I've run into someone's chickens that have a problem I've never seen before. When you open their beaks, there is a line of crusted stuff inside on both edges of the lower beak, with a clear space in the middle where the tongue is. It is so hardened that you have to dribble water into their beaks and let it soak a few minutes before you can scrape the gunk out. It seems to be mostly made up of ground grain. The birds eat chick starter as babies, then possibly some lay mash, mostly a mix of cracked grains (wheat-corn-barley), and free-range on grass, wood chips, sand, pine shavings, mud and dirt. Many of the birds have had respiratory diseases at some time. Possible causes I've thought of: -- Maybe lay mash or chick starter is too powdery -- Maybe the chickens aren't finding enough grit to eat so powdery feed isn't getting moved along well. -- Barley may be a sticky grain that causes crusting? (I've never tried feeding barley) -- Sinus drainage may be causing crusting. -- Maybe there is something in the wood chips that causes crusting. Or maybe sand causes it. Any help anyone??? I never encountered this with my chickens.