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chick born with one eye and cross beak

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chkinut, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    hi guys...sorry no pic....will post pic when hubby gets back from business trip in a week since he has the camera. i may be able to post a pic tomorrow if i can borrow my friend's camera. anyway, i had a chick that hatched with a cross beak and one of his eyes is just a tiny hole. his other eye is normal and he's a beautiful color of light blue with yellow flecks throughout. he's big and strong and can walk just fine. i'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with this? i'm thinking i'll need to hand feed him. i hope he can drink on his own. it's kinda severe though. and if i should trim his beak, how do i do that? it seems that his top beak is the part that's actually messed up....when i look at him in a bird's eye view, the lower beak seems aligned well with the head....but the upper beak is the one that appears to be screwed up and to the side.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  2. crazy chook

    crazy chook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2010
    Langwarrin, Victoria
    I have a chicken with a crossed beak, I felt sorry for her so brought her home.

    As long as I keep the water bowl and feed bowl deep and full she has no trouble drinking and eating. She would have to be 2 years old now and going strong.

    Good luck with your little one and I hope she is able to drink on her own.

    Cheers Donna
     
  3. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Yep, I have one. He's a full grown RIR rooster right now and can do everything except crow [​IMG] Well, he does but it's a very amusing sound.

    I got Jack when he was just 3 days old. My feed store gives me all their special need chicks. He learned to eat and drink very quickly by watching the other chicks I guess because he never had a problem. He used - and still does today - his beak as a scoop. I won't lie, the chick days were easy but the teen and young adult days were a struggle to get him to gain enough weight and he is still way smaller than a RIR rooster should be at 1 year old, but he's healthy and happy. I fed him chick food for a very long time and then switched to grower with a high protein content. He has a set of very deep bowls that he eats and drinks out of and I started having to trim/file his beak at about 2 months. I kind of let him tell me when it's too long. When it gets stuck open, I know it's time lol. I also check his bottom beak every few days to make sure it's cleaned out and not stuck up with food and gunk. It was a lot of work but he's very worth it. Oh and my other chickens don't mind him at all. They never bothered him or picked on him and his lack of an eye never caused a problem either.

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    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  4. Cranman

    Cranman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 2, 2010
    Sanford NC
    Wow that's impressive ZooMumzy, you are a dedicated chicken keeper for sure!
     
  5. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Iceland
    After trying to help many chicks through the years with defects like that I now choose to cull them. The success rates are not good for cross beaked birds and if that chick has CB and is missing an eye then there is a good chance it has other issues too. A few times the chicks have made it several months only to die later or get to a point where I had to uethanize them at older ages after becoming attached to them.

    I respect the people who choose to help birds however culling can and is a humane alternative. It's a personal choice.

    Best of luck.
     
  6. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    thanks SO much Zoomummzy!!! WOW! and great pics!!! and isn't it weird that both of our chickens only have one eye? question....how do i actually go about trimming his beak? won't he freak out? i've got my little one in the brooder now with the others and so far so good. he's over by the feeder watching the 2 bigger chicks eat (my 3 week old BCM). i sure hope he's a SHE though, cuz i can't have a rooster here. then if it's a rooster, i'm afraid i won't be able to find a good home for him....so he may become a house chicken. any ideas for a non-sex-specific name anyone?
     
  7. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:Thanks!

    As PurpleChicken said, it's a personal choice. For me, if these little guys have a will to live (and are obviously not in any pain or suffering from their disabilities) then I give it to them. Now, if I was running a breeding program or something like that, I would probably have a different outlook, but since all of my chickens are pets and a hobby, I don't see a problem in letting them live for as long as they can or want to.
     
  8. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:Oh, you're welcome! We named ours Jack (Jackie if it turned out to be a girl) because of the one eye thing. I thought it looked like a pirate [​IMG] And yep, I have lots of house chickens lol so I can give advice on that too! Actually, Jack has lives in a large pen in the garage most of the time with a few other roosters and chickens who have issues. He goes outside on nice days and for the summer. He's pretty spoiled though so wherever I am is where he wants to be. I bought him a leash/harness and take him on car rides to the feed store with me lol. I walk him up and down the street and around my yard. He loves it and it gets me lots of crazy looks which just make me laugh [​IMG]

    Trimming. Well, the first time totally freaked me out because he bled! I got it too far back into the quick but after that, I learned how to spot it and to file a lot and trim a little. I use dog nail clippers and a very strong emery board to shape and take it down as far as I possibly can without trimming. I keep the top and the bottom rounded so it's easier for him to scoop and I keep the bottom one longer for the same reason. He needs that extra room to get the food in. I obviously only use crumbles but he can eat scratch and yogurt or other soft, soupy treats. I started filing and trimming young so he got used to me holding him and doing it. It takes about an hour each time and he struggles for a bit but has learned it has to happen so eventually he settles down. I put him on my lap, wrap one arm around him and hold his head steady with that hand and start filing. I do make sure I keep his beaks steady so that I'm not sawing back and forth and moving them side to side too much. I keep the beaks scraped out with a wooden cuticle stick, the slanted end so I don't poke his mouth. It's important to keep it clean since bacteria and other yucky stuff can grow in there.

    It's a good sign she is over watching the others eat. I'm sure that will help her pick it up quickly. It's how any chick learns so as long as she gets creative with her beak and the dish is deep, she shouldn't have a problem! Mine just used a regular waterer while he was young. I didn't want a bowl in the cage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  9. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    Quote:i hear ya....i thought of that too...he may have internal problems that i can't see.....i guess time will tell.....i have to try though....but i hate the thought of getting so attached if something DOES happen. but i guess i feel so strongly about it cuz i have an 11 year old son with special needs (Down's syndrome)....so my heart goes out to this lil' guy or girl. he sure is peepin up a storm in the brooder! question to Zoomum.....have you ever had to hand feed him with a paste that you made out of regular chicken food? i wonder if that's what i'll have to do. i still welcome all comments, even those advising to cull....i want to hear all the opinions and experience on this. i won't be offended if you believe in culling these chicks.....
     
  10. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:i hear ya....i thought of that too...he may have internal problems that i can't see.....i guess time will tell.....i have to try though....but i hate the thought of getting so attached if something DOES happen. but i guess i feel so strongly about it cuz i have an 11 year old son with special needs (Down's syndrome)....so my heart goes out to this lil' guy or girl. he sure is peepin up a storm in the brooder! question to Zoomum.....have you ever had to hand feed him with a paste that you made out of regular chicken food? i wonder if that's what i'll have to do. i still welcome all comments, even those advising to cull....i want to hear all the opinions and experience on this. i won't be offended if you believe in culling these chicks.....

    I was worried about that too...the unforeseen problems he may have and the obvious genetic issues but I couldn't help but get attached. I figured I would give him as long and as happy a life as I could. If he didn't make it, then it was what was meant to happen. that honestly is the hardest part about taking in chicks/chickens with special needs.

    I've never had to hand feed him but I did try the mash because others suggested it. What I found is it clogged up his beak. He never had a problem eating the dry crumbles so I just let him have that. They thought that might make him gain weight faster. They also suggested other baby parrot food etc but I just stuck with the chick food and then the grower food. Now he is eating layer crumbles and doing fine. He's put on a lot of weight in the past few months and has filled out nicely. I think a lot of it had to do with keeping him with other chickens instead of isolating him. It gave him more of a will to live, in my opinion anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011

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