Silkie(Bill) has deformed beak, options to treat or not welcomed.

AllenK RGV

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This is Bill(Cull Bill), as you can see he has at least two major silkie detractors(Feathering, and his deformed beak). However, he is the cockerel with the nicest disposition and I have two in the breeding pen at present with 12 hens. As you can see he has some issues eating, but at 7.5 months of age gets an adequate diet. He has the best ears, comb, coloration and generally other Silkie features of all of my cockerels. The other cockerel in the pen has a nice color comb, pure silkie feathering and an ugly big fat engourged tick like comb and washed out color ears.

Should I do anything to trim that beak to ensure he eats better or just go the if it ain't broke/don't fix route? He was artificially incubated so potentially that is the cause of his deformity?

One final note: My silkies all get their heads shaved due to the increased raptor threat in winter usually in summer as well. I can't imagine going through life with a FOV of less than 5 degrees. Next time I post silkie pictures of Bill I should probably traumatize him with a bath so people can see his true colors.

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AllenK RGV

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Idk, but Bill is too cute to cull. I'd go the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it 'till it is" route.
I'm inclined to agree and even with the CochinX into him he has the strongest silkie gene expression in many other ways. I'm betting that beak is just a 1 off and will not get passed on.

Here is my second best SilkieX cockerel in the breeder pen:

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rosemarythyme

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I would trim the beak, it's not TOO bad however you don't want it to get worse. Filing it back a little and shaping it with an emery board once a month or so is the easiest option, it'll help keep the beak growth in check as he can't do it himself and should make it easier for him to eat. Don't file back too much, there is something like a quick in there as you'd see in a dog or cat's nails, so you don't want to reach that point.

As far as genetics there might be a genetic component to crossbeaks (there may be some misalignment with the skull as well) so that's something to consider.
 

AllenK RGV

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I would trim the beak, it's not TOO bad however you don't want it to get worse. Filing it back a little and shaping it with an emery board once a month or so is the easiest option, it'll help keep the beak growth in check as he can't do it himself and should make it easier for him to eat. Don't file back too much, there is something like a quick in there as you'd see in a dog or cat's nails, so you don't want to reach that point.

As far as genetics there might be a genetic component to crossbeaks (there may be some misalignment with the skull as well) so that's something to consider.
Only time will tell. But thank you for the beak trimming ideas. I was concerned with trimming it as apparently there are sensory organs in the beaks I had read somewhere.
 

EggSighted4Life

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He was artificially incubated so potentially that is the cause of his deformity?
I disagree and think it's genetic, despite him being a beautiful unique color, much more gorgeous than the last one pictured. :love

I've incubated hundreds of chicks... through power outages and such. Only in my most recent hatch of a new breed/line have I ever seen cross beak.. and then not noticed until nearly 3 weeks old in about 3/30 birds couple different hatches... despite NONE of my parent stock displaying crossbeak. Someone is hiding it in my stock. And if it were incubation parameters than why only 10% with cross beak, in my examples.. and why not ever in my other breeds/lines, despite my many flubs? I did see extremely bent toes in one power outage hatch in 75% from my own flock despite never before or again. It was my first deformities hatched and I let them live knowing I would process them for the freezer anyways. But it got worse with age (that situation) and I cull deformities now.

Is that cat or dog food you are feeding? Just a treat?

Though I personally would not breed forward this deformity and consider it to be genetic.... it does appear as though there can be other factors adding to this condition... including possible malposition, nutrient deficit, and allegedly incubation parameters... but again if it didn't happen to all the chick in that hatch... genetic weakness period, IMO. :confused:

Do what works for you. :)

If you don't cull Bill, I would love to see him isolated for breeding and hatching and get offspring result and then offspring's offspring's crossbeak prevalence results... testing if it is indeed genetic or not??:pop
 

rosemarythyme

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Only time will tell. But thank you for the beak trimming ideas. I was concerned with trimming it as apparently there are sensory organs in the beaks I had read somewhere.
I'm sure there are but the growth at the end of the beak and towards the edges is similar to the tip of a nail and so filing that back should not cause any discomfort. You won't be able to file it enough to be "normal" but the aim is to trim back some obvious overgrowth and to help the edges of the beak align better which should help with eating and drinking.
 

Folly's place

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I think that if Bill can get enough to eat and grow, that's wonderful for him. He is cute!
As a breeding prospect, no way! You might increase your chances of having this defect go on, and on, and on, and end up culling many more birds out of your breeding group.
Pretty coloring is the last thing on my list, when selecting breeding stock. Temperament and correct structure matter way more, and health. Bill is missing two out of three here...
He can have a great life, but I don't think he needs offspring.
Mary
 

AllenK RGV

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I disagree and think it's genetic, despite him being a beautiful unique color, much more gorgeous than the last one pictured. :love

I've incubated hundreds of chicks... through power outages and such. Only in my most recent hatch of a new breed/line have I ever seen cross beak.. and then not noticed until nearly 3 weeks old in about 3/30 birds couple different hatches... despite NONE of my parent stock displaying crossbeak.

Is that cat or dog food you are feeding? Just a treat?

Though I personally would not breed forward this deformity and consider it to be genetic.... it does appear as though there can be other factors adding to this condition... including possible malposition, nutrient deficit, and allegedly incubation parameters... but again if it didn't happen to all the chick in that hatch... genetic weakness period, IMO. :confused:



If you don't cull Bill, I would love to see him isolated for breeding and hatching and get offspring result and then offspring's offspring's crossbeak prevalence results... testing if it is indeed genetic or not??:pop
He was the only one from that hatch of 17 with the deformity.

It was cat food, he had plenty of time this morning and after he was handled didn't have a full crop. Cat food is everyone's favorite treat.

He probably mates 20-25% of the flock compared to the other cockerel he gets his behind your back alpha groove on!

"I would love to see him isolated for breeding and hatching and get offspring result and then offspring's offspring's crossbeak prevalence results... testing if it is indeed genetic or not??"

Were I in the position to create a 4th pen I would go this route as well, regardless, with the feathering he displays offspring should be easy to spot. Any hard feathered frazzles would for sure be him.

I might start moving hens back into the bachelor pad for my culls though, and blue ears with silkie feathering are my next priority for my next generation of silkies.
 
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