Debeaking is the partial removal of a bird’s beak. This procedure is commonplace in factory farms to prevent cannibalism and feather picking. Debeaking is usually accomplished by slicing off part of the beak with a hot blade, shortly after the chicks have hatched. It is a painful and sometimes fatal procedure.
The tip of a bird’s beak is packed with sensitive nerves, much like our own fingertips. When debeaked, the birds lose an important sensory organ, experience acute and chronic pain, including phantom limb pain. In addition, the fast-paced profit-motivated factory farms rush through this procedure and cut some beaks off up to the bird’s nostrils.
Debeaking is a completely unacceptable to “solve” a behavioral problem by cutting off part of an animal’s body. This is another way big agriculture finds to “blame the victim” by blaming the birds for pecking at each other. Is it any wonder that these social problems exist when the birds are packed by the thousands shoulder to shoulder?