Should I be giving my crossbeak pullet....

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
336
661
SW Arkansas
grit?

I have a pullet that has a severe crossbeak; including a skull deformity. Though it breaks my heart that she can't eat and enjoy treats like her hatchmate can, she seems content. She's active and seems healthy enough with beautiful plumage and bright eyes.

Yesterday I noticed her pecking at a pile of dirt left courtesy of a mole and it occured to me she was trying to pick up small pebbles out of the pile, without much luck.

I keep a deep dish full of crumbles available to her at all times, but yesterday got me to thinking that perhpas I need to offer her grit. I don't offer grit to any of my other chickens because they free range. I know from trying different foods with her that she would never be able to pick up grit specifically meant for pullets, but I'm pretty sure she could pick up some parakeet grit if I sprinkled it on her crumbles.

Think she needs it?
 

kari_dawn

Songster
10 Years
Nov 2, 2009
2,402
74
246
North Texas
It couldn't hurt. I thought free rangers needed more grit than ones on straight feed...they pick up all kinds of stuff that doesn't digest uniformly and easily like prepared feeds...and there isnt a lot of pebbles in soil...I give all of mine free choice grit.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
336
661
SW Arkansas
It couldn't hurt. I thought free rangers needed more grit than ones on straight feed...they pick up all kinds of stuff that doesn't digest uniformly and easily like prepared feeds...and there isnt a lot of pebbles in soil...I give all of mine free choice grit.


My chickens find their own grit while free ranging. Our soil is very rocky. In fact, I've watched my broody hens when they first take their chicks outside. Besides showing them things that are good to eat, one of the first things the hens do is show them where and how to find grit.
 

oberhaslikid

Songster
12 Years
Nov 5, 2008
729
11
214
Ohio
First make sure your feed pan is deep. They can eat better out of a deeper pan.
They scoop feed with the beek instead of picking it up. I have mixed grit with feed and moistened it so it clumps together for one I have.
She is slight not servere crossed.Larger clumps are easier for them to pick at.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
336
661
SW Arkansas
Thanks. I have been using deep dishes for "Dragon" all along. Actually it's a set of deep dog dishes and I keep them filled at all times. Bought grit last night to sprinkle on her food. I tried moistening her food awhile back and she wouldn't eat it. I finally relented and went back to dry crumbles. She may not be able to eat treats - I even started mealworm farming just for her - but she seems happy enough with her crumbles. Also, bought her a heavy water bowl yesterday. The cross has gotten so bad that she isn't able to drink water from a regular waterer; can't get her beak down in the basin.
 

newchicksnducks

Songster
11 Years
May 19, 2009
805
10
171
Richfield, Summit Co.,Ohio
I had a severely cross beaked girl several years. She could not eat most of the treats her coop mates did, but she loved yogurt
smile.png
Sometimes she would also go for watermelon, "saucy" pasta, etc. For her main food, I fed her pellets in a deep handmade feeder. She had no problem!
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
336
661
SW Arkansas
I had a severely cross beaked girl several years. She could not eat most of the treats her coop mates did, but she loved yogurt
smile.png
Sometimes she would also go for watermelon, "saucy" pasta, etc. For her main food, I fed her pellets in a deep handmade feeder. She had no problem!

Thanks. I don't know how much of Dragon's refusal to eat treats is because of the crossbeak or how much of it is just that she doesn't like new things. I offered her and her hatchmate some cream of wheat that I had allowed to "cake" a bit yesterday. Harley loved it, Dragon wouldn't even attempt to eat it.
 

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