Rescued chicken with old injury

mother5

Hatching
Jul 19, 2019
2
2
9
I rescued this adorable little girl from the feed store about 2 months ago. As you can see her beak is deformed and her left eye is missing. The vet thinks that something hit her on the left side when she was little. I am concerned she is not getting enough food because she can not grip her feed. I have raised her feed bowl and water bowl so she doesn't have to lower her head so food won't fall out. I have tried giving her yogurt through a syringe but she isn't too crazy about it. The feed I give her is a powder form and also very fine grain. Any suggestions? I don't think she is losing weight but she is definitely not gaining. She is the only chicken I have and is such a little cuddle bug.
 

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21hens-incharge

Slightly nuts
6 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,293
83,426
1,542
Northern Colorado
It is a defect known as cross beak or scissor beak.

No one hit her to cause that.

Hers is severe. To be honest....I would cull her rather than have her struggle to get basic nutrition.

If you want to try and keep her....

Feed a wet mash the consistency of cooked oatmeal in a deep dish as she will have to literally scoop her food. You may have to hand feed her until she figures out what works for her.

Deep water dish too.

You will need to occasionally trim her beak.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 12, 2015
5,618
9,644
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North Florida
Agree. That beak is also overgrown, which just makes it harder for her to feed. I would start trimming to get it to a better length, which will help. Only trim a small amount at a time until it's done, you don't want to cut into the quick. Birds with scissor beak have a hard time wearing it down normally, so you may have to maintain it. If you provide a large rock or concrete block for her, she may try to do some honing of it on her own. Put it near her feed, they tend to wipe their beaks after eating. Raising feed and water dishes up higher, chest or shoulder high often helps also, they can scoop better with the bottom beak. Pecking things at ground level is harder for them. Here is how to trim the beak, and pictures to show how it can help, though the problem will always be there.
https://www.muranochickenfarm.com/2018/09/cross-beak-in-chickens.html
 

mother5

Hatching
Jul 19, 2019
2
2
9
Oh wow, so you think she was born this way? Crooked beak and missing left eye? Poor little thing. Thank you, I will take her back to the vet and see if he can trim it.
 

coach723

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 12, 2015
5,618
9,644
541
North Florida
Hard to say what happened to the eye. When there is a deformity, often there can be more than one. But it could have been injury also. No reason a chicken with one eye can't do well, with the proper allowances for the condition. Scissor beak is also survivable many times with the proper support. I would weigh her regularly to make sure she's getting enough nutrition, an inexpensive digital kitchen scale works well.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
21,226
32,115
1,036
southern Michigan
Keep track of her body condition, and make sure she has all the help already mentioned.
It's difficult to keep these poor birds healthy, and when she starts laying eggs, it gets harder.
Weigh-ins matter, but as she does grow, it's about body condition; she shouldn't feel thinner than her hatchmates of the same type, when you check her chest and keel.
Mary
 

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