Uggo B!**Chick with deformed skull - NOW WITH PICS!**

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Nimby Chickens, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Nimby Chickens

    Nimby Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2010
    Central FL
    I was at the feed store and could not resist picking up 2 little hatchery kids - a RIR and a black Sexlink. While picking them out, I noticed one sexlink had the most horrible case of crossbeak I had ever seen. I picked her up and noticed she was thin compared to the other two. I looked at her dead on and noticed her face was sunken on one side, she had no eye there, and there is definitely a skull deformity going on because her jaw juts out from the sunken part at a terrible angle. The guy at the feed store was very nice and told me if I wanted to save her I could have her for free. I told him I would try my best so in the box with my other two she went.

    Last night I made her some wet crumble but had trouble getting her to eat it. I tried to guide her so she would 'scoop' it and she did eat a little, and she can drink just fine.

    My question is, will she make it? She seems strong, and is very loud! She walks fine and acts like a pretty normal chick, but eating is a challenge even with me helping her. She's also obviously blind on one side so there's that to consider.

    What should I do? What would you guys do?

    Here are some pics I took.

    Her 'good' side, the one with an eye:

    Her bad side, no eye, in that sunken in spot she DOES have an ear:

    And from straight on, you can see how deviated her whole jaw really is:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2011
  2. chickenbaguette

    chickenbaguette Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2011
    Aw, poor chick! Even if you can get her to eat now, crossbeak usually worsens with age and you will have to feed her mush by hand for the rest of her life. Problems could arise from the deformed skull, too. If you could keep her alive, she would always be thin and malnourished and never able to function like a proper chicken. If it's as bad as I think from your description, the best thing you could do would be to put her down.
  3. I, otoh, would try to save her. I would go for mash and make sure she was able to eat. If she is drinking, my thoughts would be that perhaps getting some mash in her would strengthen her. I would not attempt this (and would have left her there, honestly) if I didn't have time down the road to hand feed her if necessary. I'd give her a shot, so long as I was willing to make the commitment to help her eat if need be and be willing to cull if things took a turn for the worse. I would wonder about the skull deformity, though. Good luck!
  4. Nimby Chickens

    Nimby Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2010
    Central FL
    She still has her egg tooth as well, so she's only a few days old and it's this bad. If I have to hand feed her down the road, I will - I didn't save her just to put her down. But I don't know if she will have a good quality of life... that's where I draw the line. If she's suffering, will I know? Don't they hide it very well? This is my fear if I see what happens, you know?
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    You'd be doing her a kindness to cull her now. Ask yourself which is better for her....a quick death or a slow lingering one.
  6. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    I wouldn't keep her, it will involve a lot of time, and for them to not make it later. Does it have 2 beaks? It looks like there's a beak above the beak, I think on the side with no eye. I'm not against saving a bird, only if the bird can fend for itself. I think a mother hen would have abandoned a chick like that, probably would have pushed it out of the nest. So think it through, what is best for you and the chick and don't let guilt over come you, things happen for reasons. Good Luck to you. Let us know how things go. [​IMG] Michele
  7. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I am usually the one who saves birds but this one has a very severe crossbeak/skull deformity. She will get worse over time to the point where she probably won't be able to eat at all unless you tube feed her. I agree with Katy on this one [​IMG] If it was more mild I would say go for it but... Well this is pretty bad. I should note that I kept a small serama hen who had a minor skull deformity, she lived to be 3 years old. As she aged she developed more problems, like balance, coordination, and a massive case of tremors. Whatever you decide to do with this little one is entirely up to you, if I were in your shoes I would cull now to avoid the devistation later [​IMG]
  8. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    oh my gosh what a poor sweet thing...

    so sad when nature throws a curveball like that - you are very kind to try and save her, but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

    she will never have a normal, healthy life with deformities like that - i would do the right thing and give her a good meal, a warm kiss and quickly end her life, painlessly.

    it will hurt you more than it will hurt her but you will spare her a lot of misery :-(
  9. Farmerboy16

    Farmerboy16 Rebuilding my Farm

    Dec 30, 2010
    Sparta, MI
    I had one like that hatch out the wrong end of the egg, 2 years ago, a buff orpington pullet named Rebekah. She was my sweetest hen, lets me pick her up, of course she sometime had trouble finding food, I feed my flock mash, so it was not an issue for her to eat. At one point she had lay a few eggs. I sometime trimmed her beck, for they will grow long, and have to be trimmed back every couple months. She died last spring due to lice infection [​IMG] , I tried saving her, but it was too late.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  10. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am a big proponent of people giving cross beaks a chance, but I have to agree with everyone else. She's so severe at a few days old when "normal" cross beaks don't even present until the chick is a few weeks old, she'll have major problems down the road.

    Bless your heart for trying to give her a good life...but even with your best efforts, this little one's future looks bleak. [​IMG]

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