Crooked Beak on 4.5 week old chick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jesirose, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. jesirose

    jesirose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    I just noticed today that one of my Cream Legbar girls has a crooked beak. I've spent a lot of time with them so I don't see how I didn't see this before, but it doesn't seem like the kind of thing that happens overnight... What causes this?? Is it genetic and it's always been that way, or could something have injured her? She's 4.5 weeks old.

    One of the males from the same breeder has a crooked comb as well - if it's genetic does that mean these are all likely to have problems if I breed them? I wasn't planning on breeding the male that has the crooked comb and now this female, but the others seem fine at the moment, I would hate to have to cull 2/3 of my CLs because of this.

    She's eating and drinking as far as I can tell. She doesn't seem to be growing smaller or slower than the others.

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    This is the boy:
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  2. I have had 1 chicken with a cross beak. It does get progressively worse as the chick ages. Sad but true. I would not breed. Though I don't fully understand it to be genetic. I don't know.

    Wish ya the best.
     
  3. dretd

    dretd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Ft Collins, CO
    Oh, gosh I am sorry about the cross beaks! In general this is thought of as a genetic abnormality and recessive. You see it infrequently but having 2 showing development makes me think that the parents are closely related and each are carriers. Although you won't want to breed these birds, I had a friend with one and she did ok in the layer flock. It was a while ago but I recall she kept the upper beak trimmed or filed back and had a feed pan full so the hen could scoop up the crumbles.

    Here is a succinct summation http://www.polishbreedersclub.com/crookedbeaks.htm :

    "The most common kind of crooked beak in older chickens is probably that which develops between 3 and 8 weeks of age in chicks which were normal at hatching. The lower beak is unaffected except that,since it is not used for pecking, the end is not worn down as much as in normal fowls and one side is worn more than the other. At maturity the tip of the upper beak tends to curl downward. In the skulls of affected birds there is a marked asymmetry of the maxillae, nasals, and pre-maxillae, which is probably responsible for the condition of the beak. Birds with the upper beak straight but much shortened are sometimes found in families showing crooked beaks, and the two forms are probably genetically identical.
    Genetics. This type of crooked beak is hereditary, but the manifestation of the character is so irregular that a definite genetic basis for it is as yet unknown. In extensive studies by Landauer (1938) the condition was clearly recessive to the normal, but no Mendelian ratios were observed. Some matings of normal parents produced only a single cross-beak in 21, 30, and 48 chicks. From four matings of cross-beaked birds inter se the ratio in the progeny was 91 normal: 53 cross-beaked. Apparently only a small proportion of the birds homozygous for crooked beak are visibly affected. Mercier and Poisson (1925) suggest that in their stock the character was even manifested by heterozygotes. Birds with crooked beaks survive, especially if the beaks are trimmed and if the feed is supplied in a deep hopper. The variation in which the upper beak is straight but shortened is more likely to be fatal before maturity, because of the difficulty in feeding."

    There are some typos and I think that where they say 'inter se' they may mean intersex sibling matings.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. jesirose

    jesirose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    Thank you, that link is very helpful - however disappointing.

    I got two trios from the same breeder, and I have an slightly older trio from another breeder. As they grow up I'll have to keep a close eye and see what happens. I had hoped to breed the two groups but it sounds like I may need to keep looking for some more birds. My older trio has not had any problems.

    I will let the breeder I got these from know about this issue.
     

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