Your bird’s beak is his primary tool for survival. It is used for eating, drinking, playing, talking, grooming, climbing, touching, and protecting. This makes it very important to help your feathered friend take the best care of it!
The RSPCA says that a healthy beak will be a smooth, even shape and colour, the top and bottom beak will be aligned, and it will have no signs of flaking or brittleness. To encourage a healthy beak, ensure your bird’s diet includes a variety of vitamins and nutrients.
A common issue with a bird’s beak is its length. The beak continually grows, but it can grow too much. When the beak is overgrown, the bird can’t close his mouth properly. This can lead to several issues such as stress and lack of food and water intake. You might notice your bird wipe his beak on the cage or perch; this is his way of wearing the beak down to an optimal shape and length.
As pet birds often don’t encounter the same textures and surfaces that wild birds do, it is essential to provide them with toys and substrates that will wear their beaks down naturally. Not only will this help your pet’s beak, but it also encourages hours of play and entertainment! Agriculture Victoria’s Code of Practice for the Housing of Caged Birds suggests using rough, uneven diameter perches and a good supply of cuttlefish to help prevent overgrown toenails and beaks.
Don’t attempt to trim your bird’s beak at home! Similar to a human’s nails and teeth, the beak has several blood vessels and nerve endings that are very painful if cut. If you suspect your bird needs its beak trimmed, visit your local vet, especially one familiar with birds.