Deformed chick :( what do i do?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wildriverswolf90, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. wildriverswolf90

    wildriverswolf90 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This little guy hatched out yesterday he has a cross beak and didn't develop an eye on the left side, the skull looks sunken on the side like the socket never even formed.
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    I know alot of you have exprience raising disabled birds, and I was just wondering what i can do to help this chick thrive? he has good energy runs around, but has trouble judging distance and pecking the food. should I fight for him as long as he wants to fight or should I put him to sleep and save him the struggle?
     
  2. iluvorpingtons

    iluvorpingtons Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2012
    Backstage
  3. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't know about crossbeaks, having never raised one, but some people have managed to get them to a hearty old age. They can live good lives with some TLC. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest it is not genetic, but rather environmental. Crossbeaks when bred are known to produce normal chicks. I theorize that he is this way due to chemical issues. Were either of his parents vaccinated within 6 months prior to breeding? Were they chemically wormed within a similar recent period? Generally you won't see results like this but there is always the percentage that is damaged. Most probably don't make it to hatching though.

    From what little I know of crossbeaks, it often does not show as chicks but develops gradually. So he may get much worse or he may not get worse at all. He will probably need TLC to eat (as in wet his food so he can get it down in lumps since he can't pick up crumbs, etc, and protect him from others who might drive him away from food or out-compete him) and he will probably grow up a pet if he lives. This isn't a simple case of being crossbeaked though; if his skull's sunken like you say then the crossed beak is likely due to that. So it may not progress at all, and he may manage fine.

    As to whether you save him the struggle, I have a personal rule of assisting any creature that wants to fight for its life, and a surprising amount of them make it and live healthy, happy, productive lives. Plenty went on to breed, and the issue they endured lent itself genetically to even better offspring, not worse. But even if they're not productive I'd still think it's worth it. I treasure my knowledge and experience.

    The old adage about it not being worth the time or money if the animal's not commercially paying its way does not ring true for me; a little TLC can save an animal with rare genetics if you ever put in the time to learn how to give it the TLC it needs (which is where practicing on commercially 'worthless' creatures is so valuable) and a little TLC is better than culling a creature and raising another to take its place when the issue was simple and easily fixed. Or even a bit difficult, or a lot difficult, it depends on you and what you are willing and able to do.

    Many problems look far worse than they are and in my experience many people put animals out of the human's misery, not the animal's, because even though it may have been suffering it wanted to push through it and fight to live. Some suffering is acceptable if the creature enduring wants to endure. It's a fallacy that their instincts push them to try to live no matter what. Even babies have a well developed 'off' switch, for the majority of them, which kicks in when they no longer have the will to fight, nor the ability. This is based almost entirely on personality, much less on actual ability to survive. One animal can get the equivalent of a stubbed toe and give up on life. Another can have horrific injuries but fight on and live. (If humans allow it).

    Some animals are wimps, some are fighters. Sometimes fighters keep fighting beyond the point but wimps are the ones that die far more often, having given up while success was within reach. I think, without any proof, that there are probably more serious underlying issues to which you are likely to lose him, and of course being half blind he runs the higher risk of accidents and predator attacks occurring. But he might make it and you may learn something useful from this, even if it might only be that chicks like that are better off put down. But it could be something else you learn. Do what you feel is right and best wishes with your choice. He does not appear to be suffering, even though that's not the only relevant deciding factor. I think he looks slightly hydrocephalic but I may be wrong, it could be the malformation at fault. Either way, I wish you and him all the best.
     
  4. Russman

    Russman New Egg

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    I have two cross beaks I bought from someone who was gonna do away with
    Them and i do nothing special for them. They live in the pen and eat right along with the rest of my chickens and do just fine. They are almost 6 months old. And their beaks are pretty bad crossed. Not just a little. I don't know how they do it but they manage to get plenty of food to grow and prosper so I would give him a chance and see how it goes. It can't hurt to give him/her a chance!!!!
     
  5. wildriverswolf90

    wildriverswolf90 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will him into a small brooder with a couple banty chicks so he doesn't get picked on.

    Thank you Orps for the links, those are gonna be a huge help :bow

    Thank Chooks4life for you inspirational words :hugs

    Thank you Russman for words of hope

    I am prepared to fight as hard as possible for him, he is full of life right now so he will be given plenty of TLC.
     
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Best wishes with the little one. :)
     

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