chick with a cockeyed beak


In the Brooder
12 Years
Aug 8, 2007
I have a 5 weeks old chick that has gradually had its bottom beak grow out to the side. I can see her tongue....or what ever that is in there!! She eats fine but needs a deep pile of food to eat from. She drinks as well and behaves like she is happy and healthy.
Should I be worried? Should I look for a cause? If I had to guess I would say her bottom beak is too long to fit under the top beak. I had another chick of the same breed and her top beak grew very quickly and was much longer and curved than the bottom one. She did not do well and died.
Crossbeaked birds can survive if the deformity is not too bad. The beak will continue to get worse until the bird reaches it's full skeletal growth at about 16-18 weeks old. Deep feed and water dishes help the birds to be able to scoop up their sustenance. Sometimes folks choose to trim the beaks into a more effective shape for eating. Often feed is given in a mash form which sticks and clumps together to make it easier for birds to ingest larger quantities. Vitamins are often added to boost birds' nutrition levels. There is also the tube-feeding option, but that involves a whole new level of care. Since this is considered to be a genetic deformity it is recommended that these birds not ever be used a breed stock. Subsequent generations of these birds often have worse deformities than their parent(s).

I hope this helps. Good luck.
Thank you, that helps. I was afraid I did something wrong. This is an americunia (sp??) and she is about 6 weeks old. I am worried about how bad it will get but so far she is eating fine. She doesn't get much from free range feeding but enjoys the activity and being out with the others. I just make sure she has access to her food and water in her deeper bowls.
How do you go about trimming their beaks? I have read both scary negative and positive things about it but nothing real helpful.
You can use regular clippers and a file to work it down to the right shape and size. You just need to be very cautious when doing this! There are a lot of nerve endings in the beak and if you cut into the "quick" it will bleed like crazy. You should probably have some clotting agent on hand if you tackle this.

I never opted to trim my crossbeak's beak. She wore it down in a manner that was perfect for her eating. It looked ragged and unkempt, but it served her well enough.
Thanks, I think I will skip that little torture like process. Hopefully she can be happy and healthy and just look a little silly.
I don't even like clipping the cats toenails!!

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