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Flaking, breaking beak beginning to expose the quick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ccspin, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. ccspin

    ccspin Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2014
    Hello,

    I have a 2-year-old Barred Rock with a beak problem. Her top beak looks like it broke and peeled off in layers, almost back to the nostrils. It happened within the last week, and was very sudden. Because of that, I first assumed it was an injury, but it seems to be continuing peeling, so now I'm wondering if it's some kind of an infection.

    Her top beak has an irregular, caked-looking surface as if there's dirt on it, not normal horny layers like I would have expected. No blood, no apparent injury to the quick, which is a normal flesh color.

    She can eat and drink, and all behavior is otherwise normal. I'm wondering if it's better to wait and watch, or attempt to treat blindly for bacterial infection? Fungus? Virus? Nutritional deficiency?

    Advice or experience welcome!!
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
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    Welcome to BYC.

    Can you post some photos so we can see what you see?

    What type of foods/treats does she get?
     
  3. ccspin

    ccspin Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2014
    Yes, I can post a photo tomorrow. Thank you for your reply!

    The chickens get off-the-shelf layer feed and fresh water daily. No supplements or meds. They free range during daylight on an acre of untreated grass and shrubs.

    The kids treat them with black oil sunflower seeds, and occasionally with leftover granola or oatmeal. We have a compost area where household scraps go, and the chickens often forage there as well.

    Their coop is a mobile one without a floor, so it moves onto fresh ground almost daily.

    If there's anything in their lifestyle that could be a flag, please let me know! I will post a photo tomorrow...
     
  4. ccspin

    ccspin Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2014
    [​IMG]
    Here is a profile photo of the Barred Rock. You can see her top beak is shorter than her lower beak; it was a normal beak last week. You can also see the crust-like appearance along the front of the top beak. Could be it's just dirt accumulating on the damaged and rough surface, but I didn't know enough about chicken anatomy to dare give it a scrub to find out... I was afraid to do any damage to the quick. What do you think? Disease or injury? Wait and see or intervene in some way? Thanks for advice!
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    It looks like she could have injured it. The very "front" of the beak is hard to see, but it looks like it could have been scraped/chipped a little bit.
    The beak coloring looks fine to me, my two Barred Rocks beaks have black and yellow variations as well. I noticed this when they both started laying eggs regularly.

    If she is eating, drinking and acting like normal I would just keep an eye on it.

    You asked about your food/nutrition/setup. To me it sounds fine. [​IMG] Btw she is lovely.
     
  6. ccspin

    ccspin Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2014
    Thank you very much for your reply!

    Yes, all behavior seems completely normal, other than that she turns her head awkwardly to pick up food from the ground. I think it's affecting her foraging some and making her more hungry, she's both first and last at the feeder lately!

    Thanks for your reassurance, I think I will keep an eye on it, and maybe post a photo in a few weeks if everything returns to normal.

    The Barred Rock in your profile pic is lovely, too! They're nice birds, favorites in our flock. One of ours has an endearing habit of jumping up on our backs when we stoop down; it thrills the kids to be chosen as a roosting bar! :)
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    8,846
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    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Just keep an eye on her to make sure she gets enough to eat, they can get weak fairly quickly if they aren't eating/drinking normally. Wet food is sometimes a favorite for most chickens, so you can try that (mine think it's a treat), just mix a small amount of feed with water.

    Please do keep updated.
     
  8. ccspin

    ccspin Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2014
    I know it's been a long time, but the barred rock has mostly recovered her beak, though it has grown back slightly warped at its edges, and is prone to breakage now. I don't know if the quick was damaged or what, but she is back to normal, despite a slightly flawed beak. Thanks for your advice!
     

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