Parrotlets Forum : TalkParrotlets banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,

So over the past few weeks my 11yo parrotlet, Willow, has developed an overgrown upper beak. I have a vet appointment on Monday to have it trimmed, which is stressing me because I'm afraid it's going to be very stressful for him! I'm also concerned this may be an on-going problem. I am going o see about having his liver tested, as I know that can cause problems. He is a heavy seed eater despite having a bowl of fruits, veggies and grains every day. I try taking the seeds away but he's really stubborn about eating other things.

I also notice he really doesn't trim his beak by chewing anything. I added a chew block to his cage but he hasn't touched it. Plus he's out with me most of the time where there aren't a lot of chew opportunities. I notice he shies away from hard nuts, crackers or similar foods so he seems to have a chewing aversion for some reason. Any suggestions or products that can help encourage him keep his beak trim? Also, has anyone else needed to take their p'let in for a trim?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,059 Posts
Hello, Freedomgirl!

I have been a member of this forum for 8 years or so. I have raised birds over 55 years. The only time I ever had a bird's beak trimmed was for a medical reason. Most of the responses in the past have shown that it is not wise to have a bird's beak trimmed, unless medically necessary. You are correct! It is very stressful on your bird and since he is 11 years old and you must be suspecting something else is wrong because you mentioned having his liver tested.

If you could send us a close up...real close up pic of Willow's beak, it would help. One p'lett I had, named Bogie, started letting his beak get longer as he approached age 10. Just as I started getting a little worried about his beak, he would trim it himself! I do not know how he did this, but it would all of a sudden be perfect! When his beak got longer, it became much thinner and it came to a very sharp point. He knew to trim it.

Some vets use a grinder ( Dremmel) and this vibrates the whole head. Some use a clipper/trimmer. I do not like any one of them. You need to have a physical done at the vets. His poo do's need to be checked and a Gram smear done and possibly blood tested.( This is stressful, too). I would trust an avian vet to do this.

What is the complete name of the seed mix? Maybe you need to try a cockatiel seed mix and see if Willow likes it. With a cockatiel seed mix, he will have some larger seeds to crack open and maybe this will help his beak.

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi David,

Yes I've read a lot of your posts! I haven't been on the site much lately, but did you decide to get another p'let after Ricochet?

I think you'll agree from the attached pic his beak is definitely overgrown. Usually it would always thin on it's on and break off. But this time his beak is thicker than it ever has been, and slightly discolored. He still eats ok, uses the side of his beak more. He mostly eats hemp and chia with a side of cockatiel mix. His behaviour is fine, no issues there. He does nap more than when he was younger, especially in the afternoon. I did read that lack of UV light could cause beak overgrowth issues, and since Willow is out with me most of the day, he hasn't been getting nearly enough. I'm making a point of leaving him in the cage a couple hours for the light and maybe to explore his toys which he also doesn't do. He hates being in the cage so it isn't easy, lots of tantrums 😊

I'm so nervous about this appointment. I just hope he isn't traumatized!
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,741 Posts
Try elpaso nutriberries. They are hot so they tend to be a favorite. They are also made for a bit bigger bird so they tend to be harder to give them something to chew on. You may need to break them up a bit to get them started.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,059 Posts
Hi. I have been out of town. You asked if I got a bird after Ricochet. I ordered a blue male from a local breeder, but my health took a bad turn. Very bad. So, I cancelled my order after a lot of soul searching. I miss having a parrotlet. Parrotlets are wonderful and bring much happiness to a human's life.
Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your replies. Willow's beak trim went well and want to assure others who may be faced with the same situation it isn't traumatizing (just make sure the vet has beak trimming experience). They actually used a nail-clipper type instrument and then filed a tiny bit with a metal file, both of which took seconds. The vet told me a dremel is too much for their little beaks. His beak is nice now and I notice he's chewing and preening more, so it was definitely needed. Unfortunately I was told I will likely need to continue to bring him in for trims, as whatever is causing it to be thick and overgrow (vet felt liver and age were probably the cause) will continue. It's a bummer but I feel better about it knowing it takes seconds and isn't overly stressful for him. Apparently this can be common with older parrots of all types.

