Blind, Crossbeak Barred Plymouth Rock Chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rubenalvarezjr, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. rubenalvarezjr

    rubenalvarezjr Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2014
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    I recently ordered a few chicks from a hatchery, and one of the chicks has a crossbeak, and is completely blind. It seems as though his eyes didn't develop in the egg. Has anyone had any experience with raising a chick like this? Survival rate? Life modifications?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014
  2. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have not had to deal with either, but have a friend who has two silkies with crossbeak. They take a while to eat, and need a deeper dish because they can not pick up food or suck up water; they have to scoop it up with the bottom beak half. If it is severe enough they sometimes just die. It can get worse as they age. People often kill crossbeak chicks when they are young, but sometimes you can help them live with just a bit of care. Do not kill the chick with out giving it a chance.
     
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  3. JCavallaro40

    JCavallaro40 Out Of The Brooder

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    We have a Polish hen with a crossbeak. While she's in with the whole flock, she stays in the coop instead of free ranging and feels comfortable there. She's a sweetheart. She lOVES to be held too and will fly right up on your shoulder. Just because they have crossbeak, doesn't mean they can't be wonderful personalities in your flock too.
     
  4. rubenalvarezjr

    rubenalvarezjr Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2014
    Minnesota
    Thanks for the help. It's good to know that he/she may have a chance of survival.

    We've been helping it find the water setup and dipping its beak in the bowl. Once she finds the water, she'll look around for it again, but misses.

    I'm not sure if she is eating very much. Is there something people do to help with:

    1. Finding the food
    2. The actual eating of the food

    She's not afraid to voice her necessities. Whenever I'm in there and she hears my voice, she seems to draw closer to me, almost wanting me to pick her up. Being a sucker for this little chick, I do.

    Here is a pic of our little one.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    She's cute and it's so heartbreaking! I myself wonder if keeping her alive would be an acceptable quality of life. Because of 2 handicaps, she may feel hungry all the time. Do you think she'll be able to eat enough on her own ? How much time and effort would it take on a daily basis to keep her alive?
     
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  6. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Give her a shot...she deserves a chance. Everything happens for a reason....a blessing in disguise for both of you. :)
     
  7. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I'd have to at least try. At the same time, you have to think about what you are willing to dedicate to this chick. It's not something that is going to get better. It'd be a lifetime (the life of the chick) commitment to possibly softening the food and placing the bird in front of it showing it where it is same with water, multiple times a day. Possibly having seperate housing to keep other's from pecking and picking at it. If you can take on the long term commitment and responsibility I'd certainly try, but if not, I'd either find someone who deals with long term handicap animals to give it to, or (gulp) find someone to euthanize it. What ever you decide, just think of the long term ramifications for both you and the chick. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    BIrds are such visual creatures, they rely on vision so much more then scent like dogs or cats, it's just a lot harder for them to live a blind life. Not saying they can't do it, just that it may not be a great quality of life to deal with that on top of the cross beak issue. Many times birds with severe cross beak just don't do well and require a lot of extra care, being blind only adds to that. I'd say if you are willing and able then give it a shot and see how it goes. And if it doesn't work out or the bird obviously has little quality of life don't feel bad for euthanizing it. We don't always do animals a favor by preserving life at all costs and regardless of quality of life.
     
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  9. rubenalvarezjr

    rubenalvarezjr Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2014
    Minnesota
    Thank you for your posts everyone! Unfortunately, the little one didn't make it. She died at day 6. What with the combination of those two disabilities, she wasn't successful in eating, and essentially died of malnourishment. My wife and I debated back and forth whether we should intervene, but we came to the conclusion that nature should take its course.
     
  10. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, you tried. Very sorry for your loss.
     

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