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Crossed beak chicken :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by little chirpers, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. little chirpers

    little chirpers In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2010
    Hi, Im new to this site and raising pet chickens!! I have a crossed beak chicken and its really bad.I got her when she was just a few days old and its been getting worse each week and shes 3 weeks old!!Should I give her back to the breeder or keep her? I think she might suffer from lack of food [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010

  2. Kanga77510

    Kanga77510 Songster

    Oct 10, 2009
    Santa Fe, TX
    One of our first chickens had a crossed beak and we didn't know what to look for when buying chickens. We bought her as an adult, but I don't think she was old enough to lay. Anyway, we had to cull her a few weeks ago. She was doing fine, then in a week or two just took a big turn for worse. She wasn't eating, had frothy foam coming out of her mouth, skittish, got picked on by the other hens. It wasn't pretty.

    My advice is to take the chicken back to the breeder or cull. Our Lucy had a good few months sunning in the chicken run but she was really dreadful when the time came. [​IMG] Edit to add: you might be able to find a vet to fix the beak, but it might not have much left. I bet $5 that most of the advice from the site will be to cull. I'm sorry, it sucks. A lot.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  3. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    sadly, the time to work with this chick was when the problem was first noticed. Some of these are genetic, some are due to trauma- but if the upper beak is really overgrown and the bottom beak is forced off to the side already- there is likely damage to the 'jaw' joint. In mild cases- they can eat ok, in bad cases they slowly starve to death. If this chick is smaller than the others- it is not getting enough to eat, and will eventually starve. Aggressively trimming the beak to an approximation of normal may help it eat, but you will need to do this every few weeks for the rest of it's life. If you can't commit to this, you should give it back to the breeder or dispatch it yourself. The breeder will likely dispatch it if you give it back- it is not a good breeding prospect, nor is it likely to live a normal life without constant support. There are a few living severe cross-beaks out there, but they have very committed owners who work with them. The average chicken owner can't do what they need to survive- and almost all of them starve before they reach maturity- if they are not dispatched prior. The kind thing to do is to end it's life if this is a severe case. Posting a photo may help determine what you have.
  4. little chirpers

    little chirpers In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2010
    Thanks for the advice, thats also what the breeder recomended I just wanted another oppinion from another chicken owner. [​IMG]
  5. little chirpers

    little chirpers In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2010


    Here are the pics of little Sammy's beak.
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Well, it's up to you on how much time and effort you would like to put in this bird. Some cross beak birds do fine with a deep dish full of food with only a couple friends that don't boss them. You would have to be vigilant in keeping it trimmed up. Also it depends on how fisety the bird is, some birds are fighters and can cope with a disability...... I have a disabled goose & peahen, a blind chicken etc. They are fighters but some are not. You will have to judge your time and situation and the birds will to live.
  7. loralei

    loralei Songster

    Jun 4, 2009
    New Caney, Texas
    Ok... I know this is a controversial subject but if it would give little Sammy a good life it might be worth considering so here it goes: Would debeaking help? [​IMG]


  8. JakRat

    JakRat Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    She is a cutie! It is hard when your animals have something wrong with them ( I still get upset about the rooster I had to give away to freezer camp because he was a cornish cross with nerve damage) but if you are willing to work with her it may work out and you just have a special little girl... I am bot sure about the debeaking as I have never seen this problem before... have you contacted the breeder to ask her what is up?! that is odd that she would give you a chick with a medical problem... Hope that everything works out!
  9. OhMyItsAndyy

    OhMyItsAndyy Songster

    Dec 22, 2009
    West England
    Really, its up to you what happens to the chick i'd say.
    Cull it or keep it.
    Personally, i adore my chicks to much to ever consider hurting them so i would spend the time needed to look after them, but each to their own

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