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Scissor beak questions

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, 

 

I'm sorry for asking a question that has likely been asked a gazillion times but please bear with me-

 

I have a 8 day old chick that I just noticed has scissor beak. She's smaller than the other 3 chicks from the same hatch date and I noticed it this evening when I picked them all up for forced cuddles/butt inspections. On a positive note, her crop seems to have food in it. 

 

I'll elevate food and water tomorrow morning to give her the best shot but I'm curious how long I let this go on. Do most chickens with this have to be culled eventually or do some go on to have successful lives? Do I give her a shot as long as she is active and trying?

 

I apologize in advance for not being able to search all of the old threads-one of our dogs has been critically ill and is currently hospitalized. It has just been all consuming for the last several days and I'm exhausted and brain dead at this point. I haven't spent as much time with the chicks as I would have otherwise given the situation with our sweet Alix. I feel bad I just realized this tonight, I don't know how long it has been apparent. 

 

I can try to post pics tomorrow if that would help answer some of my questions. 

 

Thanks in advance. 

Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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post #2 of 17

I did a mission trip to TN a few years back and ended up building a chicken coop there. What are the odds...

Anyway, the guy we built the coop for had a huge rooster with major scissor beak issues. He had hatched it 8 or so years ago and it was a very normal and functioning bird. All he'd done was file and clip the beak down regularly (with nail clippers or an emery board) and make sure the chick got food and water. 

Hope it helps! Best of luck and prayers for you and your animals.

Loving life with 96 chickens, 2 cats, a dog, and a snake. Tolerating the people.
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Loving life with 96 chickens, 2 cats, a dog, and a snake. Tolerating the people.
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post #3 of 17

Seems like trimming the beak often will be fine.I don't hear that much people culling theres with the abnormality.

Five Red Junglefowl,Ten Easter Eggers,Two African Geese,Three Fawn and White Runners and Four Rouen's.
 
 
~Isaac 
 
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Five Red Junglefowl,Ten Easter Eggers,Two African Geese,Three Fawn and White Runners and Four Rouen's.
 
 
~Isaac 
 
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post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies. It seems pretty severe to me for a 10 day old chick. I'm willing to give her a shot as long as she seems to be doing alright for the time being. She's running around and I assume she is getting enough to eat and drink as she has plenty of energy to run away from me, etc. I just worry about this getting worse as well as the potential for her to get picked on by my bigger girls when we introduce these ones into the big girl coop. I'll keep an eye on it, I hate that this is going on with her. I just don't want her to suffer or get relentlessly picked on. 

 

 

Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm bumping this back to the top now that I've added pictures. I'm really uneasy about this chick. Is this too severe for 10 days old? My husband wants to cull the bird as he doesn't think it will have a reasonable quality of life if this gets worse with age. I'm torn. She seems active now but I don't think he has an invalid point either. 

Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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post #6 of 17

Hi Luther,

 

She will be able to get food at the current stage of her crossbeak, but if it starts moving farther away, you will have to manager her food for her.  Please hear me out first before you guys decide to do anything.

 

I've had the same thing happen with my Salmon Faverolle.  When I first got her, she was a day old chick with a normal beak.  I think within a week or two, it started going sideways.  I too felt a fear and worry, not because I was afraid she may be bullied, but because I was afraid she would starve to death not being able to pick anything up.  My mind was constantly filled with thinking about whether or not to cull her - would she be able to survive?  Would she be malnutritioned, since she can't even eat grass or other things?  Would she be able to drink? :fl

 

Upon my boyfriend's suggestion, we decided to take a chance on her.  We set aside a bowl of crumble for her, which we then soaked in water until it puffed up like gruel.  The addition of extra water to make it almost watery helped us ensure she was getting hydrated in case she wasn't able to drink water like the other chickens.  We would do this twice a day for her, in the morning and in the evening.  Setting it high enough location prevented most of the chickens from trying to get a free meal.

 

Guess what?  It's been almost a year, and she's still alive!  Of course, her lower beak is 90 degrees to her upper, but that don't stop her none!  Granted she cannot eat grass, or pick up much stuff unless she shoves her face in it, but she's as healthy as the other chickens, and in fact, has outlived a lot of others who died to various reasons.

 

LONG STORY SHORT, if the only thing you take away from is my bolded paragraph, the chick CAN survive, but only IF you are willing to add a few minutes to your day to manage her food for her.  I can guarantee you that she'll keep herself just as hydrated as the chickens regarding water.  As soon as I get home, I will take a picture of her and post so that you can see it for yourself.


Edited by luukasama - 12/9/16 at 7:15am
post #7 of 17

Sorry about your chick. Time will tell how it gets enough to eat. Thought to be caused by either heredity or vitamin/mineral deficiencies, I would probably get some Poultry Nutri-drench or Poultry Cell vitamins with minerals (since most poultry vitamins don't contain minerals,) and give it 1 ml orally every day. Increase to 1 ml per every 3 pounds daily as it grows. Here is a good link about this deformity to read:

 http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/03/scissor-beak-aka-crossed-beak-what-it.html

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the additional info-

 

We are comfortable doing the best for her that we can as long as she is thriving-

 

We can try to modify feeders and waterers to make them more accessible and we will start offering some mash as well. Its good to know that this isn't an automatic death sentence. If she reaches a point where she needs daily intervention or has to be separated from the rest of the flock to eat or drink, we will have to reevaluate things. 

 

I hope her beak doesn't get worse, I want her to do well. 

Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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Pugs, Chickens, and The Worst Cat EVER. 
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post #9 of 17

While having a genetic defect can of course bring a chikie down, I think that as long as you provide her with mash, and just put it in a place where she won't be mobbed by the rest of the flock (to give her time to eat), she should be fine.  That's the only thing we really had to do for 'Igor,' as we call her.  We never had to modify our waterers, though that of course may help.  Eggcessive's link is pretty good at describing what was done.  Igor is just as healthy and lively as any other hen we've got; she just happens to have perpendicular beak halves :)

post #10 of 17

Hi Luther,

 

As promised, here are some picks of our grown Faverolle scissor beak, Igor.  (didn't know their adult size is essentially like bantams).  Sorry it took me a while to get the pictures due to coming home when it's very dark, so I had to take it during the weekend.

 

 

 

Here she is in all her crazy glory.  She always has this never ending wide-eyed look like she's off her kilter, lol.  That's the plastic bowl we put the feed for her in, and then put it up so that the other chickens don't bother her as much.

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