Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cross Beaked - Chick 5 Comes Home


 It has a crossed beak and missing one eye .
It didn't stand a chance of getting sold
or surviving with all the other chicks
competing for food and drink.
I had to take it, even it if only has a couple of weeks left.


 I was getting my fishing license at Orscheln
when I heard a chicken crying, loudly as if
something were wrong, and it was.
I saw this little crossed beaked chick and
noticed it was missing an eye.
When I told my husband I was getting it, 
both he and a friend who happened to be there too
made fun  of me.
You wouldn't make a very good farmer .
You come home with deformed chicks and
non bearing fruit trees!
It's true.  I'm a sucker for the animals no one wants.


 The clerk, a young girl, told me she would give it to me.
She has been trying to give it attention, helping
it eat and drink but she isn't at work all the time.
Another shopper lady and the clerk sided with me.
Give it a chance.
It's a cornish cross so it won't have many weeks anyway.
Unless, due to the deformity, it stays leaner.
Maybe it could at least have a good life for awhile.


I  bought an eye dropper to give it some water immediately  
but reading up on the cross beaks, they can eat and 
drink if the crossing isn't too extreme.
I crumbled some crumbles up even smaller and  
dropped some in it's beak, then sort of pinched the beak
a little more straight so it would swallow.
Then after it had eaten and drank, I held on to it
while it nestled down for a nap.


Chick #4, the one I rescued from the hardened egg membrane,
and who I believe may be a bit less intelligent than the rest,
  checked out the new guy.  And promptly  pecked him on the beak.
Come on- you were the new guy yourself once!



The others were a bit afraid (chicken chickens) but then
    decided it wasn't too dangerous.

I have to clean out the brooder so don't look too close!


If you have any advice, please leave a comment.
I hear that it may be helpful to moisten the food 
and feed this one separately.  Additionally, having only
one working eye it's a bit more difficult for him/her
to see where it's going.  I'm not so sure how well
the other eye sees either.  The entire skull seem a little off.

Linking    The Chicken Chick 
Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

25 comments:

Rachy said...

What a little darling! I would have done exactly the same :)
I do hope chickie makes it ok xxxxx

Gorges Smythe said...

You've got a good heart, Now we''l just hope that it lives long enough to give you a good flavor! (Sorry, I couldn't help it!)

Angie Chavez said...

I don't have any advice, but I'm just glad you brought it home to give it some love for as long as it has to live. Poor little thing!

Dolly Sarrio said...

You are so sweet to do that and I would have done the same thing too. Keep us informed. I have never had a chick that had a crossed beak.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

So far her appetite is good, just time consuming! I wonder if I could get away with bringing her to work. I would have tried when I had an office but I got moved to another team and now it's a cubicle. I don't know if they would go for that.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Truly, it is a meat bird and they grow so fast that they often break their legs due to how quickly they gain weight. It's not a bird I would choose for a pet. Six weeks and they are ready to eat. I'm thinking she may last longer since she can't manage the intake that most of them do. My husband's boss had them and said all they did was sit and gorge themselves. I don't know that I would eat this one, my husband would.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Thank you.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I mashed the crumbles with some water to make a sort of oatmeal feed that it seemed to be able to eat easier. Then it tried to peck by itself and made sort of a scooping motion. Keeping in mind that it has only one eye, I don't think the depth perception is that good, it misses. Then again, with it's misshapen skull, there may be some other damage to it. I just thought it was a "special needs" chicken that might be happy here for a few weeks.

sew grown said...

Aww, you are sweet. I would caution against the water in the dropper. I drawned a chick once trying to help one that couldn't eat. They need to swallow small amounts. The water in the food is smart. Good luck!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

What I've done is put one drop on it's lower beak and then it raises it's head and swallows. It likes the food too, especially as I water it down even more so it doesn't get stuck on its beak.

LindaG said...

I don't have any advice, either. Other than I follow a blog where there is a blind rooster and it eats and drinks okay. It's a fully grown rooster that is kept with a couple of very very passive hens, and they get on well together.

They have a run and coop of their own, and the blind rooster is only let out when it can be watched and none of the other farm animals are on the field.

Good luck!

Manny said...

Compassion is a reward in itself. I'd be a terrible farmer too.

Heidi- The White Wolf Summit FarmGirl said...

Hi Kathy,
I would have brought the little guy home with me too.

