Crossed Beak Chick Causes?

Discussion in 'Quail' started by yallapilko, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. yallapilko

    yallapilko Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2012
    Hi, I've had a chick hatch with a cross beak and it seems to look worse as it's growing. But it seems to be eating OK. Will it get worse?
    Can anyone tell me the reason for a chick being hatched with a cross beak. Is it genetic or hatching issues? Lots of questions! Any answers much appreciated.
  2. redguinea

    redguinea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2015
    Land down under
    I have a hen whose beak is crossed over and she was fine as a chick after hatching and a few weeks later it was like her beak was soft and moved. But shes fine and lays well, normal in every other way but even it isnt genetic shes in my egg laying yard with no roosters so I don't know if her chicks would have crossed becks.
  3. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    I think there is a large genetic component to cross beaks. My main experience with them was with inbred lines of silkies and a show line of Ameraucanas. The Ams in particular had a high percentage in the eggs I bought and hatched (around 25% if I recall). I was disappointed and kept only the normal beaked pullets. I crossed them to an unrelated black roo (they were splash) and got a bunch of blue chicks, not a single one was crossbeaked. I have never had a crossbeak chick since then, the outcross and selection of a proper beak fixed it completely.
  4. yallapilko

    yallapilko Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2012
    Thanks Redguinea and Deheltzl....... both saying different things though..... I'm not sure if I made an error in incubation. But from what you say could be genetic.....
  5. neecy22

    neecy22 Just Hatched

    Jun 21, 2016
    I have a little cross beak chick as well, I did a lot of reading and it can be either genetic or sometimes is a result of the way they come out of the egg when incubated as opposed to hatched by a hen. My little guy is still around at 8 weeks though significantly smaller than his/her siblings. We grind the food and add it to oatmeal, it seems to be a particularly bad case but we are doing what we can.
  6. Pineapple

    Pineapple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2013
    In the vast majority of birds (of any species) the etiology of a crossed beak/bill is never determined.

    Treatment is the same in almost all cases, at any rate. I prefer to dremel the beak because it's cleaner, smoother, and less-likely to crack or get infected afterward. However, a lot of people prefer to clip it (with fingernail clippers or dog clippers) because it scares the bird less than the dremel. Both are adequate approaches.

    I've never had a quail with a crossed beak but I have had softbills and parrots with the problem. Honestly there are cases where a bird with a crossed beak is better off euthanized--depending on the number of birds, the human involvement, and the suspected cause. For example, if someone had 300 quail and 6 out of a clutch of 40 had crossed beaks, I'd strongly suspect a genetic cause and euthanize those birds and their parents. At the very least I probably wouldn't breed from them.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  7. yallapilko

    yallapilko Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2012
    Thanks for the information Neecy22 and Pineapple. The beak does seem to be getting worse and I certainly won't be breeding from him/her. They are only 2 weeks old today. Basically if it can continue to develop and eat, then it will be for one of our eating birds...... Thanks again for your help.

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