Treating Cross Beak

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Picco, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    I have a wyandotte pullet with a bad case of cross beak. She eats fine but as her beak continues to grow I've noticed it is more difficult for her. I've heard of people clipping the beak and wanted to know how this is done. Her top beak crosses over the bottom quite a bit and the bottom beak is growing very long. I almost think debeaking her were solve the problem completely since the top beak is the cause of the problem but I don't really want to attempt this myself. I have a good pair of dog nail clippers which will work great, I just don't want to cause a lot of bleeding.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Well, go ahead and clip away very slowly if you can get her to stay still, have some starch or other blood stopper near by just in case as chances are you'll hit some blood there on the way in. It's generally a skull plate deformity that makes the beaks cross so there really isn't a perminant fix to my knowledge.
  3. HenHaven

    HenHaven Songster

    Mar 3, 2007
    Coarsegold, CA
    Picco, if you can, clip the top beak back just far enough so that it doesn't hook over the bottom beak, that will help. The bottom beak is the most important one, as the birds scoop with that one. My crossbeak has the long lower beak as well, and I trim it back a little, to make a more normal shape.

    I trim a little, then let her eat to see if I have helped her enough. Sometimes I need to trim a little more. A wet mash is easy for them to eat. Just use your normal feed mixed with water and mix to the consistency of oatmeal. Crossbeaks require a little more TLC but mine will be 2 years old this spring.

    Forgot to say, I use dog toenail clippers. My crossbeak is an EE, and I can shine a flashlight through her beak and see where the live tissue starts.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2008
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Treat as you wish. Just don't breed her because it is very much hereditary.
  5. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Thanks a lot for the help. I was worried about the beak bleeding but I'll try the flash light so I can see the wick. Thanks HenHaven for the tip. She has a light colored beak so It should be easy to see.

    Just don't breed her because it is very much hereditary

    Thanks greyfields, I was wondering what the cause was. I wasn't sure if it was improper incubator conditions or genetics. I will make sure not to use her for breeding.​
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Picco, if you can, it would be great to see before pics, and pics after you trim. Please keep us posted!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: