Had to let the crossbeak chick go.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by shelleyb1969, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    I have a chick who hatched with wry neck, and over the course of the past two weeks it's developed crossbeak. The wry neck is slowly improving since I've been giving a vitamin/mineral supplement. However, the crossbeak just began developing at 1 week of age and is getting worse each day. Is this a genetic defect? The sibling of this chick is perfectly normal/physically healthy. I already know not to breed the crossbeak/wry neck chick, but if it's a pullet, then I'll keep her just for egg production...if that even proves worthwhile. Even though the sibling chick appears normal, could it still pass on the crossbeak defect to it's offspring?
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  2. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    The crossbeak could either be from something going wrong during the hatch, such as temp or humidity, or it could be a genetic defect. I would personally put the chick to sleep, seeing as it would be better for the chick, and you get rid of the risk of passing the crossbeak to its offspring.
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    I read something awhile back that indicated that even birds with the genetic propensity to develop crossbeak do so at an extremely low rate (significantly less than 1%) Wish I'd bookmarked the source of that.

    But, there are so many things that can cause crossbeak that determining that is or is not genetic is pretty unlikely. Injury at a young age or too fine a feed can cause crossbeak. A number of crossbeaks can continue to feed and otherwise develop normally; others have difficulty.
  4. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    Quote:Hi SW [​IMG] If it were a temp/humidity issue during hatch, wouldn't there be more than 1 chick out of 4 with a problem? [​IMG]

    I would definitely never breed the chick, and if it's a roo then it will obviously be put down. [​IMG] I am doing a lot of soul searching and praying right now over this little fella...I just don't have the heart to put it down when it's been such a fighter and has learned to deal with it's handicap and continues to thrive. It's the normal sibling of this chick that I'm so concerned with. What's the chances that it carries this defect in it's genes?
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    IMO, most crossbeaks are genetic. Hard to know about yours for sure, but definitely would not breed it. Many slowly starve to death as their crossbeak becomes worse over time. Someone, I think dlunicorn, posted something about a medication called Penetran that helped with some types of crossbeaks, but cant recall how it is given or where to get it. If it's a muscular deformity, I think that is what Penetran is supposed to help with, but as I said, I believe most of them are genetic and heritable.
  6. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    While most crossbeaks are genetic, I have an australorp hen that is the only crossbeak in my flock (it is fairly severe) that has lived to 6 years old and has produced at least 20 chicks. None of them have had crossbeaks.
  7. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    Thanks SpeckledHen. Reading your post brought tears to my eyes. I know now what must be done...there's no way I can allow this chick to slowly starve to death. [​IMG] That's just torture, and I won't put it through that. Even though it's doing good right now, inevitably it will begin to suffer and I may not realize it. I've tried my best to help it, but it's time for bigger hands than mine to take over. Now I just need to decide what to do with the "normal" chick. If it's a hen, then I'll either use her for eating egg production, or donate her to someone's layer flock. If it's a roo, then I won't take the chance of the defect being passed on.
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Keep in mind that she may not starve, but it depends on how the beak gets worse over time. My friend Lynn has a crossbeak hen who is several years old and with beak trimming and deep dishes, she does quite well. But she lays eggs and isn't reproduced. A rooster who cant be bred doesn't have alot of use except as a pet.
  9. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    Quote:I've noticed that the past couple of days this chick has been "peeping" a lot. I'm not certain, but now I'm afraid it may be because it's not getting enough to eat. Yesterday I thought it was because I changed the heat lamp in the brooder, but it's still doing it today. And generally, the only reason a chick peeps is because it's either cold or hungry. I know it's not cold, so that only leaves hunger. I've seen it eat, but maybe it's not getting enough.
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Wet the chick starter and make a mash for it. It cant peck well to pick up dry food.

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