Please give me advice on this chick-*twisted beak*UPDATE Pg.4

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Mom 2em All, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    I took seven chicks over to my brother in laws farm, and when looking in his pen, a small chick came running up to me. I dont know what kind it is, but it was half the size of its 'siblings'. Given the size they are, they are probably 6-8 weeks old.

    Further investigation, and I saw its beak. The lower beak goes to the left, the upper goes to the right. I brought it home to try and help it, or to give it a special needs home.

    I put her in a carrier and she dove into the food. She manages to fill her crop, but it takes alot of effort.

    Stupid stupid stupid me tried trimming the upper beak a little, it was very curved and long. I trimmed off too much, and it bled everywhere. I tried pressure, I tried flour, I tried water. I tried flour paste....finally, though, I used flour and then added a couple drops of surgical glue- and it worked.

    She needs a bird retainer. Orthodontics for chickens.
    I don't want to cull her. I want to rehab her.

    If you have any advice for me, please help. Also, if you know what type she is, Id like to know that, too. She has five toes on each foot and both feet are heavy feathered.

    Thank you.


    warning- the next picture shows her bloodied from my botched beak attempt...but it also shows the cool little beak cast I made :


    edit to add:

    fixed my subject line so that I am following the guidelines [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  2. msrma7670

    msrma7670 Songster

    I do nnot want to sound mean, but unless you are very attached to the bird, or you can fix it's beak I would seriously consider culling the bird. Sometimes i have to do this with ones I raise b/c first it is a pain to deal with for me, but more important what quality of life will it have if it struggles at everything? Sorry but there are never any easy soulotions to a problem like that.
  3. jenniescholl

    jenniescholl In the Brooder

    Mar 11, 2008
    I have a very similar chick/rooster- he's about 13 weeks. He's a partridge cochin with a crossed beak and we call him "Tweak." I feel sorry for him but can't just "do away" with him. He seems to be eating fine and is a happy guy, but he's a real sight to look at. Definitely can't use him for breeding with my female partridge cochin. I have wondered if I should trim his beak but am afraid to. This is my first flock ever so I'm a newbie.

    I wish I had some experienced advice for you. I'm so glad you posted, and hopefully others will offer their advice to those of us with "cross-beaks" in our midst. From what I've read in my main chicken reference book, Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, it's recommended to cull birds like ours. Yet I just can't bring myself to do it.

    Good work on the cast. The chick looks like it may be a cochin too?

    Jennie in CA


  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    [​IMG] She has twisted beak. She is smaller because she can't eat properly. She will need care and attn all of her life. She will need a very deep bin for her feed so she can shovel deep enough to eat some. As well as a deep water trough. You will have to give soft foods she can get in her mouth like yogurt and such to supplement her diet. Unless you are absolutely postive you can care for her daily you might be better off culling her now. Trimming her beak wasn't a good idea. [​IMG]
  5. Mom 2em All

    Mom 2em All Songster

    Apr 20, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    Miss Prissy- yep, you are definitely absolutely correct. Let me be a lesson to anyone and everyone who may ever come across a situation like this- DONT TRIM THE BEAK.

    I am a veterinary technician, and we have had parrots come in to work with beaks similar and though they have to work at it, they thrive. I am just hoping for the same for her.

    I dont mind. I am not even supposed to have chickens here in my suburbs. However, I plan on keeping five hens. I do wildlife rehab, and understand truly- I do- about culling those that cannot make it on their own. I also understand about any size farm life (such as where she came from. My brother in law doesnt have time for troublesome/not fit animals. They are culled. He just hadnt noticed her yet.) It is different here. I can give her extra care- and had already given her a deep bowl for her feed and water. I have vet access also- my boss may decide that she can use some of her parrot beak corrective measures and try and straighten it out for me. Or not.

    Maybe it won't work. Perhaps it will just prove to be too difficult for her, and I will have to put her down. But I just want to make the commitment and give her a chance.

    I value the experience and wealth of information everyone here has- thats why I asked here first. You are all so smart.
    Thank you. But Miss Prissy, you forgot to tell me what type chick that you think she is. [​IMG]


    I have named her ZigZag...[​IMG] Do your other chickens pick on Tweak? Reason I ask is- I am not sure where to put her. She is right now chirping in the carrier. I wont put her in my yard this size, and the Silkies and Showgirls are two weeks old, and closest to her size...but I don't want them to target her.

