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Rooster who can't quite close beak

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Henrik Petersson, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Henrik Petersson

    Henrik Petersson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 9, 2009
    Karlskrona, Sweden
    First off, I know there are a lot of threads about fixing beaks that aren't really shaped like they should. However, those threads seem to be mostly concerned with crossbeaks and too-long upper beaks. This is a somewhat different case.

    A few days ago, we went and bought a beautiful Araucana rooster for our nine brown layer hybrid hens. As I'm sure a lot of you already know, brown layer hybrids are the bullies of the chicken world. We ourselves had a cockerel who got bullied by his four hens several years ago. And I've read horror stories of them ripping the entrails out of one another. However, our hens have seemed unusually mellow for their kind. And the rooster was distinctively larger than them. And we really wanted a rooster to alleviate our rather bad hawk problem, so we decided to get one.

    it turned out beautifully. Most of the hens walked right up to the rooster and squatted down. The few cocky ones were quickly subdued.

    [​IMG]

    However, I soon noticed a downside about the whole situation. The rooster was unable to fully close his beak. There was always a tiny gap between his two beak-halves. I had actually seen this from the very beginning, but thoughtlessly assumed he was just panting, perhaps from the stress of being moved. You can just about make out the gap in the image above. I tried take a better picture of it, but him being a chicken, he was unable to stand still for more than two seconds, so the image is sub-par:

    [​IMG]

    I took him inside and began to try and file the beak into the correct shape using a nail file. I tried different approaches, filing down the front parts of both beak, as well as the outside edges of the lower half, without success.

    But I must comment on the bravery of the rooster. I filed him during two sessions on consecutive nights, and on both occasions, I could file away for a good five minutes before he started to complain. He has to be the most even-tempered rooster we've had.

    [​IMG]

    I'm pretty sure the problem is that the two beak-halves are perfectly even in width. The upper half is supposed to be wider than the lower. It's fairly impossible to fix it by filing.

    Could this problem sort itself out on its own? He was cooped up when we bought him (understandably so, there's an outbreak of the avian flu here in Sweden), but our chickens are free-ranging. Perhaps the natural wear-and-tear of free-ranging will sort the beak out?

    If not, is it a problem? I assume the constant air-flow into his beak could dry out his mouth and throat. In fact, when he vocalises, he does sound a bit hoarse.

    What to do? I don't want to cull him, he is probably the best rooster we've owned. Doesn't even crow much.
     
  2. AmandaKyle

    AmandaKyle Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Apr 13, 2014
    Kingston, MA
    Unless you're trying to breed him for show stock, I wouldn't worry about it. If he can eat, drink, protect then hens, and generally have a happy chicken life then it's probably nothing to stress about. He's a handsome guy!
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  3. BSOLUTLY fine!My little EE hen, Indigo has that!
    It's a possible VERY mild case of Crossbeak.But it never gets worse.
    See?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Please ignore her beard.It was a tough time when it was snowing and they were locked up.

    Anywho, this photo isn't a very good desmonstration but I can reassure you your little roo will be perfectly fine!
    :)

    Signed,

    ~Kyndra
     
  4. Henrik Petersson

    Henrik Petersson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 9, 2009
    Karlskrona, Sweden
    Thanks, friends! You have calmed down a worried chicken keeper and saved an annoyed rooster from spitting out beak dust after yet another filing session! ;)
     

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