debeaking. The mutilation of a young bird’s beak. The days-old chick or weeks-old turkey is held tightly while a hot guillotine-like blade is used to slice off one-third to one-half of the bird’s beak, through horn, bone, and highly sensitive tissue. The severe immediate pain persists even following the mutilation, which also permanently hinders the bird’s ability to properly eat, drink, and preen. The agriculture industry says they use this technique to keep the birds from pecking at each other in tight confinement.
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