But there is a big difference between these pseudo-twins: Tilly has a cross beak, while Nilly’s grew in straight.
A chicken’s beak is a powerful tool, meant for more than just establishing a flock’s “pecking order.” For most, it’s a means of eating, preening, and investigating novel objects and surroundings (the shinier the better). But Tilly’s beak has an additional superpower: it likely saved both chicks’ lives.
A cross beak is either caused congenitally or by some external trauma. The bottom portion of Tilly’s beak juts out at an unnatural angle, instead of aligning neatly with the top. This makes it harder to pick up food, or to defend herself from predation. Without help, she might not have survived on her own.
Thankfully, Tilly had an ally in her rescuer, who found the young chick on her front porch. We’re not sure how Tilly made her way there—perhaps she was abandoned because of her condition, or had wandered after falling from a passing truck. Regardless of the reason, the homeowner fell in love with Tilly—but she also knew the chick would need specialized care beyond her own capabilities. Since no one in the area claimed the cute little fluffball, she asked if Farm Sanctuary could help.