and Spurs if necessary. Sounds tricky but if you're used to picking up hens they soon calm down and let you get on with the job.
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