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  Beak Deformity?
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RunDanRun
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Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 121
Location: Springfield/Willard, Missouri
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:02 am Reply with quote

I 've had my best year ever hatching out bronze and split-to-bronze chicks as this year I made sure to keep all the eggs under a cochin or silkie hen for at least a week to 10 days before moving to an incubator. I had 15 chicks hatch out and 5 died.

ANYWAY, here's the problem. I have two chicks about 6 weeks old or so that appear to be bronze pied. HOWEVER, something is wrong with their beaks. They are growing in a way that the front top portion of the beak does not close tightly with the bottom portion of the beak. It's like their mouths are continually open. I would hazard a guess that it could be due to some kind of "pecking" issue when they were chicks (other chicks pecked at their beaks and they did bleed...perhaps impacting some kind of growth plate?).

The chicks cannot pick up food off the ground (as their beaks don't close), but appear to be able to "shovel eat" from the feeder. As long as they have food available in a bowl/feeder (and not scattered on the ground, it seems they could be fine...besides just looking rather unintelligent). However, if there is nothing that can be done to correct this problem, would it be better/more humane to put them down?
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D C T
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Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 870
Location: Georgia, USA
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:32 pm Reply with quote

Can you post a photo?
Perhaps application of ointment could encourage beak growth.

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casportpony



Joined: 11 Sep 2009
Posts: 29
Location: Gilroy, CA
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:50 pm Reply with quote

I have one that sounds a lot like that. Will try to get a picture of her.
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RunDanRun
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Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 121
Location: Springfield/Willard, Missouri
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:52 am Reply with quote

I think I have a better way to describe what's going on with the beak. It looks quite a bit like when you take two Pringle potato chips and hold the ends in your mouth so you look like a "duck." I'll try to get a picture posted this week.
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RunDanRun
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Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 121
Location: Springfield/Willard, Missouri
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:00 am Reply with quote

Okay, I finally got a picture of what's going on with the two chicks. I can't seem to load directly to this forum, so here's the link:

http://s801.photobucket.com/user/RunDanRun/media/Beak%20Deformity/chick_beaks.gif.html?sort=3&o=0

(You may have to copy and paste the link into your browser).

I'm open to suggestions here. Smile Again, I believe these are pied bronze chicks...not sure if they're white eye or not yet.
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D C T
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Joined: 16 Nov 2007
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Location: Georgia, USA
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:58 pm Reply with quote

I suspect that the cause is genetic. Can not be 100% certain. Since they are able to eat I would never suggest killing them as long as they are not suffering but would try feeding them all sorts of minerals and vitamins while young. Right now am doing an experimental orthopedics project on two juvenile peafowl. Since they are in a cage in my kitchen it is easy to find out what they like to eat along with their chick starter. They will eat finely chopped raw garden produce but really go wild over raw beef and raw shrimp. Am also feeding a chicken treat called "Hentastic" that contains dried mealworms among other ingredients. I found this at Yardmaster's where I buy my feed.

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RunDanRun
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Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Location: Springfield/Willard, Missouri
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:17 am Reply with quote

Well, unfortunately, I now only have one chick with the splayed beak issue. I had just put the chicks in one of the outside pens on Friday night, and when I came back out to check on them Saturday morning, one of the chicks had been pretty brutally killed. Legs ripped off and mostly eaten, chest cavity totally cleaned out, back of its head eaten, wing portions gone. The other older chicks in the same pen hadn't been touched and neither had the four other similar-age chicks. I checked for a hole in the fencing -- couldn't find any, except MAYBE by the entry door, so I added a brick to secure it better. Well, this morning I went back out early and noticed an egg (I have some chickens) had been gutted in an odd fashion (not pecked). So, I started investigating -- found the varmint -- a mid-sized opossum. I had thought I had seen it in the pen a week or so ago, but you know how shadows are when using a flashlight at 5 a.m. Anyway, that opossum won't be back, but I felt sad for how the chick had died...and fortunate that I found the problem before losing any more chicks.
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D C T
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Joined: 16 Nov 2007
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Location: Georgia, USA
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:10 pm Reply with quote

When I began reading your post but before I came to the word opossum I was about certain what killed that poor peachick. That predator has a prehensile tail which helps it climb anywhere. Young ones big enough to kill poultry can easily slip through 2" x 4" dogwire. They easily climb trees to rob bird nests. Of course they love to eat eggs. But they are stupid. Years ago one killed a pet bantam rooster of mine and was still in the pen in the morning when Mother arrived.She was able to turn a wooden nest box upside down over him to keep him there while she went and called me. I grabbed the first thing I could find (hunting knife I bought when teenager) and hurried to the pen. First I looked at the bite marks on dead pet and the partly eaten body of his hen friend. Then I lifted the nest box to end this sorry gory story.
I wish that I could afford super secure pens and a professional guard dog

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