Crooked Beak- Is there a fix?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Quinn4321, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Quinn4321

    Quinn4321 Songster

    Aug 28, 2010
    P.A/M.D border, USA
    I have a young Silver laced sebright cockerel, 8 weeks. he is super sweet, but i noticed his beak was a little crooked when he was 2 weeks old. The bottom is straight, but the top curves to one side. It didnt really seem to get worse, but after coming home from a several week travel, it is much worse. He can eat fine, he is the same size as the rest of them. Is there anything I can do for him? It doesnt appear to be causing pain. Would clipping the tip of hhis top beak help?

    Pictures, hopefully they are good enough.





    Thanks in advance
    -- Quinn

  2. nonsuch

    nonsuch Songster

    Mar 22, 2011
    Poy Sippi, WI
    This condition is called "cross beak". Some people kill them and others clip and file the beak. They can have problems eating and foraging. I always give my animals every chance. How is this Chicken coping, eating and drinking? I would see if any beak trimming and filing might help.
  3. shortstaque

    shortstaque Songster

    Sep 29, 2010
    Bucks County, PA
    I had two like that last year. I understand that it gets worse as they grow because the upper and lower plates grow in opposite directions, so the gap will increase. Also, when the beak doesn't line up, the top beak tends to grow in a downward direction making it impossible for the beak to come together. That is where some folks try to remedy it by filing the top beak down. I don't know if you consider your chickens more pets or livestock. If livestock, its probably best to cull. They can't compete to eat with their coop mates and often fail to thrive. If its a pet, you could try the filing routine and make sure they have access to a feeder and waterer that are fairly deep. Because they can't pick food up between their beaks, they tend to turn their heads upsidedown and scoop the food with their upper beak, to do this a shallow feeder doesn't work well.

    In my experience cross beaks don't live long and it may be most humane to cull.

    [​IMG] Good luck.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  4. elieugene6

    elieugene6 Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Western ny
    I have a silver sebright pullet with the same problem. I got her from tractor supply this spring. I clip her top beak with dog nail trimmers when it starts to get to long for my liking. You will definitely need deep feeders or even feed him separately so you know he gets enough. When the top beak gets really long it will start to make it more messed up. Mine is definitely smaller than the gold sebrights I got at the same time but she seems healthy other than the beak so I am giving her a chance. I have livestock chickens and pet chickens. She is one of the pets and I would never think of using her for breeding. If it has the will to live I will try and give it a chance. Mine is living in a pen I built for the tiny chickens that needed their own space.

  5. Quinn4321

    Quinn4321 Songster

    Aug 28, 2010
    P.A/M.D border, USA
    Thanks! He appears to be fairly close to the same size as the others, a bit smaller, but not much. He has spirit. I want to give him a chance. In what manner would you suggest filing/trimming his beak and how much?
  6. Quinn4321

    Quinn4321 Songster

    Aug 28, 2010
    P.A/M.D border, USA
    Does anyone know?
  7. MuckyPuppy

    MuckyPuppy Songster

    Jun 11, 2011

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