The content of the article:
A crossed or scissor-shaped beak is a kind of deformation that sometimes occurs in chickens. Instead of normal development, the upper and lower parts of the beak begin to grow in opposite directions, which greatly complicates the bird's intake of food. It is not necessary to immediately endure the chicken with a death sentence. There are several ways that you need to try to give the bird a chance to survive and grow further.
What is a scissor beak?
A scissor or crossed beak is a physical deformation that can be found in some chickens, usually at a month old. Due to the fact that the upper and lower parts of the beak grow in different directions, food can drop out of it before the chicken can swallow it, so it becomes difficult for a bird to eat and drink. This is not a contagious disease, and it will not have a big impact on the overall condition of the chick if it gets enough feed and water.
Causes and symptoms of the disease
The causes of deformation of the beak can be:
- heredity, trauma to the skull, because of which the upper and lower parts of the beak begin to grow at different rates;
- Incorrect temperature of incubation.
Curvature of the beak can be caused by the incorrect location of the chick in the incubation period - a normal posture is considered when its head is under one of the wings. In rare cases, liver disease can also cause deformation of the beak and claws. It is interesting that the chicks hatching the hen were much less likely to appear with a twisted beak.
You will not be able to detect the deformation of the beak during the incubation period, but at the age of 1-2 weeks this defect becomes well noticeable. Another symptom is the lag in growth. If a scissor-shaped beak appears in a chicken after a few (more than one or two) weeks of his life, then the cause may be a deficiency of necessary nutrients.
The lack of calcium, folic acid and vitamin D lead to disturbances in the normal development of chickens.
However, if the deformed beak is observed only in one chick, then, most likely, this is due to the problems of the incubation period.
In most cases, chickens with deformed beaks eat less and drink less. They need much more time to eat and drink. For this reason, they tend to grow more slowly and do not become good layers.
Methods of treatment
Unfortunately, there are no traditional methods for treating beak deformation in chickens. In particularly severe cases, the curvature progresses rapidly with time, but with small deformations, birds can live a normal long life. If you have a chicken with a crossed beak, compare it as often as possible with other chicks. If you suspect that he does not get enough food, try feeding him separately from other birds.
What can help:
- Stitching of the beak ends with sandpaper or nail file will help it to close better.
- Some people advise using a Dremel grinding tool for beak grinding, but the fact is that the chickens are very frightened by this procedure. The best option - nail clippers, which are used by dog owners.
- Regardless of which method of handling the beak of a chicken or chicken you use, be sure to hold hand cornstarch - it will help quickly stop the bleeding if you accidentally touch the bloodstream vessel.
- Before feeding, crush the food and dilute it with warm water or a small amount of yogurt so that the chicken can scoop up the feed with its beak, and not peck it.
- Let the sick chickens have enough feed with a high protein content - crushed eggs, flour worms, sunflower seeds, etc. This will contribute to the normal development of the beak in birds.
- Raise the trough to a level where it will be convenient for sick chickens to take food from there - the distance between the beak and food should be minimal.
- The beaks of chickens are constantly growing, so from time to time they stitch them - they carry them from side to side on the ground. Chickens with a scissor-shaped beak will find it difficult to do this, however laying out a part of the tracks with pavers or stones can greatly facilitate the procedure of sewing them.
In order to prevent the emergence of sick chickens in the future, do not allow eggs to be hatched from chickens with deformed beaks, as well as from those hens from whose eggs the sick chicks hatched. Use only a quality incubator and carefully monitor the temperature in it. Feed your chickens with a balanced diet and limit the amount of treats if you plan to use their eggs for breeding in an incubator.
While chickens with deformed beaks receive enough feed and liquid, they can live a fairly normal life. Remember that these birds are unable to eat and preen as well as healthy chickens, so just do not pay attention to the differences in their existence, including a slow increase in weight and slovenliness. Also, you should keep in mind that healthy birds can often attack healthy hens with curved beaks, so be careful and stop any manifestations of aggression.