Beak problems already?


8 Years
Aug 13, 2011
West Georgia
I have been feeding my girls (and maybe one guy) freeze dried mealworms in the last week. They are all just over 4 weeks old. One of my Marans cannot peck the worms out of my hand. She tries and tries, but cannot either peck the ends of the worms from my fingers or the worms lying flat in my hand. None of the other 9 have this problem.

I can see where all of my chicks beaks are growing out and getting replaced by a new beak based on the ridge about 3/4 down the beak. The one with the problem has an upper beak that hangs significantly over her lower her beak tooth is still present. She is growing normally otherwise.

Do I leave this alone? When and if, do you try to file any mis-shappen beaks? The Storey Guide talks about how to do this, but not when. I read some posts saying to leave them alone, but until when?

My gut says to leave her alone, but I sure feel sorry for her when all the others are feasting.


8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
Southeastern Ohio
Look up cross beak on forum, I think that is what you are describing. I have a cross beak EE cockeral hatched end of April this year. He is not staying with us much longer, as have been told not to breed him. But, he was the biggest hog I had ever seen when he was a chick. But, I figured out it was because he had to work so hard to eat.

Try putting meal worms on top of bowl of food to see if can grab that way. The deeper the bowl the better, he eats often out of top of my feeder. We ground down his beak a few times, but have left him alone for months now and he is healthy. I used dee el, he did fine, it was 2 person job, one to hold. You cannot fix this, it will continue to grow awkward. If she is eating and gaining weight I wouldn't stress too much. Good luck!

Edit to add just re-read and see not cross beak but advice still applies for overbite, deep bowl.
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8 Years
Jun 21, 2011
Waldo County, Maine
An odd beak can be a problem or not.

Leave treats out the equation. If the bird can eat and drink sufficiently to grow along with the rest of the flock, and you don't have plans for breeding true-to standard show birds, there's no harm in keeping her. See how things develop. If she fails to thrive, you might try trimming the beak. That failing, or if you are entering into a breeding program, then she's a cull.

As it happens, the queen bee in this year's batch of new layers is a White Wyandotte with a crossed beak. When she was smaller, I , too, posted, wondering if trimming her beak might straighten it out to correct any problems she might develop with eating or drinking. Quite the contrary. She is the largest, most robust of the lot. From personal experience, I can tell you that her peck doesn't peck, it pinches. And I wonder if that isn't what put her at the top of the pecking order.

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