    They do indeed look like the same breed- one which I know nothing about. Tell me- are they cold weather hearty?
  6. thkosan

    thkosan In the Brooder

    May 10, 2008
    Hempstead, TX
    I totally disagree with those who are telling you to cull her or to not trim her beak. It may be best to not trim while she is a chick, but when she grows older, you can trim it regularly. I have a NINE YEAR OLD Auracana that was "born" with a severe sizzor beak, Becky. Every few weeks we very carefully trim Becky's beak with a nail clipper and file it smooth. I was taught how to do this by my board-certified avian veterinarian (Dr. Fronefield is one of only ten veterinarians in Texas that is Board Certified in Avian Practice). Once a year I take her to Dr. Fronefield to have her beak checked. I have been doing this for YEARS! Becky is exceedingly healthy, lays wonderful green eggs and can eat as well as any of my other hens. I do not have to give her a deep bowl to eat out of. The trick is to get someone, preferrably an avian veterinarian who has parrot clients with this problem, as mine does, to train you how to do it. Becky is not a house pet, by the way, she lives out in the pasture and coop with 100 other chickens and in all the years we've had her has maintained her weight and health. So good luck to you!
  7. jenniescholl

    jenniescholl In the Brooder

    Mar 11, 2008
    I do have Tweak with the other chickens; I have around 20 birds total. No one picks on him, either! They used to, when he was the littlest. Since he's a cochin and a bantam, he was the tiniest chick I had. Luckily I bought a pair of them and I can compare his growth with the little hen I have. They're very close in size. He eats and drinks well and can really hold his own. We free-range our roosters so we let him out of the run one day to see how he did, and he is one tough little bird! The cats and dog tried to creep up on him and he stood his ground!

    But we have him back in the run now with the hens until he starts crowing and/or hopping on hens. Then, we'll have to make another decision! If he was a hen I'd have an easier time deciding whether or not to cull. But, being a rooster and I don't want more than a couple of them, who knows. But my kids are totally in love with Tweak and would be devastated if we culled him. I'd rather let nature take its course.

    You posted at the right place! I'm usually more of a "lurker" than a poster, but it's a great place for us all to share our chicken knowledge. Best of luck to you and Zig-Zag!

  8. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    I've had a few of these cases that eventually, without daily hand feeding, had to be culled.

    After trying to save 2 of them, one a silkie, I regret not culling sooner.

    I admire the determination of those who posted here and kept the birds alive. Those
    pics just don't look like a case of crossbeak that can be recovered from.
  9. fourfeathers

    fourfeathers Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    Western Kentucky
    If you are willing, and it sounds like you are, to give her extra care, then I say definitely give her a chance. She may have to have mash more than the norm and other accomodations, but you should see these as you go along. She may have difficulty eating and plucking grass or greens and even getting bugs, and you may need to help her with this by chopping things and feeding her separate at times or having her special treat time to make sure her diet is balanced. I have a couple of special needs birds that require alot of care. I chop ALOT of romaine lettuce for my crooked neck pheasant! I think that if they have a person to give them the extra care they need, take extraordinary measures to keep them safe, and not breed any imperfections, than they deserve a chance. I understand not everyone has the time or desire to do this, but if you do, some of these special needs birds can be very happy. You will know if her quality of life is not good, and may have to make a decision at some point if she declines. Let's hope she lives a long and happy life. I would love to see a picture of the Nine Year Old Chicken!
    ps yours looks like a cochin, maybe gold laced??
  10. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    the information given by thkosan is spot on... an avian viet ($$$$) would possibly have options to reduce the severity of the cross beak, but you DO need to trim (you must simply not trim beyond the point of the "quick" which you did the first time...each time you trim the "quick" will retract to its "normal" position) ...>>>because the beaks do not line up it will grow rapidly exasperating the cross beak and this is why you need to trim regularly.

    In addition, you need to get some baby parrot hand feeding formula (pet store) and add this to the mash/crumble to concentrate the should mix the formula somewhat thicker so the feed "clumps" together and yet still moist enuf to allow her to scoop it up.

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