Scissor Beak in Chickens

Sherry : For Rebecca and dealing with Scissor beak. We have a 2 year old buff orp (Buttercup) with a crossed beak. I don’t think it is quite as bad as yours, but I make sure she gets wet crumbles every day. She knows it is hers and waits for me to add the liquid. The other chickens like it too, but she stands her ground. She is a bit thinner than the others but is healthy and even lays eggs. You could try yours on it…just make sure it is wet enough to be soft, but not soupy and feed separately for a while to see if he can actually get any. I just add water, but you could add whey, or yogurt. That is how we started with Buttercup and now I just feed her with the flock. We took her in to an avian vet and had her beak trimmed, and was told we would have to continue, but now she seems to have adjusted and we only trim every 4 or 5 months. Good luck. When I researched it also talked about tube feeding them, but I didn’t want to mess with that..and for us it has been ok.

Rebecca holding her chicken with scissor beak

Rebeccas six week old Polish Chicken ‘Edward’ with scissor beak

C.L. : In regards to the scissor beaked chicken……..we have had a chicken with a severe scissor beak for about 5 or 6 years now. You can trim down the beak with dog nail clippers but you have to be careful not to trim too far down or it bleeds. We do not trim our chickens beak anymore due to the stress it causes. A wide deep bowl that they can eat out of is a good idea. Cut grapes, strawberries, etc in to small pieces so the chicken can eat it. We wet the chicken food, like oatmeal, daily because it is easier for them to eat. Sometimes we also feed canned catfood, greek yogurt, fish so the chicken can get plenty of protein. Hope this helps.

Cassie : Hi Rebecca, I read your post about your scissor beak Polish, Edward and wanted to respond.

I too had a young chick, Rosie, that had a severe scissor beak deformation. There was not much information on it anywhere. My ultimate goal was to have Rosie have a better quality of life. So, I also went to an avian vet. to get some answers. After much back and forth I had surgery done to try and correct it. They had to basically break her jaw and replace it correctly – she had a make-shift brace attached to her face with pins for weeks until she pulled it off. Thankfully not causing more damage.

I say this with much heartache but this was the beginning of the end. Rosie did do well with surgery but it was very difficult to feed a baby chick with something attached to her face. Had a feeding tube for awhile as well. Before the surgery I was feeding her chick starter with water to make it easier for her to eat-I’m not so sure this was a good idea. Even after the brace came off she never would eat dry feed. Challenging in many ways – Edward needs a well balanced diet. I would consider vamping up his diet as much as possible.

I don’t want to make this story too long – I loved my little Rosie and did everything medically available to try and make things better. She was solely dependent on me and very attached in more ways then one and lived in the house because of her special needs. Looking back now I realize this was not a “chicken life” if you can understand that.

Rosie only lived to be 6 months old and I miss her dearly! If I had to do it all over again I believe I would let her live her life out with her deformation (she might have lived longer without all the pain I put her thru). Scissor beak happens more often then people talk about – it can be genetic but usually caused by trauma to the face when they are babies. Rosie’s was very severe and due to trauma.

I hope this helps you make more informed decisions going forward with Edward. If you have any more questions I would be happy to answer. Good luck! Cassie


One Comment

  1. Deidra August 13, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    I too had crossed beak rooster. He lived over 2 years. Had 3 hens for his mates. Fed him on soaked chicken food and plain yogurt. I too had to trim his beak when he couldn’t eat. He had 6 chicks. Big Bird is the name given to him by the students who hatched him. He had a good full chicken life.

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