Healthy chickens have very sharp beaks. They need them to peck at food, dig in the dirt, and when hunting, to kill their prey. Chickens will quickly spear and kill a field mouse. Chicken beaks are complex organs with many sensory neurons which help the chicken sense things. Sadly, most commercial hen layers are debeaked as chicks. The reason is that when chickens are crowded too close, a chicken will peck to tell the other chicken it is too close. With crowded chickens, this pecking can cause injury and once a chicken develops a wound and starts to bleed, other chickens will peck at the wound leading to severe injury and death. But all you have to do is give the chickens enough room and they won’t peck each other. The next time you buy eggs, ask your grocer if the hen that laid your egg was debeaked.
Chickens at A Man and His Hoe are never debeaked.