The quality of your feathered friend’s beak is key to their overall health status. Birds use their beak to communicate, groom, gather and capture food amidst other things. Beak disorders do not only affect eating but also the quality of life and it occurs through all age groups. In most cases, these disorders and diseases often go unnoticed. The following are common beak problems in pet birds.

Common beak problems in pet birds

  • Flaky beak: This is often a sign of vitamin deficiency. All parrot species can be affected but it is seen more in cockatoos. 
  • Scissors/Crooked beak: Commonly seen in Macaws and Cockatoos but can also occur in other species. The upper beak is deviated to the side and does not align with the lower beak. It can be corrected with prosthetic surgery. 
  • Trauma: Birds can have traumatic injuries on the beak from fighting with other birds or domestic accidents.
  • Avian Keratin Disorder: It is a viral infection that causes a debilitating beak overgrowth. Affected birds are unable to feed which could result in death. 
  • Genetic abnormalities: These are abnormalities passed on from parents to their offspring.

How to improve beak health in birds

  • Give nutritional supplements (Vitamins and minerals).
  • Provide natural wood perches.
  • Provide fresh whole foods e.g. unshelled nuts.
  • Trim the beak when it is overgrown. 
  • Regular veterinary visit for a checkup.