Facial Deformity Assistance

HeatherKellyB

"One day or Day one"
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May 31, 2019
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This is Auggie. He hatched Aug 13th 2020. He is a cross between an Easter Egger and Polish. He has what I've been calling an "underbeak" (for lack of the proper term) and a very mild cross beak. His under beak has gotten worse but the scissor beak hasn't changed and maybe even improved a bit. I didn't notice until recently that his top pallet curves downward and seems much thicker than normal. The slit seems to be further back than normal too. His comb is different than I'm used to see as well. The incubator he was in has proved to be unstable and unreliable and I feel like that's the root of Auggie's deformities (also had another scissor beak in the same clutch of eggs that didn't survive long). Other than providing him with deep dishes so he's able to scoop, is there anything else I can do to help him? Will his beak continue to worsen as he gets older?
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FuzzyCritters

Crowing
Mar 13, 2020
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I have a Dominique named Spunky who has a very similar deformity. She has an underbite and weird comb like your chick (no scissor beak though). What I do for her is I take a pair of human nail clippers and a metal file and cut down her bottom beak as far as I can. Inside the mouth is shiny, live tissue, and the extra long part looks the same as the outside of her beak. I take the nail clippers and cut down her beak almost to the live tissue, then use the file to grind off the uneven edges from trimming and make the bottom beak into a more natural shape. Her beak never closes perfectly, but having it a little shorter helped her eat and drink. She can eat both pelleted and crumbled food. Her beak actually got better with age, because now that she is full grown, her beak grows back slower. I also leave a rock or concrete block in her run so she can grind it down herself.
 

HeatherKellyB

"One day or Day one"
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May 31, 2019
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I have a Dominique named Spunky who has a very similar deformity. She has an underbite and weird comb like your chick (no scissor beak though). What I do for her is I take a pair of human nail clippers and a metal file and cut down her bottom beak as far as I can. Inside the mouth is shiny, live tissue, and the extra long part looks the same as the outside of her beak. I take the nail clippers and cut down her beak almost to the live tissue, then use the file to grind off the uneven edges from trimming and make the bottom beak into a more natural shape. Her beak never closes perfectly, but having it a little shorter helped her eat and drink. She can eat both pelleted and crumbled food. Her beak actually got better with age, because now that she is full grown, her beak grows back slower. I also leave a rock or concrete block in her run so she can grind it down herself.
Thank you for your reply! I have wondered about trimming and/or filing his bottom beak, but I wasn't sure. You've provided very clear information. I can see where where his beak changes. Its clear along the edge and I'm thinking that's what I can safely remove. How do you keep her still and cooperative so she'll allow you to do this? I wasn't able to get pictures without my daughter holding him. He's a sweet and friendly boy but he's funny about anything on his head being touched. Thanks again for your reply! I really appreciate you
 

FuzzyCritters

Crowing
Mar 13, 2020
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Kitsap county, WA
Thank you for your reply! I have wondered about trimming and/or filing his bottom beak, but I wasn't sure. You've provided very clear information. I can see where where his beak changes. Its clear along the edge and I'm thinking that's what I can safely remove. How do you keep her still and cooperative so she'll allow you to do this? I wasn't able to get pictures without my daughter holding him. He's a sweet and friendly boy but he's funny about anything on his head being touched. Thanks again for your reply! I really appreciate you
I have someone hold Spunky while I trim her beak. They also cover her eyes so she becomes a little more relaxed. I gently held her head with one hand to keep her still, because she does not like having her beak messed with. After trimming her beak a couple of times, she actually became more friendly because she became used to getting held, and she doesn't struggle as much when she needs a trim. I hope that trimming can help your chick!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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Jul 3, 2016
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Thank you for your reply! I have wondered about trimming and/or filing his bottom beak, but I wasn't sure. You've provided very clear information. I can see where where his beak changes. Its clear along the edge and I'm thinking that's what I can safely remove. How do you keep her still and cooperative so she'll allow you to do this?

An emery board is a little easier to use IMO.

You really don't need the bird to be "agreeable," just need to hold on tight. I wrap up my birds that need beak maintenance in an old pair of jeans (old towel works fine, jeans were gonna get tossed so I use those), then tuck them between my thighs while I sit on some steps. My left (non-dominant) index finger goes across between the upper and lower beak so I can see what I'm working on, and I file with my right hand.
 

HeatherKellyB

"One day or Day one"
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May 31, 2019
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I should have added a picture that shows his underbeak better. My apologies but here's a top view that shows it clearly. I haven't tried doing any beak maintenance yet, but I'm planning on doing it Friday. I really appreciate your information and helpful tips and tricks! The white line is where I need to avoid, right?
20201124_122822.jpg
 

HeatherKellyB

"One day or Day one"
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May 31, 2019
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Actually now that I look at these pictures, none of them seem to show the extent of his deformity. Hopefully this picture will show how much shorter his top beak is. The purple line is in front of his top beaks edge.
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HeatherKellyB

"One day or Day one"
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
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Yes it appears that the white is the boundary to the inside portion, so you want to avoid that. It's not overgrown thankfully, so mainly you'd just want to even it up as much as possible so it meets the top beak more evenly.
Unfortunately it won't be possible for them to meet in the front since his top beak is so short. Maybe the sides will be able to close after this though. I worry that something is wrong with the growing of his top beak since it's so short. The difference wasn't this much at hatch. It's gotten worse as he's grown. He's 3.5 months old now.
 

HeatherKellyB

"One day or Day one"
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
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Moore County, NC
Thank you @rosemarythyme for your help. I really appreciate both of you sharing your experience with me. I hate that I didn't notice the pictures not showing the extent of his beak issue until this evening. That probably would have been more helpful from the get go, so I apologize. Even with his beak like this, this guy doesn't miss food or treats, thankfully. He is the first one to push through the others to be first in line, if he even thinks I might have a raisin in my hand.
 

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