Beak trimming is performed when a pullet is 10 days old or less using a specialized instrument designed to simultaneously cut and cauterize the beak. Beak treatment is performed at the hatchery when pullets are a day old and utilizes infrared technology to blunt beaks. In both instances, only a few millimeters of the beak is trimmed.
UEP recommends beak trimming/treatment only when necessary to prevent feather pecking and cannibalism. When necessary for hen well-being, it must be carried out by trained personnel using procedures approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and monitored regularly for quality control.
Advantages of beak trimming/treatment may include reduced feather pecking, reduced feather pulling, reduced cannibalism, better feather condition, less fearfulness, less nervousness, less chronic stress, and decreased mortality. For more information on the UEP Certified guidelines for beak trimming/treatment, visit UEP’s Animal Husbandry Guidelines for U.S. Egg-Laying Flocks.