The rest of his physical went well. Vet said he's healthy, gram stain looked good, grip was good, plumage tood, no odd lumps or anything to be concerned with. She didn't encourage me to pursue bloodwork given how small plets are and stressful it can be for them. She did encourage me to try and get him eating more fresh foods. I suppose I could go to an avian vet (the one I saw wasn't one but very experienced with birds, and I felt confident in her ability and experience) and have blood work, but I don't think he's at a stage where if it is a liver problem it's advanced enough for treatment other than dietary changes. And then I'll just stress and worry about him all the time. For now I'd rather continue giving him a happy life, encouraging less seed and more UV light, and hopefully my best friend and I have many more years together :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,059 Posts
Great!~~~Keep that vet! So many non-avian vets love to take blood from the little p'letts! If they hit an artery with the needle....then you have to say goodbye to your little one right then and there. When Bogie started getting the lining build-up around his lungs, the avian vet we went to gave Bogie a couple of vitamin shots and a steroid shot. The next day, boy did Bogie act like he was 2 years old! ( he was 10 ). Bogie never felt the shots. I was surprised.
Your Willow does have a medical condition with his beak. Vicki and I were worried about how the vet was going to trim the beak. Clippers are great! We are glad it worked out!

Have a Blessed day!

David and Vicki🦜🦜
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
An experienced avian vet can take blood with no problem. There is no way to verify that your bird has a medical condition without running tests. It is actually not recommended to use nail clippers to trim a bird's beak.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,100 Posts
My very experienced avian vet has never taken blood from Tumi due to his small size, even though it is standard practice at the vet practice to do annual bloodwork on most birds. Veggies would be your friend for sure, as many healthy foods as you can get him to eat. Tumi is really enjoying sprouts right now - I bought a mix for birds online and he is devouring it every day - that might be an easy transition from so many seeds and a good way to up the nutrition.

It's great you found someone that is so good at grooming! Unfortunately, it is likely a repeating problem, the vet is right. If it were Tumi, I would get his bloodwork done at an avian vet now as there is a chance that it is something you can help if caught early and extend his life. With bloodwork, you would have an important piece of information for treating the underlying cause of the overgrown beak.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My very experienced avian vet has never taken blood from Tumi due to his small size, even though it is standard practice at the vet practice to do annual bloodwork on most birds. Veggies would be your friend for sure, as many healthy foods as you can get him to eat. Tumi is really enjoying sprouts right now - I bought a mix for birds online and he is devouring it every day - that might be an easy transition from so many seeds and a good way to up the nutrition.

It's great you found someone that is so good at grooming! Unfortunately, it is likely a repeating problem, the vet is right. If it were Tumi, I would get his bloodwork done at an avian vet now as there is a chance that it is something you can help if caught early and extend his life. With bloodwork, you would have an important piece of information for treating the underlying cause of the overgrown beak.
Yes, I realize an overgrown beak is not normal and due to something pathological going on. If he does have a liver problem at this stage pretty much dietary changes is what would be recommended, as he really doesn't show any other symptoms of having a problem. I'm going to really try and encourage eating more fruits, veggies and pellets. I know chia and hemp seeds are very nutritious (his favorite) but they are high in fat. I also read that sometimes lack of UV lighting can cause an overgrown beak, which he has had hardly any for the past year+, so I'm increasing that as well. If he starts becoming more symptomatic of a liver problem, then I will have blood drawn as he might need medical treatment at that point.

