8 weeks old - one with bent leg, one with twisted beak!


5 Years
May 17, 2014
Sacramento, CA
Hi all!

Hoping to get some help - I hatched two Ayam Cemani's about 8 weeks ago, and one is developing far behind the others of the hatch most likely due to a leg that is twisted back at the "knee". The other chick has a beak that is not set correctly; meaning, if you look at the chick's head from above, the beak makes an "X", with the top part of the beak going left and the bottom jutting out right.

How can I reset the leg, and is there anything I can do about the beak? The one with the beak is developing at the same rate as the other chickens of the flock that hatched 8 weeks ago.



8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
Conway SC
I will see what the Pro's say about this but at 8 weeks---I would not even try. I got a scissor beak and a crooked leg---they share a pen with a rooster that seems to not have all his marbles----only those 3 in a pen by them self----The scissor beak has a special feeder and lays about daily---the crooked leg lays decent---like a silver lace Wyandotte does---I will probably keep these until they pass unless some one wants them to really take care off alone.

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Sep 20, 2015
Southern N.C. Mountains
Do you have any photos?

From your description it sounds like the one with the leg problem could have a leg bone deformity like Valgus Varus deformity, Rotated Tibia or some other defect. Sometimes it's genetic or can be due to mineral/vitamin deficiency in parent stock. Leg deformities are hard to correct, if at all.

For the cross beak, that is genetic as well. Depending on how severe, over time it may cross more, time will tell. Sometimes a beak can be trimmed a little, but each situation is unique, you will need to keep watch on it to determine what needs to be done. A cross beak can survive, if given extra care - seeing that water and feed is deep enough to "scoop". A deeper feed bowl with wet feed is most of the time used - depending on the severity the bird may have trouble picking up pellets or crumbles, so wet feed is welcomed.

As @PD-Riverman mentions, you can definitely keep them housed separately if they begin to have problems in the flock - eventually those with deformities may be shunned or picked on. If you are planning on keeping them, I think the two could live together since both will possibly need a bit of extra time.

I don't know your chicken keeping goals. But you don't want to breed (hatch any eggs) from these two.

It won't hurt to offer some extra vitamins to their diet a few times a week. Focus on B Vitamins and do some research about what vitamins/minerals and nutrition would be best to help them along.

Leg bone deformities:

Cross beak care:

Vitamin/Nutritional Info:

Folly's place

11 Years
Sep 13, 2011
southern Michigan
It's sad to see these handicapped chicks struggle to survive, and repairs can't be done for them. As PDR says, a separate coop and a special feeding arrangement might help enough, or consider euthanasia if things really aren't going well, and they are suffering. Mary


7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
I know that I am wasting my time, but if they were my birds i would have culled both of these chicks as soon as they hatched. It even sounds like the smaller bird has a health issue like Mareks Disease or some other malady. There are too many ways for chickens to die to help the process along by nursing sick, unhealthy, or genetically challenged birds.


5 Years
May 17, 2014
Sacramento, CA
Thanks for the information everyone! Sorry I've been away camping and haven't been able to check the post. The cross beaked chicken is doing fine, and I've separated the one with the twisted leg. I don't think she will make it much longer, unfortunately.

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