Help with de-beaking....sort of

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MuranoFarms, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    I have a silkie with a terrible case of cross beak. I tried several things when he was younger but nothing worked. It's really bad! I do spoil the little guy with attention, special bowls for his food, and extra treats......but he still has a hard time. His top beak is completely curved downward. I was wondering if I could clip it back just a bit? He might be able to eat better if the top beak didn't get in the way all the time. I don't want to remove it, just trim it back a bit.
    What do you think? Might it help him in the long run?

    I'll post a pic in a few minutes...need to run out and take one so you can see how bad it really is.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Certainly. I have read on here many times of people clipping them back, often repeatedly during their life.
     
  3. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    ok....here's the picture:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    Can I clip the bottom a bit too? It seems especially pointy and like it's curling in a bit.
    Thanks.
     
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Strasburg Ohio
    I would definitely clip and file it to make it easier for him. I wouldn't go too far back, but it will definitely help. Now, usually, chickens like this are underweight, so I would recommend feeding him chick starter/grower, for some extra protein. Poor dear. It's actually a skull deformity that causes this.

    Good luck with him!
     
  6. MuranoFarms

    MuranoFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Boyers, Pa
    Quote:I feed him chick starter twice a day and he can eat all the layer pellets he wants in between. If the feeder is full, he does ok with the pellets. I also give him treats separately cause he drops a lot and the others will run over and steal his food if they can.

    I clipped it a tiny bit the other day. I'm going to do a little more today. I'm going very slowly so I don't cut too far!
     
  7. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    You can dremmel the beak as well- I like this better for cross beaks. You can also get a vet involved if you want to actually debeak the upper- which seems drastic, but it is permanent- so you do not have to keep trimming and trimming every month. These guys usually end up starving to death, as they can never quite meet their calorie needs- he has it easier as his body will not try to lay eggs at maturity. I would figure out whether he is getting enough to eat by feeling his crop at night- is it as full as normal birds of the same age? Feel his keel and weigh him periodically- compare to others of the same age. As the upper beak continues to grow- it often forces the bottom beak sideways further and the lower beak dislocates at the TMjoints- painful and decreases the ability of the beak to open, and makes it harder and harder for them to eat. You want to keep the upper and lower beak as close to what a normal beak looks like- so you will need to trim often- every 2-4 weeks for life to give him the best chance of long term survival. Also experimenting with deep food dishes so he can bury his beak and shovel food it is good. They tend to do better with crumbles than pellets- as they cannot open their mouth large enough to get a pellet in.
     
  8. Primeacres

    Primeacres Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 1, 2010
    UK
    Hi Guys,

    newbie here, just joined the forum specifically after finding your posts about trimming curling beaks, great to see confident talk on what to do.

    I have an ex battery hen, a Warren, and recently discovered that she now has an up-curling LOWER beak end on one side only and wasn't sure if I could trim it back or not without hurting her, it is curling so sharply that it will eventually actually curl up and over the top beak and stop her opening her beak altogether, have to say if we had a big flock or didn't keep an eye on the chucks that she would eventually die from lack of food and water..

    She had her top beak cut back via hot knife by the previous battery farm owners and we were told that the beak may never grow back, but it has, this top beak has now almost fully grown back to a normal point, where as before it was always a straight edge and looked very odd. She is the friendliest chicken we have and even sits by me while I use the chainsaw while the others look on wondering what the hell she is doing.

    mypicklebird - out of curiosity, when you say debeak the top part of the beak, do you literally mean removing most of the top beak completely ?

    Cheers
    Mark
     
  9. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    I mean removing about 1/2- well into the living part, so it will not regrow. Like what is done in commercial high intensity egg laying operations to prevent cannibalism. It is typically done in wide awake chicks with a hot blade-(which I think probably hurts quite a bit). In an adult bird, it can still be done- but IMO should be done under vet supervision, with anesthetics and the ability to stop bleeding. Needless to say one hears about predator attacks where the top beak gets broken off, and they can survive this- but if one is considering doing this intentionally- I would recommend having it done in a more controlled manner....


    Quote:
     
  10. Primeacres

    Primeacres Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 1, 2010
    UK
    IMAO it shouldn't be done at all unless in extreme cases and the owner is prepared to give the time required to ensure the animals well being. I wasn't considering cutting the beak back on my chuck as it is has already grown back after being cut, luckily her beak was not hot sliced too far back to prevent a regrow, I was only curious how far back you were talking about the cut being made as my chuck struggled but managed with a low trim on the top, after all once the beak is trimmed they can't even prune themselves or clean effectively as they can only go through the motions and also require deeper food to enable effective eating, problem then is if the beak is cut far back, deep eating means the nasal passages then get blocked with mucus and food, I had to wipe the nose of our hen daily at first as she was always blocked in the nasal area.
    Of course my personal opinion is commercially kept animals should be monitored daily and given enough space so cannibalism isn't even considered as an option so I am totally anti beak cutting for commercial animals. The physical and mental state of our ex battery hen when we received her with cropped beak was shameful and I could never put my name to the battery hen process and be proud of it. The old gal is part of the crew now after having a really rough time with our pure breeds and constant monitoring from me to ensure she was given time to settle in as the other hens couldn't stand being near her initialy.

    Anyway.....

    The cross beak of the chuck in the picture is terrible, am I right in seeing the bit sticking out to the right of the beak as the chucks lower beak ?
    What do you plan to do with the beak ? I can't see how the chuck could survive without you hand feeding every day.
     

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