I have a little experience with scissor beaks as I now have two scissor beaks- a 14 month old hen, and a 2 month old chick. They seem to get by well, and the chick's beak appears worse than this little guy. :)

I moisten all the food of my batch of chicks that includes the little scissor beak I am currently raising. I don't fill the feeder though because the moisture seems to me to spoil the food pretty quick so I just mix enough for a day. Your little chick looks pretty small so if you notice the others preventing him from eating or attacking him when he does try to eat it might be a good idea to separate him to be sure he can eat daily. Wetting the food really seems to help my little scissor beaks.

My hen with the condition still prefers her food moist. I think it must stick together and help her shovel it into her mouth easier.

I think that Kathy Mormino, The Chicken Chick wrote an article about this subject last winter that I found helpful. In it she mentioned elevating their feed dish so that they could scoop it into their mouth easier too. If I can find it, I will send you the link to read it.

Your little chicks are all darling.

Michelle said...

Poor Baby. Witchypoo ( Named for attacking me when I first got her) has a clipped beak. Later we learned she is blind in one eye.She will cock her head down and to the side to see. I try to make sure that a little larger pile of goodies is close to her. But to be honest I really don't have to. She is really good about holding her own.
I also feel bad about naming her Witchypoo now that I know why she attacked me. She just got scared because she couldn't see what was happening to her.

Yahoobuckaroo's Blog said...

You did a good thing, but I have to say that I would consider putting the little thing out of its misery. That can't be a happy life.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

It will be done in about 6 weeks. Actually he's doing pretty good. He eats if I make a slurry and figured out how to drink if he can find the water dish. He is very active outside of the brooder but if inside he like to lay beneath the light, he's still pretty young. The others have moved farther away not they are getting real feathers. I don't why I call it Him, it is just as likely a her.

Yahoobuckaroo's Blog said...

I would have thought the cross beak thing would be painful, but it sounds like maybe it doesn't bother him/her so much.

Six weeks? The monarch butterfly only lives about two months. I guess in the expanse of a 14 billion year old universe six weeks and 600 years are practically the same.

Candy C. said...

You are a very good person Kathy and it sounds like the little guy is doing okay so far! Bless you.

Vickie Westcamp said...

Oh how sweet. I would do the same thing. Thanks for having a heart!

Jenny said...

I don't know anything about chicks, but I do know about kind hearts.

And you have one of the kindest!

What a sweet tale!

I hope the little chick is okay in the end!

Our Neck of the Woods said...

I am so glad that you brought that poor chick home! Shame on the others for making fun of you. That little chick is a living, breathing being who has feelings too! Sorry, I'll get off my soap box :)

I saw this article a while back that might help you -
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/03/scissor-beak-aka-crossed-beak-what-it.html

Kathy Shea Mormino said...

Poor little one. You're a chick angel for rescuing her, Kathy. I did write a blog article about scissor-beaked chickens and there are a few things you can do to help them get along more independently. Thanks for the shout-out, Heidi!
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/03/scissor-beak-aka-crossed-beak-what-it.html

Kathy Shea Mormino
The Chicken Chick
http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Yes, I've been moistening the food and then getting rid of what is left, if I try to put it in the tub with the others, they love it too and run the little guy over. So, I feed him on my lap for the time being. He eats a lot and then gets agitated so I assume he is full. I do make sure he gets water too. I really don't know if he is blind in the other eye or if there is more wrong with him than the beak- due to the skull deformity. I do look at your site a lot! You have some great information. thank you.

Jacqueline Jones said...

Meat birds Don't have to die of broken legs and exploding hearts. Limiting their food intake makes a huge difference. I see people talking about having to put the food and water on opposite sides of the pen to get their birds off their butts. I don't have that problem with mine. I don't feed them as much as they will eat, and put away a lot of crumbles they can. 12 hours on and 12 off after the first week. They get as much food as they can eat in the morning and then settle in to nap. They don't get fed again until evening. I let mine free range. The run, the flap and hop, they jump up on low hanging perches. Mine are about 5 weeks old now. I don't have any advice on the crossed beak, but I did run across a blog the other day and they have a cornishX hen that is over a year old, and laying eggs.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I hope not. The people we know have had this problem, at least I think it's a problem, they are raising them for meat and butcher at 6 weeks. I doubt mine will get that large so quickly because I can only feed it when I'm home so that is once in the morning (wet crumbles) and then at night twice. It's certain that it's blind. It can't locate the food at all, even next to it. It pecks wildly so I have to put it by itself in a small box with a dish of wet crumbles. I have to put his feet in the dish for him to know there is food. Then he gets off balance and has to hunt for it. He won't be able to free range, maybe not even make it to the coop. He won't be able to see what is happening to defend himself. He cries when he gets frustrated and the other birds keep their distance. He's not content to be held or petted but cries out if he hears my voice. Food I guess.