Crooked beak question...causes???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Frozen Feathers, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    I have a friend of mine who has a question about crooked beak and I said I would post here.

    Here's the situation. She has 4 chicks, 3 are Silkies and one is a Serama cross. These are all unrelated who have developed a crooked beak more then 3 weeks after hatch, one is 4 months living at another home and is just developing one now. Two were incubator chicks and two were from under the broody.

    I have read that this can be genetic, or a hatch issue, but does anyone know any other causes?

    To me it seems it really can't be genetic since all the chicks are unrelated and I have hard time imagining it to be a hatch problem since two of them came from under a broody.

    What about nutrition? Would/Could this be a factor? I have bought and traded birds with her and I have never had this issue. I have also seen her flock on many occasions ad they are well cared for and down right spoiled.

    Or is this all luck of the draw? Obviously she is not going to breed the crooked beak chicks, but we are both looking for an explanation.
    Thanks for any information!
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    From this thread


    We have done a lot of research on this since we were raising this guy. It seems there are 2 primary forms of crossbeaks in chickens. One is present at birth and is incubational/genetic and usually fatal. The other shows up much later, like 6 weeks and is caused by a deformity in the sinus bones which cause the face/beak to grow outtawhack (thats my scientific term). The second form is definitely genetic, but usually less severe. Buckbeak has the second. He seemed fine when he popped out, but around 4-6 weeks we noticed his face was growing wonky (another scientific term).

    We trim about every 2 weeks with the dremel, to keep him comfortable and he eats out of the feed bin. He's very spunky! He has also broken into the house a few times, and scared the poop out of me. We have an old house, and the doors don't always shut well. He learned to fly up and fling himself at the kitchen door window and a couple times it has popped open... and he helped himself to a bag of cat food. Inside chicken!​
  3. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    Thanks SpeckledHen.
    This does and doesn't seem to fit genetics... if you know what I mean.
    I will pass on the information anyhow.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Honestly, I'm still hearing arguments about this issue, so it's hard to say. Obviously, if it shows up at two or three months old, it is not incubation.
  5. mario2girls

    mario2girls Songster

    Sep 5, 2007
    i am going to go out tomorrow and take pics of a few examples...because we are talking about 2 different things, 2 have a bit of a side turned beak,, the other is a bad top going one way and bottom going another. i think that sometimes we may not notice this at hatch because bird is soo small and there are others and just dont notice,,,,if i cant figure out the pic posting will have to e mail pics to angie and let her do it,,,,hope she knows how!!
  6. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    Okay, well here are the pictures I was asked to post for Mario2girls.

    [​IMG] This is the buff with the extremely crooked beak, poor girl. Mario2girls and I believe it's her skull is deformed. She was hatched from an egg from a very good breeder. I believe she is going to go to the vet today and humanely euthinized. She is such a pretty girl, and I feel so sad for her and for Mario2girls.

    He's not so noticeable. When looking at him straight on it just goes to the side a bit.

    I guess really we both would like the genetics behind this deformity.

    Such as would both parents have to be a carrier to pass this along, or just one parent? I would like to think that someone isn't breeding crooked beak birds and that this was just an abnormal gene or something.
    Thanks for any help.
  7. turnerstar31

    turnerstar31 Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    One of my hatchery RIR has a cross beak too. Hers did not show up until she was older. We are constantly trimming her beak but other than that she does fine. We ust make sure to give her extra love and attention. She also gets extra treats to make sure that she stays in good weight. She also went on to raise 4 babies which were hers and none of them have the deformity so I am not sure about the genetic thing. I was worried because she had taken off and formed a nest without me knowing. Well I found her one day and she had been sitting on the eggs. I was worried and was going to stop her from sitting since I read somewhere you should not breed them but I did not want to kill those chicks developing so I let her go knowing what could happen.
  8. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    One of my easter eggers developed a cross beak, it looked like the buff silkie's cross beak. This was a hatchery chick I bought from Atwoods. I wasn't paying attention to beak formation when I was picking them out, I just wanted what was left of their "ameraucana" chicks. I believe this one was a skull deformity. Unfortunately

    I have a Seabright pullet with a beak deformity also, but not a cross beak. I didn't notice this one until about a month ago. I thought she looked a bit strange, so I took a closer look and her beak is crooked but not scissored. She too is a hatchery bird I picked up from Atwoods. Atwoods has their chicks supplied by Ideal.
  9. Nupine

    Nupine Songster

    Nov 21, 2007
    Sorry if I am offending anyone, but euthanising for a crooked beak?! This is just my 2 cents, but I have a few silkie chicks with crooked beaks, and a 5 month old pullet. Her's is as bad as the buff silkie, and she is fine, she is eats and drinks fine, and still bites me and the other chickens. I plan on giving her to our pastor's wife who I know will take great care of her, but PLEASE!!
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Quote:Please be respectful of the decisions of others as we are all here to learn and act upon what we think it is best for or birds and flocks. Often birds must be culled from a flock with these types of disorders because if it is genetic, it can be spread to offspring and unfortuantly, there are not enough places in the world to be able to care for all "special needs" animals. If there were, it would be fine, however it is not and often breeders do not want to pass "non ideal" characerisitcs into offspring. There are also different degrees of cross beaks with some just at a small angle and some where there is up to a 90 deg angle between the top and bottom beaks. I myself had a cross beak as a pet, but he got eaten by a predator. Heres my crossbeak who was able to get along, but required more attention than the rest to make sure he could eat. His lower beak is pointing at the camera.


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