scissor beak - help!


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 16, 2011
Chicago IL
I am raising chicks for the first time and have a two-week-old Ameraucana with a scissor beak. I have read the threads about this, but I'm still completely confused!

So far she seems to be eating and drinking adequately, although she does have to work harder for the food. I am trying mashed up food in a deep bowl to see if she does better with that. I don't want her to suffer, but I know that sometimes they can do fine with the scissor beak so I won't cull unless she is clearly starving.

So here are my questions:

1) Should I move her to a separate brooder? We don't plan on having separate permanent housing so my feeling was she should learn to hold her own in the flock. But I also don't want the other chicks (we have eight in all) to keep her from eating.

2) Is it worth having her seen by a vet? I've heard that sometimes a vet can correct the problem, but then I've also heard there's nothing one can do about it. I'm hesitant to put her through the trauma of being transported if there's no point, especially as I don't have a car and would have to take her on public transit. Also can't really afford to spend the money, though I will if she can be helped.

3) I have read about how you need to file down the beak, but I don't understand how to do this. Can anyone explain in a clear, step-by-step way? Or point me toward a tutorial? I'm a bit of a moron about figuring out how to do something unless I see it demonstrated, and I'm nervous about hurting the bird!

Any other advice would be very much appreciated!
No. Keep her with the flock. Make sure she has a deep dish for her to scoop food from.,

No. What is the vet going to do? There is nothing to correct---Cross beak is either genetic (which usually results in EARLY death) or a protiend deficiency while in the egg (which you can't do anything about now)

You could use a dremel tool to file down the beak, but she'll probably do that on her own, while trying to peck at the ground. Dont worry about it until she is unable to scoop food.

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