Long hooked upper beak on Ameraucana chick


In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 11, 2014
My three-week-old Ameraucana chick's upper beak is unusually long and hooked. She seems to have no problem eating, but she wheezes sometimes. She also seems much stupider than our other chick and spends hours pecking at the wall.

I have read that Ameraucanas naturally have curved beaks, but this seems extreme.

I purchased her at Murdoch's, and I think the hatchery was Murray McMurray.

Does anyone know what is going on? Does this look like a normal Ameraucana?


2018-03-19 18.07.15.jpg

2018-03-19 18.05.06.jpg
2018-03-19 18.05.03.jpg


Nuttier than a squirrels stash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
Northern Colorado
It looks like her lower beak is to short. That would prevent the upper from growing properly.

I would start reading up on beak trimming.

I haven't had one like that but I do have a cross beak hen. So far mine is holding her own.
Nov 28, 2017
She has a split beak. Like my Tina:

You can see from the picture I use to trim his beak as it can get hard for them to eat. They can’t preen properly or eat most things. It’s best to give them a deep pan of crumbled food and a deep pan of water they can get their whole beak in. It’s usually a genetic deformity and they shouldn’t be bred from.


Enslaved by a Duckling
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Apr 17, 2012
Coffee shop in zone 5
You can use a nail file, dremmel tool (like Pedi Paws) or even dog nail clippers to remove a little of the beak. There is a quick, so be careful.
Fermented feed works best for birds with trouble eating. Not only does it make it easier to scoop up, it also adds to the amount of water they get into them. Of course, ff has health benefits too.
Even if you do not ferment the feed, just wetting it down will make it better. All the birds will be happy with the wet feed.

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
No. Either cull the bird, or learn how to trim beaks. Never let that bird play in the gene pool. You should IMO get a refund for any deformed bird. Show pics in an other week or two please, I suspect she is a he.


In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 11, 2014
Here is the same chicken 9 days later.

Her lower beak is obviously deformed and small. I now agree that the upper beak is normal, but growing downwards because there is no lower beak to stop it. I think her tongue is in that big pouch beneath her lower beak, rather than in her mouth.

I can see the tongue wiggling around in the pouch sometimes, and I can feel it too. This deformity seems to affect her breathing, and quite obviously her eating. She has to shake her head around to swallow bigger pieces of food, and often makes gagging motions.

I've seen a few other threads on BYC showing similar problems. Interestingly, most of these birds have been EEs/Ameraucanas. Her throat also expands and contracts like a bullfrog when she breathes, which I have no explanation for.

In the picture below you can see food in her mouth and how the lack of tongue and small beak affect swallowing.

2018-03-29 14.50.14.jpg

In this picture, it is clear how small the lower beak is.

2018-03-29 14.50.24.jpg

I am amazed that besides these issues she is still active, mostly healthy, and growing. However, it is clear that she is becoming increasingly distressed, and her eating and breathing problems are getting worse. We plan to euthanize her soon.
Last edited:


Mar 26, 2017
Long Island, NY
This EE chick is 4-5 weeks old. Her upper beak is curling down more and more but not deviated side to side. She is not having any trouble eating or anything else. From the above posts it sounds like I should just trim the overhanging tip?


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