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Caring for Your Bird’s Beak

February 15, 2019

Your bird’s beak is absolutely crucial to her health and well-being. Our feathered buddies use their beaks to play, eat, chew, and groom themselves. Keeping Polly’s beak is healthy is very important! Here, a Covington, GA vet discusses beak care.

Common Problems

Polly can develop several different problems with her beak. Overgrowth is a common one. This is when either the top or bottom part of a bird’s beak—usually the top—gets significantly longer than it should. Another common problem is known as Scissors Beak. Most common in cockatoos and macaws, Scissors Beak is when one part of the beak goes left, and the other goes right. Parrot Beak happens when the tip of Polly’s upper beak rests inside the lower beak. It’s sort of the bird version of an underbite. These issues can be caused by a variety of things, including trauma, malnutrition, infections, genetics, poor hand-feeding techniques, environmental factors, or other health problems. Trims may address these conditions. However, beak trims should only be done by veterinarians or trained professionals, as improper trims can cause even more problems.

Warning Signs

Do some research into your pet’s breed, and find out how her beak should look. For example, cockatoo beaks often look a bit powdery. Once you know what to look for, watch for signs that something isn’t right. Some common warning signs are peeling, scaling, roughness, discoloration, and/or an odd texture. A beak that looks asymmetrical, or lopsided, is also a red flag. Your bird may also display behavioral symptoms, especially if she is in pain, and/or stop using her beak. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these problems.

Care Tips

Good nutrition is important for many reasons, but it plays a huge role in beak health. Offer your feathered pal a high-quality commercial food, as well as lots of fresh produce. Polly will also need lots of chew toys. This will help keep her beak from overgrowing. You can buy toys, but you can also offer homemade ones. Some good options are wooden blocks, mineral pieces, and coconut sections. You’ll also need to give your winged buddy plenty of perches, including a conditioning perch she can wipe her beak on. Ask your vet for more information.

Please contact us, your Covington, GA vet clinic, with any questions about caring for your bird’s beak. We are here to help!

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