crooked beak EE much lighter weight and not laying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shend, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. shend

    shend Chirping

    Sep 16, 2010
    west michigan
    I asked some months ago about my EE with the crooked beak. I could never get ahold of her to trim, nor would I know how to go about it, but she seemed to be doing as welll as the others.

    She still looks good and seems to be able to eat about anything but has not laid her first egg (8 mos old now) but now trusts me to pick her up.

    She is so much lighter weight than the others! Now I'm concerned that maybe she isn't getting the nutrition she needs.

    Should I try to trim the beak? Is it too late? How do you trim the beak?

  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Quote:She is always going to be frail because of the defect. She can be fed high calorie foods by hand if you think it will help. You could also try tube feeding her for a while to help her build up some mass. I don't think that is an effective long term solution because tube feeding is pretty traumatic, but it may be just enough to get her back on track.

    Trimming beaks is always a little scary because they are so sensitive and they bleed badly if cut too short. You can use very sharp toenail trimmers to snip just the see-through parts of the beak off. Do not cut into the quick! You could also try filing off the overgrown areas. That is much safer, but may not be tolerated well, and takes some time to do.

    I am sorry for you and for her. Crossbeaked birds don't have a good chance of survival unless their defect is very mild. Even then, they are often more frail than their defect-free flock members. I hope you are able to find a solution that works out for you both.

    Good luck.
  3. shend

    shend Chirping

    Sep 16, 2010
    west michigan
    Thanks. It's just the past 3 days that I've noticed her lethargy. she jumped into my car at the beginning of the week, so she seemed to be fine.

    I have her inside for now. gave her some watered mash with warm oatmeal but she is just standing there and not trying any. I gave some sugar water by syringe hoping to give her a kick but does not seem to be working.

    Even if I get the beak trimmed back will it continue to grow back crooked?

    Not sure what to do. hate to see her suffer. may have to cull her, but I'm not a gun person.
  4. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Cross beaks will always require life-long management. My cross-beak was the last of my birds to start laying, and when she did start I watched her very closely because often cross-beaked birds are not able to take in enough calories to maintain their weight and produce eggs and may starve to death even if they are constantly at the feeder. If you do decide to trim the beak, I would strongly recommend filing it with a dremmel and a grinding bit. This will be a much safer way to bring the beak back to a more normal shape. If you don't have access to a dremmel, sharp toenail clippers are your next best bet, but be careful as they have the potential to split or crack the beak when you trim. However, nothing you do will make the beak normal and it will always be crossed and always need regular trimming to keep up with it. If this is not something you are able or willing to do every 2-6 weeks, then it would be kinder to cull her.
  5. True Grit

    True Grit Songster

    Mine was getting quite thin until I realized she could not pick up grit with which to digest her food. I would make a mash with her layer food and yogurt with meal worms on top and once I started sprinkling grit on top she got quite fat and started laying. She did die at almost a year old but she appeared physically ok so she did not starve to death. Good luck, the special needs ones get closer to you than the healthy girls.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by