Crossbeak; can she defend herself?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Wynette, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,559
    65
    411
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    For those of you who have raised crossbeaks to adulthood, can a crossbeak pullet defend herself?
     
  2. HenHaven

    HenHaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    875
    1
    161
    Mar 3, 2007
    Coarsegold, CA
    I have had my crossbeak, Hootie, since I started with chickens in Spring 2006. As far as defending herself, she has had no problem with the other chickens at all. Actually she is near the top of the pecking order. Last year, when she became broody/broody mom, she WAS the top hen!!! She is quite capable of thunking others on the head with her little crossbeak, to keep them in their place.

    Hootie is able to eat regular food, but as a special precaution, and to decrease the time she has to spend at the feeder eating pellets, I make up a wet mash of layer pellets and water. I make it to the consistency of oatmeal. I put it in a bowl that is deep enought that she can dive her beak/face right in there!!! LOL! All of my girls love the wet mash, and they act like I am the BEST cook in the whole wide world!

    Typically, you would leave the bottom beak alone, and cut back the top beak some. They need to be able to scoop their food with that bottom beak, and usually it is the top beak that interferes with that.

    Now, MY crossbeak requires a moderate trim of the top beak and a slight trim on the lower beak. I just use dog toenail clippers--the ones that had the round hole that the nail goes through.

    Hope this info is useful to you. Good luck with your little gal!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2008
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,559
    65
    411
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    Thanks so much, HenHaven, for the information - very useful! Glad to hear Hootie's near the top of the pecking order!
     
  4. HenHaven

    HenHaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    875
    1
    161
    Mar 3, 2007
    Coarsegold, CA
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Chatychick

    Chatychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    My crossbeak Beaky is a tough old hen and she dont have any trouble whooping the others at all...she loves dog and cat food that is dry ...she eats just about anything she wants...I dont worry aout her at all...I do trim her top beak just a little at a time as the first time it bled some...wont do that again...She is a scraper when it gets down to it...they learn to survive pretty fast...
     
  6. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Chillin' With My Peeps

    810
    0
    149
    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    It depends on how bad the crossed beak is. I currently have a hen, who can't even feed herself.
    The crossed beaked hen I had in the past had no problems. She was a little skinnier than her sister, but the two of them bossed everyone else around just fine! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by