Diamond’s hooked beak

From when we first had Diamond, she came to us in August, she had quite a hooked beak. We always thought it looked a bit like an eagle’s beak. Recently though we have felt sure that it has grown longer. I have just looked back through photos of her and have realised that it has definitely grown longer.

Diamond has a hooked beak
Diamond’s beak in September
Diamond’s beak in October
Diamond’s beak now

I have just been researching this and it says that it is a deformity. It’s medically referred to as mandibular prognathism or commonly parrot beak. The top part of the beak grows longer than it should.

It says that if the bird is struggling to eat then it will need trimming with nail clippers and filing smooth. But once this has been done it will need to be done periodically throughout the rest of it’s lifetime.

Diamond has really turned out to be a special needs chicken. First she had gape worm then we had to modify a perch especially for her and now she has a deformed beak.

I have been watching her eat and she has a little more trouble picking up sunflower hearts but manages some and drops some. She has no trouble pecking at apple and eats greens easily. She manages pellets easily. She manages the water with no trouble. She preens okay and she poops plenty.

I am a bit nervous of clipping her beak and having to do it on a regular basis. It says you must not go too far as you don’t want to cause it to bleed. A little at a time is the best way to proceed.

I am going to keep a close eye on the situation. If she manages as well as she does now and it gets no worse it may be better to leave her be. If it gets even longer and really hampers her eating and preening then we may well have to try clipping it.

This is a problem we haven’t come up against before now. It seems that are always new problems to be encountered. I will keep a close watch on her and report back as and when but I am coming round to the fact that we may have to clip. The saving grace is that the tip is thin.

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6 Responses to Diamond’s hooked beak

  1. marion.pharo says:

    Your girls do have a variety of different problems. You have certainly learnt a lot about chickens. It is like when some parrots have to have their beaks trimmed.

    • Carol says:

      Just when I think I have encountered most of the problems a new one crops up. I was at first horrified at the thought of clipping but am now grateful that the tip of her beak is thin. Parrots have such thick beaks. I am still learning new things all the time.

  2. Sophie says:

    Gosh it has grown hasn’t it!! My sister used to have a rabbit who had to have his teeth cut down. At first she used to take him to the vet but then learnt how to do it herself – it used to sound brutal but didn’t hurt him at all. xx

    • Carol says:

      Oh goodness, I would be very nervous of having to cut an animal’s teeth. I considered the vet but because it will probably need doing on a regular basis I decided we need to get to grips with it. The bit needing cutting is very thin so I am hoping it won’t be too difficult. Diamond is also easy to handle. xx

  3. DAVID says:

    Never come across this one before, but you seem to have the right approach. Good luck! Were she a child in a school, Diamond would definitely have an Education Health Care Plan – unbelievable the number of fairly major issues you’ve had with her.

    • Carol says:

      I thought with all your experience that you may have come across this before. We certainly seem to have every problem with our flock. At first I really didn’t want to clip her beak as I was very nervous at the thought. The more I have watched her and thought about it though the more I realised that we need to tackle it as it is our job to keep the girls in the best condition we can.

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