Exotic Pets

Exotic Pets

You ask – we answer:

Q: I have a blue and gold Macaw who’s beak grows crooked and he has to have it trimmed regularly and I was wondering if there was a more permanent solution that you know of to this problem. Thanks.

A: A bird’s beak may grow abnormally for many reasons, such as from congenital causes, trauma while young from the parents or during hand feeding, nutritional imbalances (such as high-fat diets), or an infectious process.

Make sure the diet and other areas of your bird’s care are appropriate. An often neglected area of beak care pertains to finding healthy wood toys or other items that your bird likes to chew on. When birds chew and destroy perches and toys, that helps to wear down the edges of the beak and may decrease the need for more frequent beak trims. However, a beak that continues to grow “crooked” after evaluation and improvement of correctable factors like diet, husbandry, or infection may not be correctable except with surgery. If this is the case, don’t get frustrated. Keep in mind that the beak of your pet bird is not exposed to the same natural conditions in captivity that he would be exposed to in the wild.

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