Silkies with Crooked Beaks....questions?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by SundownWaterfowl, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. This year, out of almost every batch of eggs (except one breeders eggs) I have gotten from other breeders I have at least one chick with a crooked beak starting, or a beak where the top part continues to grow normally but the bottom half stays the same size it was when the bird hatched. Its a pain to cull them off.

    What is up with this? Could it be from shipping? Is this a common problem with silkies?
    Its such a pain. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010

  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Quote:I've been told in all breeds it can be in their genetic makeup and they should never be used as breeders if you keep them, sometimes it's also a deficiency/vits lacking in their diet.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  3. Any chick I do get with a cross beak gets put to sleep, I would never ever use a crossed beak bird to breed.

    Highly Doubt its a vitamin def. problem since they are on the same exact food mine are on and I haven't had to deal with the problem but once.
  4. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    Genetic. Apparently some breeder(s) are keeping these deformed birds and breeding them. Or, it is a couple generations back, so they don't know which birds have the gene for it. [​IMG]
  5. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Mine happened from hatching eggs I bought and was told by an expert [​IMG] was most likely due to the genetic makeup of the breeders. Yup mine were put down too.
  6. robin416

    robin416 Songster

    Feb 6, 2007
    It is genetic. There are two forms of cross beak, one occurs in development. Those chicks very rarely hatch or die soon after hatching. The one you're seeing shows up from about four to six weeks, I think, and can pass that gene on to its progeny. I would have to look it up in my genetics book to check the time line but that shortened lower beak I will absolutely have to look up to see what they had to say about it. It also has percentages of how often cross beaked chicks are hatched from cross beak birds.

    I have one female like that, I got her at a very young age. I was shocked to realize after a couple of weeks of living here that her beak was crossed. Hers is not bad and you don't see it unless you're really looking for it. I don't use her for breeding but she is one great Momma. She just got done hatching out some Salmon Faverolle chicks. Last time she hatched chicks from another Silkie pen. I was going to cull her but time passed and now she's a perfect incubator.

    I am going to correct what I originally said above. The answer is, they don't know if its genetic for certain. But that it appears to be recessive to normal. Using two cross beak birds for breeding raised the incidence of cross beak by about 33%.

    And the appearance of the cross beak generally appears in 3 to 8 weeks.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  7. SilkiesAndSuch

    SilkiesAndSuch Silkie Daddy

    Jan 27, 2010
    I have a roo that has a crossed beak....I know I have to put him down soon. He is just pathetic compared to my other roosters, lanky, feathering is poor, etc. But he has the BEST foot feathering of all my silkies lol. Oh well, not taking chances with him.

  8. V Comb

    V Comb Songster

    Good luck finding out. I would hate for any of my chickne s to come out like that...
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2010
  9. joe17

    joe17 Songster

    Nov 25, 2009
    Out of 2 dozen silkie chicks, I have one with crooked beak too! It just started at a month old. How do you put it to sleep or cull it?
  10. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

    Feb 8, 2007
    See, now I do not think that it is genetic. I say this because it appears that it has something to do with the growth rate of the beak. If I manage to watch the babies closely enough as they grow I can prevent it from getting out of hand by trimming the top beak. The bottom beak on mine are not abnormally short, its just that the top beak grows so quick that when it hooks down, it forces itself to either side of the bottom beak. I f I keep it trimmed, it grows pretty normally.I always sell the cross beaks at the local swap to the asians, so I do not use them for breeding purposes.

    Now I do have 2 buff chicks that I think are both boys that have a twisted beak. I used to have a hen with a slight twist to hers and I am wondering if that is their mother. She is no more, as she died this spring when we had a real bad cold spell.
    Here are pics of the twist ones....I can only see one now on the pics but I do have two.

    Its beak looks crossed here but, its mouth is open so thats why you can see the bottom beak.

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
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