ChickenChick8721

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
7
5
14
I have a call duckling that hatched with a deformed bill. It looks similar to scissor beak/crooked beak you find in chickens, but I think he only has one nostril. His tongue is also exposed so I’m constantly worried it’s going to dry out and cause him pain or make it difficult to eat. Right now he’s eating, drinking, and pooping fine, but he is smaller than his siblings that hatched, but they did hatch 2 days earlier than he did. I've kept him completely separated from his siblings so they don't bully him or mess with his tongue. He's currently setup in my bedroom so I can monitor him closely. He hatched last Thursday, May 21st so he’s only 6 days old, but it already looks like it’s getting worse as in more crooked. Unfortunately, the few things I can find on this topic or at least about crooked beak is that it can get worse as they age. He doesn’t seem to be in pain, but it does seem more crooked than the day he hatched.

I’m looking for any advice on this disability or topic. Is there anything I can do or put in his water to help keep his tongue from drying out? Would a humidifier help? Is there anything I can do or a vet can do to help correct his bill as he grows? Please don’t tell me to cull him. I believe he deserves a fighting chance at life and will do anything possible to help him. No matter the cost. I scheduled him with two different vets, but the soonest they could get him in is June 2nd and June 8th. That may not seem like a very long time, but I think every single day counts when it comes to “correcting” his bill or at least trying to help it grow straighter rather than growing more crooked.

Has anyone ever heard of someone or a vet “correcting” or doing anything to help a duck or chicken with this issue? I would greatly appreciate ANY information, recommendations, references, or advice. Any rescues or veterinarians specializing in animals or ducks with disabilities? I'm desperate to help him. I love him so much and I’m absolutely heart broken at the thought of him not making it to adulthood. Please help me give my little Jimmy a fighting chance!

** The photos with the pink cloth are from the day he hatched. The photos of him in my hand are from yesterday.

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Birdie mom

Songster
Mar 27, 2020
795
1,538
226
Fayetteville NC
I have had chicks with sissor beak before but not this bad. The chicks I had grew out of it. I heard you can file it down with a nail file but he case is so severe that I don't think it would work. I don't think a humidifier would do anything. I know sissor black is not a good thing but I have to say, he looks so adorable! Like he is sticking his tongue out for a selfi of something. If he can still eat and drink he should be able to live a pretty good life, as long as the others don't peck his tongue. Good luck!
 

ChickenChick8721

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
7
5
14
***Here’s a little information about his hatching***

Short version: He was malpositioned in the egg and was on the opposite end of the air sac.

Long version:

I had 4 call duck eggs in the incubator. I got them from a local breeder. I have never hatched duck eggs or call duck eggs, but I knew they were known for being difficult to hatch. 3 out of the 4 eggs hatched.

Unfortunately, the one that didn't make it was the first one to internally pip and then died. I was aware that they can have a difficult time externally pipping due to their short bills so when I notice that he had internally pipped I decided to wait 12 hours before giving him a “safety air hole” so he didn’t suffocate.. but the 12 hours ended up being too long since I wasn’t sure on the exact time he had internally pipped and when I went back to check on him and give him his safety hole.. it was too late. Soo the next 3 I didn’t mess around when it came to deciding whether I should intervene or not. The first 2 to actually hatch both needed help. The first one I gave a safety hole and it was able to externally pip later, but then it couldn’t zip so I helped. The 2nd to hatch externally pipped on the wrong side of the egg - opposite of air sac just like Jimmy (except Jimmy didn’t pip at all). I ended up having to help that one hatch because it was failing to zip as well. Both of those ducklings are normal and thriving!

The 3rd to hatch was little Jimmy. His egg was rocking like crazy for days - he was rocking in the egg almost 2 weeks before he was supposed to hatch. I suppose that may be because he was malpositoned and having difficult time getting positioned? I’m not sure. I’m really new at all this.. Anyway, I noticed Jimmy’s egg was bruising on the opposite side of the air sac - same area where the other duckling had pipped. After 12 hours or maybe a day I decided to externally pip for him - it was a full 2 day process assisting his hatch. I made sure to let his lungs get acclimated to breathing in the fresh oxygen and made sure to break the shell little by little on his own time - so there wasn’t any blood or injury during his hatching. Luckily, he was able to pop out and detach from the egg on his own after he was done absorbing everything.

I honestly don’t think he would have ever made it out of that egg without some help. I think Jimmy and his siblings would have had the same unfortunate fate that the first egg had if I hadn't assisted. I know some of you will say that’s just Mother Nature and natural selection and I probably shouldn’t have intervened, but he’s here now and he wants to LIVE!

I should also mention that these little guys are strictly just pets and I do not plan on breeding any of them or using them for any other purpose. Jimmy will most definitely be a house duck assuming I can help him live a fairly "normal" life and thrive like his siblings.
 
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ChickenChick8721

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
7
5
14
I have had chicks with sissor beak before but not this bad. The chicks I had grew out of it. I heard you can file it down with a nail file but he case is so severe that I don't think it would work. I don't think a humidifier would do anything. I know sissor black is not a good thing but I have to say, he looks so adorable! Like he is sticking his tongue out for a selfi of something. If he can still eat and drink he should be able to live a pretty good life, as long as the others don't peck his tongue. Good luck!


