Chick cannot fully close beak -- a problem???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by noelalala, May 18, 2010.

  1. noelalala

    noelalala In the Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    May 18, 2010
    Hi there,
    I'm new here and new to chick raising.
    One of my Americaunas, about 4 weeks old, has never been able to close his beak fully.
    He appears to be eating, drinking and growing just fine.
    About a week ago my daughter cleaned out some debris that had collected in the lower part, but she says he looks fine now.

    Is this something i should pay special attention to? Or just watch the chick and see how things go?

    thanks very much,
    : )
    Noel
     
  2. CallyB57

    CallyB57 Songster

    516
    1
    139
    Apr 27, 2009
    Northeast Louisiana
    Do you mean that the top part of the beak does not close perfectly over the bottom part...like his parts are mis-aligned? One of my Silkies has a mis-aligned beak, but it's not too bad...he is about 4 months old now, but his beak was not even noticeably mis-aligned until about a month ago. Sometimes the crooked beak will get much worse and the birds have problems eating. If my rooster gets where he can't eat, I will mix a mash for him to see if he can get enough to eat. It's a shame, because otherwise he is a very beautiful bird with everything else being perfect. He is solid black with a jade green sheen to his huge powder-puff tail. I don't know, but I think it might be genetic, as another Silkie hatched him - was not an incubator egg, and the lady I bought his mother from mentioned that she had a chick with a crooked beak in her flock.
     
  3. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Songster

    It sounds like your chick is developing a cross-beak, which is actually a malformation of the jaw, in most cases, and probably an inherited trait. Auracaunas/Ameraucaunas/EE's seem to demonstrate this more often than other breeds. It may be very subtle at first and become pronounced as the chick grows, to the point that it isn't able to eat or drink. Some people trim the beaks in less severe cases, and offer some sort of deep dish so that the chick can scoop food out of it, or hand feed. If you search under cross beak you'll find lots of different takes on this... some folks will cull the chick because without a lot of special attention and care, they will starve. I have found that the other chickens peck at their mouth and tongue, too. It's a tough one. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  4. noelalala

    noelalala In the Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    May 18, 2010
    Thanks CallyB57 and Nostalchic!
    I just looked closely at the beak, and it looks like the lower beak (which is straight) extends beyond the upper curved beak so that the pointed end of the top (curved) beak rests on top of the lower (straight) beak. So, the beak is not able to close.
    She is the smallest of our 4 Americaunas, but she does appear to be eating and drinking.
    We'll watch to see how she is treated.
    I do wonder if I should look into having her lower beak trimmed.

    : )
    Noel
     
  5. CallyB57

    CallyB57 Songster

    516
    1
    139
    Apr 27, 2009
    Northeast Louisiana
    Quote:Thanks Nostalchic for the tip on using a deeper dish for feed.
     
  6. noelalala

    noelalala In the Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    May 18, 2010
    Yes, I'll keep this suggestion in mind as well.
    And yes, sometimes this chick accomplishes a more closed jaw by crossing the top beak to the right or left over the bottom -- hence, the accurate description -- "cross beak".

    noel
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: