Diary of a Crossbeak: Support for Special Needs Chickens and their Keepers

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Nimby Chickens, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Nursiedeer

    Nursiedeer Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2012
    Raymore, Missouri
    So sad to report....My special chicken passed away on Tuesday... I came home from work and Chicken little wasn't acting well.
    He had been having a bit more trouble with his lags the past week.
    He had hurt a toe that I had to bandage up and it just made getting around more difficult.
    I was thinking a lot Monday night about his quality of life.
    Jonathan went to check on him about the time I got home. He said he just wasn't well.
    I mixed up some food and some water for CL but he didn't want to eat or drink.
    Jonathan just held him and he eventually just dropped his little head and gave up life.
    I cried..Jonathan Cried
    i have gotten up each morning since and walked to check on him, only to realize he was gone.
    He sure gave us a lot of love in his 10 short weeks.
    I miss holding him while I sit at my computer. his beak at my neck....
    RIP little bird.
  2. cary 1973

    cary 1973 Chillin' With My Peeps

    o so sorry for your loss but take heart you gave him a good life for what little time he was here
  3. 2StrayRoos

    2StrayRoos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2011
    Edenton, North Carolina
    I feel your pain. I lost my little crossbeak Pippa Tues. also. She had a hurt leg but was getting better. She was walking and running again. I think I got something major going on because I lost one of her sisters Sunday night and I have another one hanging on. When she passes, I will be doing a necropsy on her to see what I am dealing with for the sake of my other birds. I miss Pippa so much, she was only 15 weeks old and doing very well. We kept her beak trimmed and filed. I think because she is considered as a weaker bird, whatever I have going on strikes the weaker ones. She also died in my arms. I told her it was alright to go so she could be with her sister Kate. I have cried all week. Again so sorry for your lost.
  4. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    sorrry to all on your losses[​IMG]
  5. ramirezframing

    ramirezframing Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 2, 2011
    Knee Deep
    neat thread, I learned though trail and error with my cross beak. But I found that the pedi paw nail trimmer works great for trimming and shaping the beak. I had to do this every 3 or so weeks with Peepers. I also used deep food and water bowls. Peepers would switch between pellets and scratch or chick feed as to what he wanted to eat. He hatched with a bad eye that needed wiped clean several times a day, he than developed a cross beak and a ear problem that I had to clean with peroxide once a month. He always looked too small for his feathers and his legs never filled out his scales so they wont smooth. Never grew much spur either, he was 5 when he past but had a small 2 year old roo's spur. He took forever for me to sex, almost 8 months for saddle feathers to show up. He started crowing after a year old, I thought something was eating a rooster and when I ran outside I saw that it was him. His crow did improve to being rather nice, but he didn't crow much. He was the best mama hen to new chicks/ turkey babies. I do have some of his babies do to a DH not getting eggs while I was away. They seem to be okay except for one outta 9, the one seems to have his dad's eye problem. I'll have to wait and see as they are only a few months old now.

    Peepers after playing in the flowering bushes (petals on his eye and comb spike)

    Peepers with his turkey babies (was funny to see him sit on them after they were bigger than him)

    Peepers around 9 months old
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  6. cindersga

    cindersga Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2012
    Covington, GA
    Oh all this is so sad. I would be broken hearted if my Broke Beak was to pass away. She comes running to see me everyday and runs into the house to see what treats I have for her. She flies up to the counter looking for goodies. She is spoiled rotten and I love her. I hope she has a long life. I know she is happy here with us...and I was told to cull her when she was a chick! Isn't that what we do with anything we don't want to bother with? We just get rid of it. Not me I'm pro-life all the way [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  7. Undimere

    Undimere Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 15, 2012
    Northern Utah
    My little bantam Silkie has cross beak. I got her free from a guy that didn't want to spend the extra time caring for her. Each morning she meets me at the gate, excited for breakfast.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  8. Balletmum55

    Balletmum55 Just Hatched

    Sep 9, 2012
    I'm so glad another member pointed me in you direction. It is making me nervous though. I just adopted a cross beaked chick and will be raising her as a house chicken. I hope she doesn't get so bad that I will have to tube feed. Right now I assume she's eating. She pecks at her food all day throwing most of it on the floor. She was smaller then the other chicks that were sent to a friend from a hatchery...so not sure she is getting sufficient food. I have been just doing crumbles. I will get some yogurt too. I have wanted to get her some happy hens meal worms but wasn't sure if those require a beak to break them up. Has anyone tried them with your cross beak? Mine is an Easter Egger. Interesting that that is common in that breed. If anyone is on facebook I post daily photo's of her on a special fan page I set up under her name---Pico Torcido (it's Spanish for Crooked Beak)..I feel good having you to contact with questions if need be. Did you guys read the feed from the chicken chick? She says as the beak grows we'll have to cut it with dog clippers. Yikes! But I'll do ANYTHING for my Pico~!
    1 person likes this.
  9. Susan0264

    Susan0264 New Egg

    Feb 22, 2012
    All of your stories are so sweet! I am so sorry
    For your losses!
    I was a NICU nurse for a long time so bear with me! Do scientists or Vets know what causes these deformities? Easter Eggers have this more commonly? Any other breed? Is it a genetic anomaly or congenital?
    About the feeding, any reason why yogurt or heavy cream is added? I mean nutritionally speaking. Do you add olive oil as well or do you just use that as a lubricant? Do the birds require a certain amount of fats? Could you put the meal worms in the blender as well for added protein? Or would it be too much?
    Just FYI: if the red rubber tube is too flimsy you can place it in ice water for several minutes to make it a little stiffer.
    Sorry for all the questions, you just got the cobwebs off my brain for a while!

  10. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    I too as a nurse had alot of questions! I do not believe there has been a whole lot of study on it but I did come across this article here when trying to research it. http://www.genetics.org/content/26/4/426.full.pdf
    There are other causes of crossbeak in addition to genetics. One is incubator issues and humidity as well as another if the chick pecks on something hard during the first 2 days of life can cause a misalignment to start developing because their beaks are still soft during that time. This has been just my observations and nothing scientific but it appears the chicks that are hatched with an obvious beak deformity that can be seen do not thrive as well as others that develop later and leads me to believe that there could be other genetic problems in addition to the crossbeak. The chicks that seem to develop it later from about 6 to 10 weeks seem to fair better and continue a good life with some support. This leads me to believe the ones that develop later could be caused from outside influences instead of a genetic issue. Again, alot of this is just what I have observed and told by long time breeders as well. As far as breeds, it seems the EE, silkies and Favorelles are more commonly afflicted with this.
    Feeding them yogurt is a good way to get probiotics in their gut if they have problems, however it is not a good idea to give long term. Dairy is not good for chickens and they do not process it well if at all. Again, a once in a while treat is OK but I wouldn't give dairy products often. But in saying that, it seems my chickens absolutely love dairy and their favorite is grated cheese and I do give it to them once in awhile and give them the no fat. Yes, too much fat is not good and too much protein is not good either. Additional protein can be given during stress to help build them up again. I guess a good way to look at it is balance. A crossbeak might not eat as much as a normal chicken due to the difficulty so adding additional vitamins and protein might be a good thing to do for them.
    I did not go back and read why olive oil is used but I imagine as a lubricant. I use it to as a way to break up and clear impacted crops. Hope this helps!

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