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A Day in the Life of a Pigeon De-Beaker - 1 to 5
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Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Tue 21st Aug '07 5:02PM
4678 Posts
Demian's Avatar
Member Since
7th Apr '03
Hello my young friends! Today I have been asked by the Careers Advisor to give a little talk about my job, and the fascinating career opportunities available in the exciting industry of pigeon de-beaking.

I should say up front that this is not a job to suit everyone's tastes - it requires a high level of physical fitness, both for the catching of the pigeons and the ensuing beak-removal tussle.

A stout butterfly net is essential, as catching pigeons by hand is not only difficult, but can make one look somewhat mentally unbalanced to boot. However, by dressing professionally and carrying a stout butterfly net, everyone will realise that you are in fact a trained professional, rather than just a wandering lunatic.

The techniques involved in pigeon de-beaking are too complex and varied to go into here. Suffice to say that you'll want to perform the actual de-beaking as soon as possible, in order to minimise stress to both yourself and your winged customers. A sharp yank / twist with the pliers is sufficient to unseat all but the most stubborn beaks, and for those I would recommend steeping the pigeon in a solution of camomile lotion and hydrochloric acid, in order to loosen the offending beak.

There has been a lot of speculation in the newspapers recently about 'cowboy' debeakers, or unprofessional hobbyists who bring a bad name to the ancient art of pigeon de-beaking by using substandard equipment without proper training. Let me say to you now kids, if you want to get anywhere in this business you will have to be utterly professional at all times. I have been saddened on several occasions to come across a bedraggled pigeon left to struggle on with half a beak, or an incompletely-detached beak. This sort of thing serves only to upset animal rights activists and brings a bad name to the profession in general. If you're going to de-beak pigeons, the welfare of the customers must be placed first. For similar reasons, good plier hygiene must be maintained at all times.

Of course, it's not all glamour. There are several drawbacks to the job, for example nobody is actually willing to pay someone to perform such a task, so it's more or less a voluntary and freelance position. You'll also need to supply your own pair of pliers, and a stout pair of gardening gloves will be very useful to minimise scratches. And don't expect any thanks from the pigeons, oh ho no my little friends! For believe it or not, most pigeons are attached to their beaks not only physically but emotionally too. But don't let their coos of protest put you off, for this is a noble and rewarding career.

A lot of people ask me what I do with the left-over beaks. There are dozens of uses, from decorative pie-cutters to toe protectors for rugby players. My wife likes to string a series of beads together along a length of thin wire to produce an attractive and unusual necklace. Also, bollards for tooth fairies.

Next week, Cyril Plangeton will be looking at the exciting career of fitting false teeth onto reluctant amphibians.

Emo Squid
sanctus, sanctus, sanctus
Wed 22nd Aug '07 10:52AM
624 Posts
Emo Squid's Avatar
Member Since
23rd Feb '07
Taxi for Demian...

Mrs Spanners if you please.
Wed 22nd Aug '07 11:07AM
288 Posts
Magina's Avatar
Member Since
18th Apr '06

Demian was bold enough to comment:
I would recommend steeping the pigeon in a solution of camomile lotion and hydrochloric acid, in order to loosen the offending beak.

I tried that... look what happened..

optical moose
Wed 22nd Aug '07 11:14AM
2522 Posts
Diziet's Avatar
Member Since
20th Jul '05
demian your attitude towards pigeons makes agentgonzo's shouty stick seem pale in comparison.

can i commision you to de-beak a rare hungarian kestrel i captured in the garden last night? as payment i'll give you back your trousers.

I lost my toes in a game of blackjack
Thu 23rd Aug '07 12:55PM
505 Posts
Mrsham's Avatar
Member Since
5th Jan '07
Demian, thank you for entertaining me hugely for 5 minutes! I never knew pigeon beaks were so versatile.

There has been a lot of speculation in the newspapers recently about 'cowboy' debeakers

(it's perspective, alright?)

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