JUL 28, 2015 8:47 AM PDT

Beak Surgery Gives This Newborn Kite Chick a Second Chance at Life

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Every so often, things happen in nature that come off as unfortunate for infant animals as they're born. In the case of a little yellow-billed kite chick, this meant out-growing its own shell during its incubation period before it could hatch and leaving it with a deformed and broken beak because of it.

Just nine days after the chick was finally hatched from its shell, veterinarians nurtured it and brought it up to health. Then, a surgical operation was planned to fix its beak so that the chick could live a meaningful life.

This is the chick wearing its acrylic cast support, which was carefully cradling its lower beak for proper healing.

Veterinarians needed to place the bird under anesthesia to further break it's beak (painlessly) into a state where it could be positioned where it needed to be for healing, much like a doctor may need to further break your leg if it didn't heal properly for it to re-heal the right way.

Once satisfied with the positioning, doctors added an acrylic cast support around the bottom beak to prevent it from moving around as it healed and seat it where it needed to be for the healing process.

After the operation, the chick spent some time being nurtured by veterinarians. The cast support has since been removed. Now, the chick is reportedly thriving and is expected to live a normal life of up to 25 years with a fully functional beak.

"I'm absolutely thrilled with the results of the operation," said the England-based specialist in avian medicine, Neil Forbes. "We've essentially taken a chick that was a cripple and that stood no chance of survival and have given him another chance at life."

Despite the difficulties faced by those who went on with the procedure for the little chick, the pros outweighed the cons. With a fully functional beak, the chick will now be able to eat its own food normally without needing to be hand-fed by people, giving it a much higher chance of survival.

This small chick reportedly wasn't the only one that suffered from an eggshell problem. In fact, there was another sibling of the chick that underwent the operation that also suffered similar problems inside of its eggshell. For the sibling however, the results of the problematic incubation period were too severe for its health to save it.

"Due to the weather conditions, insufficient weight loss had occurred in the eggs during incubation causing them to be too large, which ultimately led to the critical deformation of their beaks," Mr Forbes said. "We had hoped that the sibling would survive but the health complications were too severe."

One of the largest complications of the operation process was getting the acrylic cast support to stay on the small soft beak of the chick, but in the end, all of the labors of love appear to have been worth it and now the healed chick, cleverly named ‘Beaky' for its troubles, will live a long life because of it.

Source: BBC

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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