1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Is cross beak a genetic deformity or can other things cause it?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Smokin Silkies, May 14, 2010.

  1. Smokin Silkies

    Smokin Silkies formerly browneyebuttafly

    Mar 27, 2009
    Western, PA
    Just wondering if cross beak was a genetic deformity or if other things can cause it? Also can a bird carry a gene for cross beak or not. For example, if there are 2 sister birds and one has cross beak and the other does not....does the one who doesn't have cross beak still carry a gene for it and be culled from the breeding program?

  2. allaboutdemchicks

    allaboutdemchicks Chapel Farms

    Sep 13, 2008
    Jemison, AL
    It is from MY experience that a crossed beak can be caused from incubation (low temp.) problems. I have NO DOUBT.

    However, I am very particular about my breeder stock so just in case this could be a problem down the road I don't use them.

    This is just my two cents.....

  3. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Songster

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    I know that it does have a genetic component. I have cross-beak EEs (2 out of 11 in one order) and I later found out their dad had a (slight) cross-beak.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Most crossbeak is genetic. And the EE and Ameraucana varieties do seem to be especially prone to it for some reason. I've had some experience with it in my BBS Ameraucanas back when I was breeding them.
  5. Smokin Silkies

    Smokin Silkies formerly browneyebuttafly

    Mar 27, 2009
    Western, PA
    Ok so it could be genetic and/or low temps in incubator. Thanks!
  6. Azulegg

    Azulegg Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    south central PA
    I have a cross beaked ameraucana cross rooster. He was not cross beaked when he was a chick, but as he matured, his beaks got crooked. He was from a natural hatch (broody hens) and none of my girls (or daddy roo) have cross beaks. [​IMG]
  7. Smokin Silkies

    Smokin Silkies formerly browneyebuttafly

    Mar 27, 2009
    Western, PA
    Well if it is a genetic deformity how often could it appear in chicks? I have Buff Orps, 1 cockerel and 4 pullets and I've been hatching for 2 months now with no problems with cross beaks. I sell the chicks locally and have sold many dozens of eggs local and shipped. I thought I hatched out 50-60 BO chicks but now that I look back at my records, its been about 100. I've never seen one of my chicks with cross beak though. The same with my Silkies, hatched out more than 100 and never seen a problem with them at all. I had 2 people email me (1 that bought some silkie chicks from me, and another who bought some BO eggs) Both said they got a chick with cross beak? I check every chick before I sell them and I just never noticed any problem with cross beak. So I'm assuming that it don't happen too often? I just don't understand why I've never noticed a problem, but by no means am I calling the buyers liers...just to be clear [​IMG] All of my birds are fed good layer pellet, free ranged, oyster shell and lots of fruits, veggies & good snacks. I take very good care of them... [​IMG]

  8. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Songster

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    Both of my two developed it when they were a little older. One at two weeks and the other closer to six weeks. The one who developed it at two weeks was REALLY bad - she never got to be larger than softball size. The one who developed it closer to six weeks is normal size, but it is still very severe. Here is a picture of her. I think (with my n=2) that you won't see anything as chicks unless its going to be REALLY bad.

  9. nzchicke

    nzchicke In the Brooder

    Jan 28, 2010
    I have been hatching my own easter eggers, I have one group, my double laced group that is a hen(arau x barney) and her son and daughter (both were from unrelated roosters). I have just got some 2 week old chicks and 2 are showing crossed beaks! I am so gutted. But the rooster most likely resposable has already gone. Just now I have to plan this group well to avoid this in future... I still have more in the incubator to hatch in the next day/week. fingers xed for them, they may have different father already as roosters were changed sometime-but the rooster was stil hens son/pullets brother.
    I have hatched a couple pure araucanas with crossed beaks too.. some I helped out to find they were deformed. One was even missing an eye !? (never buying from that breeder again- they tried to say it could have been from postage- that does not make any sence at all!! lol)
    Lilorp14 likes this.
  10. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Songster

    Facts about crossbeaks:

    1) Is actually a deformity of the skull which shows its self most dramatically in the beak. With severe enough cases, the brain and eyes become affected due to the twist of the skull.

    2) The parents don't have to be cross-beaked to carry the deformity. This can make it difficult to cull out the affected breed stock.

    3) Usually, chicks one or two weeks old won't show the deformity. Some do, some don't show until they are older.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by