Crossbilled chick


In the Brooder
11 Years
Oct 26, 2008
One of my new chicks has a VERY crossed bill. I know what the humane thing to do is,however I have a hard time with that .Anyone know any tricks? I am giving her water with electrolytes with an eye dropper now,but she needs grain .Any suggestions ? Thanks


C'mon C'mere Fluffa Feathers
10 Years
Feb 16, 2009
Cumberland County NJ
Many chicks with scissorsbeak do just fine. Feed in a bowl about 2 inches deep. They push their beak through the deeper crumbles & get the food in. Also putting water on the crumbles making an oatmeal type feed works well when the chick is very young.

My scissorsbeaked baby did very well until an owl got her at age 6 months. Google "scissors beak" You will find a lot of info. I had found a posting showing a healthy productive adult chicken with SB. They can't forage. I used to give my baby worms & bugs when I rototilled.

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9 Years
Sep 13, 2010
Hi Everyone, I am new to this and one of my chicks is very crossbilled also, much more than the one pictured. She is growing but she isn't able to pick up bugs....this morning I saw the poor little thing after a stink bug and just couldn't get it in her beak. The top and bottom beak only are together near her throat and aren't really fitted together to look like it can be shaved to fit....any other suggestions? Also wanted to go to pellets when they are old enough, is that possible with a cross billed? Sandy


9 Years
Aug 25, 2010
Rural Brooklyn, WI
I have a cross beaked chick and she is eating from a deep dish that holds our chicken feed for our silkies, she is in it for a long time, and loves it when new food is put in.
She has grown well and drinks well from both an open pet dish OR from a typical waterer that is for chickens.
Mine was a bit stunted because she was only fed a bit and free ranged a lot. My silkies only free range in our barn, but get lots of good fresh food!


10 Years
Aug 8, 2009
Teays Valley, West Virginia
Oh Mercy good news! My banty is worse than that.. and she does fine. Thankfully!!! No one has pecked on her either. She even drinks fine. Just let her grow some... see how she does. just make sure that her feed is always plenty deep and chop her up some grass and treats at times since she can't grasp them :eek:)

My girl is a good bug catcher though!

Good luck


10 Years
Feb 1, 2009
Lexington, KY
I had a cross bill who died this past summer at 18 months. She did really well until then, but she was never fat. The neighbors started giving them scratch, and I think there just weren't enough nutrients in there for her to sustain herself. Something you do want to keep in mind - the cross beak is progressive. It often won't show up until the chicks are a few weeks old and will get progressively worse for a while; eventually it stops, maybe at puberty? Definitely make sure you always keep a deep dish of feed available for her - otherwise she won't be able to efficiently feed herself. Trimming helps if the beak isn't too severe, but once it gets to a certain point it doesn't help anymore. Here's a picture of mine as an adult.


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