deformed beak/eating shavings

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by KathyR, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. KathyR

    KathyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2009
    Tully, NY
    Hi everyone,
    I purchased some day olds, hatched 3/6/09. They are mostly crested polish. Up until a few days ago they were in a cage with a 1/4 inch wire bottom, with just old towels covering part of the wire bottom to sleep on. They have now been moved to a 5' x 5' cage with pine shavings, which I have discovered they are eating. Not Good !!! (comments on that appreciated) I have discovered one of my polish babies has a deformed beak. She is now just over 4 weeks old. It appears the top part is curling down a bit and the lower part almost looks to straight or something and meets the end of the upper part. It is preventing the beak from closing fully. I plan on taking her to the vet to see if he can trim it. I have been reading some of the posts about crossed beak. Does this sound like it can be the problem? Thanks for any suggestion or info.
    Kathy
     
  2. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    I wouldn't waste time going to the vet. I live in KY, and around here you can't even find a vet who will see ducks and chickens, and this is a rural farming community! If its eating and drinking okay, I would just let it be. I don't think chickens beaks can be "trimmed up", but I'm sure someone else can clarify on that, I may be wrong. You should put a layer of paper towls over the shavings. Many people do that until the chicks get to be several weeks old.
     
  3. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    I put mine on wood shavings when they are about a week old. They make a big deal out of scratching around and picking in it, but I always have food and water available for them, and I have never had a problem with it. Crossed beak can be trimmed, depending on the severity. They will probably always need deep feed because they cant pick things up off the ground. I read a thread or article about trimming with pictures, but I can't find it right now. I have a little one about a week and a half that has a crooked lower beak.
     
  4. KathyR

    KathyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2009
    Tully, NY
    Hi,
    Thanks for the replies. I didn't put them on shavings until around 4 weeks old. I can actually see them eat some of the shavings, this has me worried. As far as the beak, it is straight right now, but unable to close all the way since the tips on the bottom and top meet. I do have a vet that has treated some of my chickens and ducks. I do not know if he can do the trimming but intend to call him. What are the chances of the problem correcting itself with proper trimming?
    Kathy
     
  5. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    I'm not sure on the beak trimming. I know when they debeak them in the hatchery they stay that way. I'm not sure if just trimming it is permanent or something you would have to do periodically.
     
  6. HidingInTheHenHouse

    HidingInTheHenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2008
    Indianapolis
    I wouldn't worry too much about the shavings. All my chickens, chicks and adults, will peck through, scratch, and eat a bit of the shavings, especially when it is fresh and just put down. You would think I had given them treats!

    I would however, check each chick everyday for vent pasting, since I've heard that sometimes eating the shavings can contribute to this condition.
     
  7. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    Quote:Yeah, that's what I was thinking of too. And you are very lucky to have a vet who will treat them for you. Just make sure if he/she does trim the beak that they really know what they are doing.
     
  8. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Mine eat shavings from time to time. It's OK.

    As for the beak, you can file it down with a fingernail file to help it fit better. I've got a banty cochin with a deformed beak. I file it down & trim it with fingernail clippers during the summer, when it seems to grow the most. She doesn't mind all that much when I do it. As long as you're not taking it back too far, it'll be fine. Beaks are like fingernails or dog claws, though, in that they've got a dead part & an alive part. If you draw blood, you've gone too far.
     
  9. KathyR

    KathyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2009
    Tully, NY
    I feed a starter mash, dry left down all day. I also feed wet mash 3x a day. I stared that when I first brought the chicks home and one was weak and not eating, it helped her come around. I have tried cutting back on the wet feedings but I had some pretty loud requests to continue the 3x a day. Can feeding the wet cause beak problems?

    I am very lucky to have the vet I do. I have used him for many years for all my animals. He is wonderful. Unfortunatly he no longer does barn calls but will see any animal I bring in to him, including my goats. We only tried that once for reasons you can imagine. I am concerned about transporting the chick. I am afraid it will get to stressed or chilled. I plan on wrapping it up in a small towel and putting it inside my coat. Any better suggestions?
    Thanks for the replies
    Kathy
     
  10. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    South Puget Sound
    Food won't affect their beak development.

    As for transporting the chick, you can put a hot pad in a box (I put a pound of dried beans into a cloth bag & microwave on high for 2 mins as a cheap hot pad). Cover the hot pad with a towel and then put the chick on top.
     

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