Long hooked upper beak on Ameraucana chick

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nickberndsen, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. nickberndsen

    nickberndsen In the Brooder

    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
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

    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.
    featheredplanets likes this.
  3. featheredplanets

    featheredplanets Songster

    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.
  4. BullChick

    BullChick Not who you think

    Apr 17, 2012
    Coffee shop
    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.
  5. nickberndsen

    nickberndsen In the Brooder

    Jan 11, 2014
    Could I just have the whole upper beak replaced with a prosthetic?
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    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.
  7. nickberndsen

    nickberndsen In the Brooder

    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 29, 2018
  8. DrFeathers

    DrFeathers Songster

    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?

  9. Frazzemrat1

    Frazzemrat1 Free Ranging

    May 8, 2017
    Eastern Connecticut
    I would start a new thread and post, but I believe your options will be the same as the person above.

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