crooked beak on chick : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

In the last week, I have two layer chicks (6 weeks old) from a hatchery have strange things. One americana has just developed a crossed beak, the bottom is way to the right and the top is to the left, it looks really freaky!! What can cause this, genetic? Diet? Disease? The other one (I think it is a golden laced) started walking on her hocks, and she moves around slowly, but will fly around fine. Her toes are clenched up tight all the time, like her tendons are tight in her legs and feet. Any clue? Thanks. Craig

-- craig swasnon (, May 14, 2001


Craig: I've had two chicks with the crossed beak problem myself--both from different hatcheries and different breeds. Not sure what causes it, but I'm curious, too. Didn't notice them that way when they first arrived and we showed them the water and food, however. One survived to full size, could eat enough to survive, I guess, but when we butchered them, she was much thinner then the others. If it is a genetic thing, I'd be sure not to hatch any eggs from her, just in case. Hope someone has the answer! Jan

-- Jan in CO (, May 14, 2001.

When chicks hatch out with crooked beaks or legs I cull them.They are uaually unproductive and seem to suffer or have a hard time.They don't usually make good layers and I wouldn't eat them.

-- SM. Steve (, May 14, 2001.

Craig-- I've been mulling this question myself for a couple weeks. I also got an Ameraucana pullet with a crossed beak. Her little tongue is dried and shriveled, and just hangs out of her mouth. But she is very friendly and also aggressive enough to get her share, although she is slightly smaller than the rest of the flock. I've bought chicks for years from McMurray, and have never seen this problem in the Ameraucana chicks I've gotten before. Hmmm.... I've contemplated culling her, but just don't have the heart. She's a thrifty little thing, and I've decided letting her have her chance. I've had chickens for 30 years, and have never had a hock-walker, tho.

-- Lynn in SD (, May 14, 2001.

I got a buff brahma bantam from Murray McMurray that had a crossed beak. He has a wonderful personality and is second in command of the flock. He doesn't get to breed for hatching eggs because of the possible genetics, and he is far too large--the largest brahma by 10 oz. He is living a productive life, eating bugs and breaking up fights between smaller roosters. He is also a good pet, although he pecks hard enough to hurt your hand when eating out of it, something he has learned to do to compensate for the crossed beak. I trim the edges of it once in a while--VERY carefully or they will bleed profusely! I am glad we did not cull Snaggletooth.

-- Laura Millard (, May 12, 2002.

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