Domestic Fowls (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB0076)

7. Management

Toe Cutting

(See note 10)

  1. To avoid injury to hens during mating, the last joint of the inside toes of male breeding birds may be removed. This must be done within the first 72 hours of life. A veterinary surgeon must carry out the operation if it is performed after the first 72 hours of life.


  1. The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Schedule 3 Amendment) Order 1988 (SI 1988 No. 526) permits only a veterinary surgeon to remove the combs or to cut the toes of a domestic fowl which has reached the age of 72 hours.
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