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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey everyone. i just noticed that my parrotlet's lower part of his upper beak is white. the very tip is very slightly chipped but the whole white part looks like it's a big chip. what should i do? is this b/c he's lacking calcium or vitamins etc? I gave him a cuttlebone but he doesn't seem to eat it! and i'm so worried b/c sometimes he flies away from me (towards anything!) and sometimes he hits the wall with his beak and flutters to the ground. is this causing the problem? can anyone verify why half his beak is whiter? (looks like it "thinned" out).

also, another problem is that i always hear him "grind" his beak. this happens even when he's not eating. anyone else's parrotlet experiences this? is this normal?

any advice will help. thanks so much!
 

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Well the beak grinding is a thing they do if they are sleepy but please be careful letting him get startled and fly the main way we lose them is from injury. Be sure and secure the room and make it quiet till he learns what and what not to be scared of. Maybe Andrea will comment on the beak .
 

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Is it actually chipped/broken or chipped as in a flaky layer?

The beak does grow in layers and often will flake off. This is okay.

If he does not eat his cuttlebone well, you can supplement calcium in the diet by using egg shells. We have our own chickens so I know their shells are good! Commercially rasied eggs should be okay, but I would recommend organic. Wash the egg, then take the insides out. Bake the shells for maybe 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Does your parrotlet receive any unfiltered natural daylight (not through a window)? Or do you use full spectrum lighting? Windows filter out the important UVB rays which enables birds to synthesize vitamin D3 for proper calcium metabolism which is necessary for normal growth. So even if you offer enough calcium it cannot be properly absorbed without Vitamin D3.

If it is possible, share a picture of your parrotlets beak so we can judge what you are seeing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thank u andrea and memmey for your advice. do i give him the whole egg or crack it up into small pieces? the food i give him, he only eats the tiny seeds and leaves all the "vitamin" seeds (because they're longer and bigger) out. yes, the beak is not broken. just looks "layered" and fragile. i also noticed his bottom beak now growing farther and farther up. should i trim them?
yes, most of his sunlight is through a window! so i will put him outside, in his cage for some time.
 

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I am sorry, I didn't explain the whole thing! After baking the egg shell, grind it in a coffee grinder to make a fine powder. I have an inexpensive, $8, grinder from the grocery store that is dedicated to this.

Are you feeding anything other than seed? The diet may not be well balanced if you are not feeding a large variety of fresh produce, legumes, etc. A pellet may be advisable as well.

I am sure you are well aware of this, but if he goes outside in his cage - stay with him! There are many horror stories of predation of pet birds that are left outside in their cage.
 

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Yes, they need more than seeds and pellets. Baked Sweet potatos and veggies, birdie breads, Whole wheat pastas, Beak Appetit, fruit etc...
 

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Yes, fruits are important too - but we put more of a focus on the nutrient dense vegetables. I have not been able to find a scientific case study, but from my colleagues in the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, there are cases seen where parrots seem to kick into hormonal / reproductive behavior when too many fruits are fed. Most pet owners, from my understanding, want to do whatever they can to NOT kick them into this cycle!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've tried giving him strawberry, carrots, and lettuce but everytime, he takes a bit off with his beak,and then "flicks" it away! he doesn't eat ANY of it. it's like he just plays with his food. just flinging it away with his beak once he's got a little piece...i can't get him to actually eat it..i'm thinking it's because he does this with his seeds. like he eats the inside,and lets the shell fall. my seed mix has "vitamin and mineral enriched food" but he never eats the big coloured ones (i think those are the vitamins). i also have another bag of pellets (fruits-made), which are medium sized but he doesn't really eat those either..i've been trying to get a picture of his beak, but they come out really bad and u can't see anything. i don't think the beak's anything serious b/c it just looks like it's growing. but should i trim them? thanks everyone!~ v. appreciated
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
pictures of atlas' beak

this is what i was talking about. the layering effect of his beak. is this okay?


 

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Does he have a cuttlebone to chew on? I would not trim at any time. If you ever wonder, ask an avian vet.

Have you tried putting a big carrot in the cage? I usually chop all veggies up but Chipper also LOVES to chew on big carrots!

Do you have lots of wood toys for chewing?
 

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I remember him saying that the parrotlet won't chew cuttlebone. But yes - make sure he has lots to chew on! I have known many small birds that REALLY like the lava rock perches as well. Usually excessive flaking is an indication of malnutrition. Some flaking is okay periodically, but not a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think the lava rock perches is ok for him, he sometimes stands on it, and sometimes i saw him rubbing his beak on it, i tried to offer him with strawberry, carrot bits, cauliflower, green vegie leaf, but he doesn't eat the other variety foods except seeds!!! what can i do to make him eat other foods ? Do i have to cook all the veggies and fruits? Thanks!!!
 

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Good luck I can't get B'Jo to eat anything and haven't for 8 years....I could pull my hair out.

Have you ever tried making birdie bread? You can hide foods in it that you want your feathered friend to try. I put millet in mine hoping to entice my birds to beak around the bread. I inspect what is left, and often times, I see NO broccoli or apple left...WOOHOO I tricked them into eating some fruit and veggies! (If you don't have the recipe I can post it for you).
 

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Here are some recipes. You can get ideas there. I make lots of foods for Chipper. She likes Birdie breads. Yes, you can put lots of good foods in the breads, cookies etc. Chipper loves whole wheat pasta with tomatoes, wheat couscous, etc. You have to keep trying foods. Most birds will try foods if you keep trying. Chipper LOVES strawberries. They can eat cooked or raw veggies. http://www.parrothouse.com/recipes.html#Sweet%20Potato%20Balls
 
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