Chickens With a Deformed Beak

“Hi There. I am a big fan of your weekly newsletter and find it very informative, keep doing what you are doing its fantastic! I have just a little flock of free range chickens, of which I have had for four months. They have settled into life very well and we have a good yield of eggs on a weekly basis.

However I am a little concerned that one of the chickens seems to have a deformed beak, its lower beak is longer than the upper beak. I have been watching it closely this past week to check that it is eating and drink well and it is. Do I leave things as they are or should I take it to my local vet? Your help is very much appreciated. Kind regards” ~ Liz Mackie

Liz, thanks for the question.

If your flock was dependent completely on commercial feed, I wouldn’t hesitate to tell you not to worry about it. The reason being that you’ve confirmed that your chicken can, and is, eating and drinking.

My concern came into play when you mentioned that they are free ranged and I wonder how much of their diet is dependent upon forage.

Bugs provide protein and it’s awfully tough to catch a squirmy bug if your beak doesn’t line up. Okay, I don’t personally know this but it stands to reason.

So Liz, my advise to you is to continue to watch her.

As long as she is thriving, I’d let it alone. If you see any signs of deterioration in her health you’ll need to take action.

I’d start by feeding either a home devised diet sufficient in protein or a commercially formulated feed. If necessary, feed her separate from the others to ensure she is getting enough. As always, make sure she’s getting plenty of water.

If this does not resolve the problem, it might warrant a trip to the vet.

In your original question (edited for space) you asked about trimming her lower beak. Honestly I don’t have any personal experience in this area and I don’t feel confident making a recommendation in that regard.

Hope this is of help.

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