I've made the difficult decision......

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by remuda1, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2011
    Granbury, Texas
    I have a 3.5 week old crossed beak chick. I've been giving mash twice a day but it's severe enough, I guess, that she's just not getting enough down to maintain herself. She used to be the largest chick of her breed that I have and now she's the smallest. After a LOT of reading and research, I've decided that using sharp shears is the way I need to go. For those of you that have used this method, the question I have is..... and this may sound stupid, but do I hold her upside down to do it and if I do hold her upside down, will this calm her before I do it? She's much too small to hold in the football position. I can also do it in a very dark area if that will help to calm her......I HAVE to do it today as I just realized today that she is basically slowly starving and I can't let that continue.

    Thanks in advance for your help. This really, really, really sucks.......
  2. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2009
    Central PA
    I can't answer your question, as I've not been faced with having to do this yet. I just wanted to say that I'm really very sorry. [​IMG]
  3. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2011
    Granbury, Texas
    Thank you..... It's a horrible decision to have to make. I've been babying her along.... and she did do well for a little while, but the condition continues to worsen and I can't imagine what it must be like to be hungry and see the food in front of you but be unable to get it down. She does attempt it and you can tell some gets down..... But she works three times as hard as the others to eat and only reaps miniscule benefits.... Other than that, she thrives. It's just such a shame and of course, she's the first one to jump on my hand when I put it in the brooder [​IMG] . I feel as though I owe it to her not to let her suffer any more than she is now, poor thing.
  4. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    i'm sorry i can't help with how to trim the beak, as i've never done it myself. But wanted to give you a bump and hope others see it who can answer.

    Do you have food down all day long for her? And do you have it in a bowl so she can scoop it up? i assume you've been doing some syringe feeding and providing vitamins. Have you given her mashed hard boiled eggs? Hope you can get some answers and get her to a point where she can eat enough. i've read of others having cross beak chickens and them doing fine.
  5. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2011
    Granbury, Texas
    There is food down all day. I give her the wet mash with all of the others twice a day and there's more than enough for all. When it dries too much for her to eat it, I rewet it and mix it up. When it's all gone.... I put down fresh and again, when that dries too much for her, I rewet..... She is completely unable to eat dry food at this point no matter what kind of bowl its in. She spends more time at the mash than any of the others. I've even minced clover and put it in the wet mash along with sand because I felt so sorry that she can't eat the greens like her brooder mates. The condition has gotten MUCH worse the older she has gotten. She didn't have it at all at one week. I don't think that any amount of beak trimming is going to help her at this point. I have given vitamins and I would give syringe feedings IF I thought the condition would improve at some point but from all of my research, there is no hope of improvement. I have PM'd with kind folks on this forum that have crossed beaks that have survived but the pictures I have seen are not as severe as this chicks. I have also read many posts of those whose did not make it. At first, she did great with the wet mash..... Big fat crop and everything. I was overjoyed!! But as the condition has worsened, she is not able to get the nutrition she needs. I can not have a house chicken......

    I am a "research it to death" kind of person. If I thought there was a way that we could get around the inevitable, I would do it. However, I can not care for a bird that is totally dependant upon syringe feeding. Unfortunately, although I do tend to do too much for my animals (in some people's opinions) I can not become an IV feed line for one. It's an awful decision, made worse because I've become attached by giving her more care and hoping against hope that she would be able to get by. Sadly, it's not to be.....

    Thank you for your kind thoughts, I appreciate it very much.

    ETA this picture...... She is such a sweet girl.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  6. 6chick*start

    6chick*start Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2011
    NE OKlahoma
    Oh so sorry. Know that you will do the right thing for this baby. So sorry.
  7. kelar

    kelar Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    So sorry. I can see that her condition is really bad though. I guess you were talking about using the scissors to put her down. I've used this with tiny chicks with just holding them in my hand, but she looks a little big for that. It's hard to tell from the pic what her size is, but maybe a sharp pair of pruners or loppers would work better just because they are stronger. It is very fast and seems to be humane for the bird, but pretty hard on the human:(
  8. champer

    champer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    San Martin, CA
    How sad! She looks like such a little sweeheart, but I think you are making the right decision, hard as it is. I wish I could help with the details, but I've never had to do it. It seems like a dark area would be calming though. Best wishes and hugs to you.
  9. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Remuda I'm so sorry! She is very severe and you're doing the right thing. We had to make the same choice with our 6 week old Houdan. There are so many things I wish chickens didn't get and cross beak would be first on the list!

    Bless your heart for trying to find a humane way. No matter what method you use, I wish you strength and that it goes as well as one could hope.

    I'm really so sorry you're both in this position. [​IMG]
  10. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2011
    Granbury, Texas
    Kelar wrote: It is very fast and seems to be humane for the bird, but pretty hard on the human:(

    When I was very young we lived in Madrid with my abuela (mother's mother) and abuelo (mother's father) while my dad was stationed there. This was downtown and my abuelo was an architect so they had a beautiful home BUT this was 40 years ago. They had chickens, rabbits, a goat for milk, doves, and in Spain sparrow is eaten so she had those as well. Abuela would go out everyday and "get dinner". This may sound morbid to some of you but afterwards, she would let us hold them and pray to thank God for our food. We would sit and pet them and pray for them. She would break their necks and they just looked like they were sleeping. I SO wish I knew how to do it the way she did. But this one is SO little that I am afraid that I would either not do it strongly enough OR do it TOO strongly. I just couldn't take either of those scenarios so this is how I decided that I needed a way that was instant although it will haunt me to remember her that way, so yes.....Pretty hard on the human.

    Thanks again for all of the kind thoughts.....

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