Beak Care

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22-Apr-2007 15:43

The beak is a multipurpose instrument used for eating, preening, grasping, climbing (like a third foot), self-defense, touching, playing and communication. It is capable of great strength and gentle touch. The beak is also constantly growing but tends to stay a relatively constant length because the bird is always wearing it down as it eats climbs and plays.

After a bird eats you may see it wipe and clean its beak on an object in the cage such as a perch. This provides a wearing action for the beak. Your pet may also grind its upper and lower beak together, which further wears down the beak. This grinding of the beak often occurs when the bird is quiet or about to sleep, often in the later afternoon.

Providing your bird with pet-safe toys and chewing activities will not only help wear down the beak, but will provide hours of entertainment for your pet.  For Types of toys for my budgie? click.

As a general rule, if a beak appears too long there could be a problem and it should be seen by your veterinarian. It is not advisable to ever attempt to trim the beak at home. A veterinarian familiar with birds will trim or grind the beak properly during regular health examinations as needed.

For smaller birds such as a finch, budgie or cockatiel, cuttle bones, lava rock and mineral or iodized blocks may be helpful as a wearing surface for the beak,

Any changes in the rate of growth, color, texture or the way the beak or nail grows should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian immediately.  Avian Vet Look-up

 

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