3 week old chick with a beak problem!


8 Years
Mar 1, 2011
Over the rainbow...
I have a 3 week old chick that i noticed has a problem with her beak. the top of it is growing normally but the bottom is growing in crooked. It is growing pointed to the left & her tongue is growing in the same direction as her beak and both seem to be functioning normally. She eats and drinks with the others and they dont seem to pick on her or leave her out at all. She currently resides with 16 other chicks. My questions are:

Will she be ok or will it get worse?
Will she grow normally? (she looks exactly the same as the others besides the beak)
will she be picked on later if she is accepted now?
Is there anything special that i need to do to make sure she is ok?
Is there anything i can do really (we have no avian vets in the area, only "farm animal" vets)

I really appreciate the help with my questions.
This is called cross beak or scissor beak. Do a search on it for more info. I've not dealt with it myself, but from what I've read, if it's not severe, a chicken can grow up/function pretty much just fine - but of course should not be bred for chicks. However, if it's pretty severe, then the bird might slowly starve to death, as it simply cannot get the food in - pick up the pieces. Make sure feed dishes are decently deep (so it can kind of scoop). Also, watch her very closely to make certain she CAN eat. Chickens will peck and LOOK like they're eating - but is the food actually going in....??? Good luck - hope hers is a minor case.
thank you so much for the help!! I'm now spending the morning deciding what the best course of action is. i think as long as she is doing ok we will keep her and do the little extras for her to stay healthy & happy. we keep them as pets but eat their eggs. Now that i know its genetic it's kind of sad to think we wont be getting any babies from the group of easter eggers but I'm happy she isnt related to any of our olive eggers.
Crossbeak tends to get worse in the first couple months of life, so you will not know the full extent of it until she is several months old. Deep feed and water dishes should help her to eat and drink. It is genetic, so hatching any babies from her could result in passing the defect along. Not only can the defect be passed, it is frequently worse in subsequent generations. The other birds will accept her as long as she continues to thrive. If she starts to fail because she can't feed herself she will likely get picked on. You may eventually need to trim the beak a little to optimize its effectiveness, but a minor case is nothing to worry about. I have a hen with a minor crossbeak and she's done very well despite it.

Good luck.
Thanks for the info CMV! Now I need to find out the best way to trim her beak. She is doing great with the others right now but I will keep a close eye on her to make sure she is thriving. She shouldn't lay for another 10 months but i will really have to watch and make sure i know which eggs are hers so that no one tries to sit on them and hatch any of hers. I dont think i could handle having to cull a batch of chicks because of this.

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