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Strange beak

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by themenagerie, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. themenagerie

    themenagerie Songster

    Jun 8, 2011
    I have 4 Welsummer pullets I got as day olds back in September. Three of them are very healthy, not laying yet, but almost there. I've taken a notice in the last two weeks or so the difference in the fourth. She is no where near as developed, has a small pale comb & waddles, she's smaller than her mates, and I never seem to be able to see her eating, her crop never feels full. It may be nothing, but I noticed today (no pic sorry) that her beak is different than all my other chickens. It's much longer on top, curved at the tip over the lower beak. Could this be making it difficult for her to eat normally? When she drinks water she definitely drinks differently than the others, tips her head to the side, may just be a coincidence, but it got me thinking. If it is a problem..is there anything I can do to help her?
    Thanks for your replies.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012

  2. Keepin A Breast

    Keepin A Breast In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2012
    As I understand it, this can be a genetic issue. You can trim the beak to make them more even. But you have to be careful, the are like a dog toenail and can bleed profusely if you cut it too short. Also, yes this beak will make it difficult for the bird to eat. You will have to make sure she has a deep dish of food available so that she can scoop up the feed rather than picking it up with her beak.
  3. Once you catch her, perhaps have someone else hold her. Get a finger between her upper and lower beaks, that way you can see the inside of her mouth. You can see on the top beak, where the flesh ends. I'd cut her beak about 1/8 of an inch away from the cuticle (?) with a pair of toenail clippers, first, a short cut on one side then the other and finally in the middle, making it as smooth as possible. Doing three separate cuts will prevent her beak from splitting up the middle if you just do one cut. Make sure your clippers are nice and sharp so they're actually cutting, not breaking her beak off in pieces.

    If she is genetically predisposed to growing her beak really fast, you'll have to keep your eyes on her and keep it trimmed for her. If you have a brick or large rough rock that she can wipe her beak on, that will help her do it herself.

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