Crossbeak care questions

NewToFarming

Songster
9 Years
Apr 28, 2010
2,305
29
193
Millersburg, PA
I have a little crossbeak silkie that is about 3 1/2 months old. He seems to be doing OK. He can still eat and drink fine. I make sure I have deep bowls for him and I also give moistened chick feed which he loves.

I had read different things and was just wondering what is the best way you had found to care for his beak, trimming or filing it? It is looking a bit more pronounced now and I believe it is time to do something with it to make it easier for him and also to get him used to it. It didn't even become noticeable until he was about 6-8 weeks old. Which way did you find works better for you and would you use like a regular emory board to file it? Also how far do you trim back? I am posting a pic of him. Would you file back until you can see where it becomes darker in color?

Thanks for your help and any other ideas that has worked for you to care for yours, please let me know. I don't want to see him struggle but so far he is doing OK.

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Jan 9, 2009
1,630
82
254
Indiana
You need to trim the beak back, both on top & bottom. If not she will starve to death. If you trim every few days, you might be able to correct the angles. You can trim easily with toe nail clippers, be careful not to cut the birds tongue. What happens with some birds is that they peck on a hard surface when they are newly hatched & the beak is still soft. This will cause the top beak to curve down at a sharper angle than normal, as the bird grows. Usually seen at the age of 3 months. This is not to be comfused with a "true" cross beak, which is a genetic problem, seen at hatching or with in the first 48 hours.
 
Jan 9, 2009
1,630
82
254
Indiana
Quote:
Just an FYI, the birds with a cross beak at hatch, will eventually die. They cannot eat well enough and will quickly fall behind on growth. Some people have trimmed them trying to prolong life, but sometimes it is best to put them down so that they do not suffer. But that is a chioce you will have to make for yourself, with what you are comfortable with. Cross beak at hatch is a genetic problem so you might want to not use the parents in your breeding program. Good luck with your babies.
 

Doc Henry

Songster
10 Years
Nov 16, 2009
535
34
119
Georgetown Tx
If you decide to trim it have some quick stop or a stiptic pencil handy beaks like to bleed they will eventually stop but it makes less mess and you will feel better.
 

NewToFarming

Songster
9 Years
Apr 28, 2010
2,305
29
193
Millersburg, PA
Brody's Broodello :

You need to trim the beak back, both on top & bottom. If not she will starve to death. If you trim every few days, you might be able to correct the angles. You can trim easily with toe nail clippers, be careful not to cut the birds tongue. What happens with some birds is that they peck on a hard surface when they are newly hatched & the beak is still soft. This will cause the top beak to curve down at a sharper angle than normal, as the bird grows. Usually seen at the age of 3 months. This is not to be comfused with a "true" cross beak, which is a genetic problem, seen at hatching or with in the first 48 hours.

Ok, so do you think this is not a true crossbeak? That is good news! At least it gives me hope I can try to get it to be at least a little more normal!! Thank you! Do I trim back to where you can see it start to become darker or where it is alot darker?
Thanks!
big_smile.png
 

True Grit

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2010
2,072
11
171
Orono, Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
Mine had a normal beak and started to go crossbeaked at 10 weeks and progressed rapidly. I agree you can trim her beak with a toenail clipper but have a really strong light so you can tell where the bone/blood supply starts. If she will sit still for a file, so much the better. I should have started earlier with my girl as her upper beak is pretty hooked now, but, she is not starving and in fact is a little fat at 9 months old . I give her a bowl of mealworms, sunflower hearts and scratch sprinkled with a little grit and oyster shell every morning and evening. She SHOOTS down the ramp first thing in the morning and will basically attack the bowl. She can also eat her layer feed out of the feeder. At 5 months she was getting skinnier and skinner and I finally figured out she couldn't pick up any grit so now it is always on her morning and evening treat. I also cut tomatoes, watermelon etc in sizes that she can pick up and she can get them more easily if she can pick them up off the top of the food or the grass. Good luck!
 

Doc Henry

Songster
10 Years
Nov 16, 2009
535
34
119
Georgetown Tx
I would trim it back to the point where it begins to cross right about where the color changes. Its going to bleed anywhere you cut so you might as well make it as helpful as possible with one cut. Thats as close to normal as it will ever be, you may be able to maintain that with a nail file if you file it weekly.
 
Jan 9, 2009
1,630
82
254
Indiana
Quote:
Ok, so do you think this is not a true crossbeak? That is good news! At least it gives me hope I can try to get it to be at least a little more normal!! Thank you! Do I trim back to where you can see it start to become darker or where it is alot darker?
Thanks!
big_smile.png


If you do not trim back to the Qwik area, where it will bleed, you must trim every other day or so to stay ontop of it. You can file at it also. Most of the times you can "correct" it enough that the bird will appear "normal" but you must continue trimming, so that the top & bottom align correctly. Once they are in the correct "shape" they should grow out at the same time, and be fine. You just need to trim, until nature can catch up & adjust itself.
 

True Grit

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2010
2,072
11
171
Orono, Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
This is my 9 month old pullet Zippy. She's not suffering.
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This was her at 5 months old. She is the skinny one in the middle. This was before I started sprinkling grit on her supplemental feedings.
56209_img_0710.jpg
 

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