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Chick bill malformed, like a crossbill bird...will it survive?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ottowonder, May 14, 2011.

  1. ottowonder

    ottowonder New Egg

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    Feb 3, 2011
    The upper and lower bill are misaligned and cross. The chick seems to eat and drink OK, so we are hoping for the best. Didn't notice it the first couple of days after hatching. Is this likely to survive?
     
  2. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wisconsin
  3. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It may, or the deformity may be severe enough to prevent it from thriving. It will get worse, so keep an eye on it (I weighed all my chicks weekly to keep an eye on my cross beaked chick's growth).

    Buffy at about 2 weeks
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Buffy at about 6 months
    [​IMG]

    We noticed Buffy's beak was ever so slightly off at about 4 days. When we got our chicks as day old's there was no difference between her beak and the others. After reading a few things about cross beaked birds, I was afraid that she wouldn't be able to eat enough to survive. Or that she would get enough to grow, but not be able to take in enough to survive after she started laying and starve to death in spite of having food available free choice. But I also knew that others had successfully raised and kept cross beak hens so I decided to keep an eye on her weight/growth and let her go as long as she wasn't loosing ground. She's now one of my reliable layers and while her yolks are the sickly pale yellow that grocery store eggs are because she can't manage to pick anything up when she's "foraging" they are med-large and she lays 4-6/week.

    I do keep food available in deep dishes for her and we do have to trim/clean her beak regularly. But otherwise she's not really any different from any of the other chickens. For trimming, I recommend using a small grinding cone on a dremmel. You can clip with nail clippers, but there is a risk for splitting/splintering the beak if you do it that way. The dremmel does not carry this risk and if you accidentally go too far it has the advantage that it will usually cauterize any bleeding (although you should be sure to have flour, cornstarch, or styptic powder on hand in case it does not).
     
  4. madaboutchooks

    madaboutchooks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2011
    Hello,

    I recently had a chick with this problem, I read some mad suggestions but tried my own technique, I too realise the crossed beak only after a few days so I personally think it is not a defect but a dislocation from trying to peck out of the shell.
    I tried massaging the beak and then tapping it with masking tape ( the type you use before painting as it doesn't leave a sticky residue and peels off easy ) leaving the nostrils uncovered but the chick itself or other chicks kept take it off with no results. ( normal sticky tape is a waste of time )
    After many attempts keeping it away from the others and in a dark warm place there was no difference so I firmly held the jaw and gave it a push in the other direction until I heard it click, yes i was petrafied I'd broken it but quickly and firmly tapped it up as before, leaving the nostrils free and put the chick in an old tracksuit pants leg of my sons to keep it calm and warm making sure air would get in from the waist area, as it is dark the chick settled and was kept calm, I removed the tape after 2 hrs, I repeated this process 4 times in 2 days, morning after a good feed and evening again. That's all it took 2 days and 5 weeks later my chick is perfectly fine, beak is perfectly alligned and eating perfectly well. Hope this doesn't sound extreme but I was not going to kill this chick without trying my best, even though at times I lost faith and felt cruel I could not bare to see it eating the way it did and die from malnurishment. Hope this helps your chick ( persistance pays ) and in the end its for their welfare not a bozzo badge for me.
    Let me know how you go !
    Best wishes,
    Sophie
     
  5. ottowonder

    ottowonder New Egg

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    Feb 3, 2011
    Wow, thanks for the replies. I might try taping for a bit, and see.

    We'll keep her going as best we can.

    Thanks again.
    Christopher
     
  6. madaboutchooks

    madaboutchooks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2011
    When you love your animals, you can only do your best, keep an eye out on the tongue as it can sometimes get cut due to the uneven beak and it can also dry up and go brown shrivel.
    Best wishes once again and good luck little chicky !
    Sophie
     
  7. madaboutchooks

    madaboutchooks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2011
    Quote:Hello,
    How's things, have you had any improvement ?
     
  8. LRinCO

    LRinCO New Egg

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    Aug 25, 2012
    I was googling this because we have a 5 month old chicken like this. Wish I'd tried the home chiropractic! Our chick is half the size of her sisters.

    I have to tell you, my 9 year old daughter is very close to all our animals and she says this chicken is the sweetest of any we've every had. We're planning to keep her for now but may try cleaning up her beak. Our grown rooster would be the end of this gal!! Got to keep them apart.
     

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