What causes "crooked or curly beak" in doves?

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Robert J, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Robert J

    Robert J Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2012
    My wife and I have kept doves for our magic act on and off for almost 30 years. Over that time, there have been 2 doves develop what we call "curly" or "crooked" beak.

    The beak goes quite soft for a week of so. Then, the beak deforms with the tips of the upper and lower beak crossing over each other. The width of the beak also narrows. Then, after the week or two of "soft beak", the beak hardens again, but remains deformed.

    The condition is not fatal and the doves have shown no other ill effects. We have up to 14 doves at any one time and no other dove has exhibited this condition. The doves are caged by mating pairs. All the cages are in the same vented and air quality controlled room. They all receive the same diet, including grit and vitamin supplements. The 2 cases of the illness occurred over 10 years apart, with the latest dove still with us and doing well 3 years after her episode.

    We have asked other dove owners and no one that we have spoken with is familiar with this condition or has seen it before.

    Does anyone here have any idea what it might be or where I might find out more about this condition?

    Thanks, Rob
  2. ThiefPouter06

    ThiefPouter06 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2008
    green co. KY
    I dont know, but are you providing them a form of grit? Usually dove/pigeons with problems with bones and such can come from lack of minerals.
  3. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    http://www.diamonddove.info/bird17_Sick.htm. This site and others list calcium deficiencies as causing soft beaks that bend and become mishapen. Adding calcium to the diet and exposing the bird to sunlight is recommended.

    If that is the case here, some problem with genetic controlled uptake of calcium, issue with egg laying, issue with the bird accessing food, or another issue may be at work to explain it appearing in two birds.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  4. Robert J

    Robert J Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2012
    Thank you both for the reply, and the link to the dove web site. That is the first written reference I have seen about soft beak.

    I suspected that it might be a deficiency in calcium or some other vitamin and that's what made it perplexing. In both cases, it has only been one bird in the flock. The entire flock has received the same diet, including both grit and vitamins, as part of the regular food and care. I am going to assume, after the information you both have offered, that for some reason, that each of these doves (the cases were over 10 years apart) were how each of the individual birds responded to the care they were given since the other birds did not exhibit any of these signs and since all the birds appear/appeared to be healthy in every other way.

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