Thank you for your reply and your positive outlook on his life! I've been pretty torn up and feeling helpless in this situation. It means a lot just to hear from someone that he might have a chance. He's been eating and drinking just fine, thankfully! I've also kept him separated from the others since day one so he doesn't get bullied or pecked. My main concern is the crookedness getting much worse as he ages - making it more difficult to eat or even painful. I can't even bear the thought of him in pain. He's so incredibly sweet and innocent. I mean look at that face! 😭 . I'm not sure about the nail file, but I'll bring it up to the vet when he goes in next week!
 

Peppercorngal

Crowing
Feb 5, 2018
2,586
5,937
371
Feather Falls, CA
I'm sorry, I didn't read your last long post, but this is my opinion. First he is the way he is. You should give him the chance of living a normal life. That means he gets to be with the other ducks, he gets to feed himself and drink on his own. You don't have to make a decision to cull him. If he can't get the nutrition he needs, he won't make it. At least let him try. I would introduce him back to his hatch mates immediately. I'd be sure they don't beat him to death, but a peck here and there won't hurt and since he was separated he will be the bottom dude. I had a Colombian Wyandotte with a pretty severe cross beak. I just let him be him and he learned to eat and drink and became the king of the chickens! He lived and did just fine! Good Luck! :hugs

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Birdie mom

Songster
Mar 27, 2020
795
1,538
226
Fayetteville NC
Thank you for your reply and your positive outlook on his life! I've been pretty torn up and feeling helpless in this situation. It means a lot just to hear from someone that he might have a chance. He's been eating and drinking just fine, thankfully! I've also kept him separated from the others since day one so he doesn't get bullied or pecked. My main concern is the crookedness getting much worse as he ages - making it more difficult to eat or even painful. I can't even bear the thought of him in pain. He's so incredibly sweet and innocent. I mean look at that face! 😭 . I'm not sure about the nail file, but I'll bring it up to the vet when he goes in next week!
I'm here to help. But I am serious, that is the cutest duckling I have or will ever see😍. 🙏🏼👉🏽🐣
 

ChickenChick8721

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
7
5
14
I'm sorry, I didn't read your last long post, but this is my opinion. First he is the way he is. You should give him the chance of living a normal life. That means he gets to be with the other ducks, he gets to feed himself and drink on his own. You don't have to make a decision to cull him. If he can't get the nutrition he needs, he won't make it. At least let him try. I would introduce him back to his hatch mates immediately. I'd be sure they don't beat him to death, but a peck here and there won't hurt and since he was separated he will be the bottom dude. I had a Colombian Wyandotte with a pretty severe cross beak. I just let him be him and he learned to eat and drink and became the king of the chickens! He lived and did just fine! Good Luck! :hugs

Thank you for sharing your story! I love the pictures! I'm so happy to hear your Colombian Wyandotte lived a great life with a severe cross beak! It warms my heart to hear he ended up becoming king of the chickens! It definitely gives me hope for Little Jimmy's situation.

I would absolutely love to put Jimmy with the other two ducklings; however, I'm just not sure it would be the best for him right now. The other two are twice his size and they're constantly pecking and nibbling at each others faces. Jimmy's tongue sticks up and out quite a bit which I think would be even more enticing to the other ducklings to peck at. I really don't want to risk his tongue getting injured. That kind of injury would make him susceptible to infection or possibly make it more difficult for him to eat. I would test it out and supervise their introduction, but I would feel terrible if I had to separate them due to bullying. I feel like he would be extremely stressed or upset to be taken away from them even if he was bullied and I really don't want to stress him out.

He's been very energetic and happy. He's been eating and drinking on his own just fine, thankfully! It has been a bit of trial and error to find what method/food dish works best for him or is easiest for him. I made sure to give him plenty of different options since day one and found that he prefers a low dish filled with dry food that he can corner and scoop up. I've tried a wet mash multiple times because I figured it would be easier for him, but he's not a fan of wet food. I will definitely take your advice into consideration and I appreciate your reply! He's seeing the vet this coming Tuesday so for now I will just wait and see what the vet says before attempting any introductions. :fl
 

ChickenChick8721

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
7
5
14
I hope the vet visit goes well for him, you should make a thread just about him so we can follow him during his whole life, just an idea though .

That is so sweet! I am truly delighted to hear you're interested in following Jimmy's life journey. I would love to create a thread to keep everyone updated. I'm new to this site so I'm not exactly sure which forum category is most appropriate for that type of thread. Would I post it under the "Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates" forum? Or is there a better forum for that kind of thing? I really hope the vet visit goes well for him too! Thank you! :love
 

ChickenChick8721

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
7
5
14
I'm here to help. But I am serious, that is the cutest duckling I have or will ever see😍. 🙏🏼👉🏽🐣

Thank you, I appreciate your kindness! I may be a bit bias, but I have to agree with you. He certainly is the cutest little duckling I have ever seen! He always looks so happy! He melts my heart every time I look at him. 💖
 

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