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Mrs Frugal

Bumper Bits - the definitive "How to" guide

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Bumper bits are little clips which look rather like paperclips, that fit onto the beak of the hen that is doing the pecking. They don't restrict the hen at all but stop the ends of the beak coming together properly and so prevent feather pulling and skin pecking. The hen can eat, drink and act normally otherwise.


A bumper bit




You can get bumper bits from the Omlet shop here


or -


The Wernlas Collection,


Near Ludlow,



01584 856318


They ask you to put a stamped addressed envelope in with your request plus an extra second class stamp to cover the 10p price of the bumper bit as a cheque or postal order for 10p isn't worth cashing.


I use the standard size from Wernlas, and they fit even very large hens. I wouldn't put anything bigger, as they probably would fall off.


I have put the wavy bit in the middle inside the hen's beak (like a horse's bit, hence the name), and the two prongs in her nostrils like a stethoscope. The lower beak thus passes through the hole.


You have to pull the nostril prongs out a long way sideways as you fit the bit, and push the prongs quite hard into the nostrils. There is a proper hole where it fits well, and a thing that looks like a hole that isn't. The proper hole is the one at the back. If you put a bumper bit on properly, there is no way that a hen could get it off.


The secret is not to be too gentle. Remind yourself how vicious the hen has been, and do it quickly but very firmly, no nonsense.


You need two people. One to hold the hen very still, and the other to prise open the beak. You have to be firm and say "This hurts me more than it hurts you", and get on with it. But you can't do it on your own: I tried and failed. With a second person, it was easy.




Thanks to Gallina for the photograph




Thanks to theherd123 for the photograph


If you have to manage on your own, Christian suggests that you


try wrapping her in a towel, as this seemed to calm Babs when I put the bumper bit on her, Also stops the wings flapping!


It may help to warm the bumper bit in hot water to soften the plastic.


We bought our bumper bits from the Wernlas Collection (http://www.wernlas.com, bits sold individually for 10p each-pay in postage stamps and include SAE for return of bits) although there are several types available. These ones are quite complex with an'A' shape so that they fit into the nostrils, in the beak and the top of the A surrounds the end of the beak. First attempt at fitting was a dismal failure, we couldn't hold the ends open far enough to get them into the hen's nostrils. I rang the lady at Wernlas who was VERY helpful and suggested two things:

1. Warm the bit in hot water for a few minutes to soften the plastic

2. Borrow or buy some circlip pliers


We chose option 2 and having failed to find them at several DIY stores were directed to Halfords where they cost £7.99. Used in the motor trade, circlip pliers OPEN when you squeeze the handles together. They did a brilliant job on the bumper bits and we fitted 5 in just a few minutes. It is worth taking great care to get the ends right into the nostril not onto the soft flap on skin that hangs over the nostril, this is uncomfortable and allows the hen to rub the bit of in a matter of minutes (hence fitting 5 to 4 hens!)


As an alternative to bumper bits, you can use beak rings which are available from The Domestic Fowl Trust


If you are using beak rings, these are fitted in a slightly different way, as shown in the diagram in the above link.


If either of these options is used, they are often more effective if they are combined with anti-peck spray on the bullied bird as well. These sprays are available from


The Omlet Shop along with other products such as Purple Spray and Veterinary Wound Powder

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