Yes the vet was really wonderful, had complete confidence in her and the vet tech. I guess we'll be seeing her monthly or so (or hopefully, fingers crossed, this will resolve itself).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Hi All,

So over the past few weeks my 11yo parrotlet, Willow, has developed an overgrown upper beak. I have a vet appointment on Monday to have it trimmed, which is stressing me because I'm afraid it's going to be very stressful for him! I'm also concerned this may be an on-going problem. I am going o see about having his liver tested, as I know that can cause problems. He is a heavy seed eater despite having a bowl of fruits, veggies and grains every day. I try taking the seeds away but he's really stubborn about eating other things.

I also notice he really doesn't trim his beak by chewing anything. I added a chew block to his cage but he hasn't touched it. Plus he's out with me most of the time where there aren't a lot of chew opportunities. I notice he shies away from hard nuts, crackers or similar foods so he seems to have a chewing aversion for some reason. Any suggestions or products that can help encourage him keep his beak trim? Also, has anyone else needed to take their p'let in for a trim?
Yes! Have you heard of Bonka Birds? It’s an online store. The ONLY toys my little guy will play with. He wouldn’t chew anything…and now he chews constantly! I just carry one or two of the following items with me and it keeps his beak in great shape:
1. Balsa wood blocks / stars / cage toys
2. Natural item collection (loofah, sticks, pinecone (his favorite), dried pods and things
3. A piece of grapewood. I broke a piece off of a perch.

He hates regular Petco/Petsmart toys. But Bonka Birds keeps his beak in perfect condition and his mind happy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Yes! Have you heard of Bonka Birds? It’s an online store. The ONLY toys my little guy will play with. He wouldn’t chew anything…and now he chews constantly! I just carry one or two of the following items with me and it keeps his beak in great shape:
1. Balsa wood blocks / stars / cage toys
2. Natural item collection (loofah, sticks, pinecone (his favorite), dried pods and things
3. A piece of grapewood. I broke a piece off of a perch.

He hates regular Petco/Petsmart toys. But Bonka Birds keeps his beak in perfect condition and his mind happy!
Oh! And his breeder recommended Wooden clothespin with Kale, or a green bean. He demolishes clothespins and loves them!!! Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh! And his breeder recommended Wooden clothespin with Kale, or a green bean. He demolishes clothespins and loves them!!! Good luck!
Hi Georgie's Mom,

Thank you for the recommendations. I will look into those. And yes, I have had several Bonka toys over the years. They are great! He used to love the money tree. I should reorder that. Right now he has a ball of confetti paper, a hanging toy of calcium blocks and another stone to grind his beak on. Unfortunately, he doesn't use the harder toys. I notice in the last couple of years he chews things less and less. Oh! he does like his Bonka cake shred toy that I also have in the cage. But it's mostly soft paper so not really wearing away at the beak so much.

Part of the problem is he's out of the cage most of the day and away from these things. I have been putting him in the cage for a couple hours+ a day to get his full spectrum lighting and was hoping maybe he'd become more interested in toys.

I have another appointment the end of next week for a beak trim, as it's still growing thick, unfortunately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Hi Georgie's Mom,

Thank you for the recommendations. I will look into those. And yes, I have had several Bonka toys over the years. They are great! He used to love the money tree. I should reorder that. Right now he has a ball of confetti paper, a hanging toy of calcium blocks and another stone to grind his beak on. Unfortunately, he doesn't use the harder toys. I notice in the last couple of years he chews things less and less. Oh! he does like his Bonka cake shred toy that I also have in the cage. But it's mostly soft paper so not really wearing away at the beak so much.

Part of the problem is he's out of the cage most of the day and away from these things. I have been putting him in the cage for a couple hours+ a day to get his full spectrum lighting and was hoping maybe he'd become more interested in toys.

I have another appointment the end of next week for a beak trim, as it's still growing thick, unfortunately.
Hi! Ooh! Those sound like neat toys! I am going to look them up. Georgie doesn't like harder toys either. He is out of the cage for majority of the day as well. I have found that holding a pine cone, a piece of grape wood, other softer items, gets him chewing wayyy more than if he were alone. As long as I'm holding something for him, he's happy. Good luck and thanks!
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top