Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This is how his bill lines up, I'm just
holding his jaw up so he'll close
his mouth for the picture.

While some species of finch have actually evolved a cross-bill to eat conifers cones (i.e. pinecones) this is a major disadvantage to a chicken.

This is one of our little EE babies, he was already slated to being culled just because he's a cockerel (yeah, I feel a little bad for the boys, but we've already got 3 roosters waging cockadoodle-doo wars around the yard). Not really sure what you do with a bantam cockerel you have to cull, there isn't much too them.

He does eat just fine, he's definitely smaller & a little lighter then his hatch mate, but watching him run around you'd never notice there was a problem.

My research shows that people keeping adult hens with cross-bills will trim them so that the chicken is able to eat more normally, or provide them with wet food.

The absolute rule with these guys is that you do not allow them to reproduce. In fact I won't be allowing his mom to reproduce because it's a bad genetic flaw. It's quite possible the rooster also carries a recessive gene, and if any other of his chicks show the same problem it'll be a matter of culling the roo.

It is possible that cross-bills can be caused by a spike in incubator temperature, but these guys were hen-hatched so that's not possible & I haven't been able to find any scientific back-up to that claim.

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