What Causes Scissor Beak in Chickens

As a chicken owner, you want to do everything you can to ensure the health and well-being of your flock. Unfortunately, some chickens may develop scissor beak, a condition where the top and bottom beaks don't line up properly.

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What Causes Scissor Beak

This can make it difficult for them to eat and drink, and can also be a cosmetic issue. Depending on the severity of the scissor beak, you can have a happy, healthy chicken. So, what causes scissor beak in chickens?

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There are several possible causes of scissor beak, including genetics, injury, and nutritional deficiencies. Let's take a closer look at each of these factors:


Scissor beak can be hereditary, meaning that it's passed down from the chicken's parents. If you notice scissor beak in multiple chickens from the same bloodline, genetics may be the cause.

In this case, there may not be much you can do to prevent scissor beak from occurring. But you might want to remove those chickens from your breed flock.


Chickens can injure their beaks in a variety of ways, such as from pecking at hard objects or getting caught in wire mesh. These injuries can cause the beak to grow in a misaligned way, leading to scissor beak.

Nutritional Deficiencies

A lack of certain nutrients in a chicken's diet can also cause scissor beak. Specifically, a deficiency in vitamin D or calcium can lead to weakened bones, which can affect the growth of the beak. This is going to be noticed as a change in the chicks peak as it grows.

You'll notice a genetic scissor beak when they hatch, whereas nutritional will show up over time.

chicken with scissor beak

What Happens If Your Chicken has Scissor Beak?

So, what can you do if you notice a scissor beak in your chickens?

First, it's important to identify the underlying cause. If it's due to genetics, there is not much you can do other than provide extra care and attention to the affected bird.

If it's due to injury, try to prevent further damage by removing any potential hazards from the chicken's environment.

And if it's due to a nutritional deficiency, adjust the chicken's diet to ensure they're getting the necessary vitamins and minerals.

You can keep the beak trimmed to ensure that your chicken is getting the food and water they need. It might need to be trimmed once every six months or so, it is going to depend on how much they scratch and rub their beaks across things.

As a chicken owner, it's important to keep an eye out for signs of a scissor beak and take steps to prevent and treat it if possible. With the right care and attention, you can help your chickens live happy and healthy lives.

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