Crossed beak


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jul 25, 2010
Help! I have a chick with a beak that started off as being normal but one day I noticed it was a little crooked. Then it kept getting worse and worse so I got online and everywhere it says that its either a nutrition problem or genetics. All the other chicks are fine so it must be genetics and everywhere says to just cull if its genetics.
Is there anything else I can do??


8 Years
May 23, 2011
I had the same think happen. All our other chicks were healthy but one little soul we named Ronald the Rooster that is actually a hen. We decided not to cull as we were advised that she may adapt to eating by scooping up her food mixed with water. We noticed her beak being crooked at 3 weeks and it continually got worse. We now have to have her top beak filed at the vet every 4 weeks or so and I also syringe feed her 4 times a day with organic baby food, peas, green beans etc and Lafeber's ( nutritional support (you can only purchase this through a vet). Our Roanld is now nearly 5 months old and still can't eat for herself. We have a Black Sex Link hen that takes care of her and protects her from the others but I'm at the stage where I'm now wondering if I'm doing the right thing? I love all my chickens but this girl is so special to me and my kids, it will truly break our hearts but maybe putting her to sleep would be the best thing for us to do.

I would say, take the hen to the vet and get a professional opinion. Some crooked beaks DO adapt to eating on their own. Good luck!


8 Years
May 3, 2011
Cascade foothills of WA
Some birds with cross beak can live normal lives and some can't. It all depends on the severity of the cross. The beak will continue to change until they reach maturity so it could be a while until you know if this bird can feed itself. As long as the beaks are kept as short as possible, many birds can continue to feed themselves. We file our cross beak's beak once a week. I couldn't imagine letting it grow for 4 weeks, he'd starve by that time. We use a dremmel-like tool and it literally takes 30 second once a week. Every night I check his crop to make sure it's full. Other than the filing and more attention to him eating, he's a normal 6 month old rooster.

It's a terrible thing and it takes time to know if you're bird will be able to make it, but I've never heard of a cross beak that didn't require having their beak filed in order for them to make it. I've seen a lot of birds where people neglected their beaks until it became too long to cut (blood vessels grew long just like with dogs' nails) and the birds starved or were put down.

Wishing you luck. For some reason, cross beak birds seem to have more personality than other chickens which makes them worth fighting for.


8 Years
Jan 27, 2011
i love mine! She's almost 5 months now, and the sweetest thing. Follows me everywhere. She got in a fight with the roosters a couple days ago and they tore off a big chunk of her upper beak, so right now she can only eat baby food and applesauce, but before that she was doing great eating the mash mixed with water.

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