Beak is just another limb for birds and when in the wild they use it as much as they use their claws and paws. And this helps in maintaining this important organ of their outer anatomy. But when in captivity, the use of a bird’s beak gets automatically cut down to a minimum. All living beings bodies’ are machines and they are up and running as far they are in constant use. And the moment birds stop using their beaks as much as they should, one of their most important limbs start entering into a dark phase.
And a Quaker parrot beak is no different. The more he uses it, the healthier it gets. But how do we know if a beak is healthy? What are the signs of a healthy beak? To check for a healthy Quaker parrot beak, look for the following must-haves:
- It must be symmetrical and smooth;
- It must curve slightly downwards so that the bird can open and close it comfortably;
- The upper beak and the lower one must be aligned;
- It shouldn’t be discolored, chipped, or broken; and
- Lastly, it should be of an accurate length, i.e., neither too long nor too short.
Quaker Parrot Beak Diseases
Quaker parrot’s beak is made up of live tissues and its tip is connected to blood vessels and nerve endings which makes it a living part of the bird’s body. Many people think it is a dead part of the bird’s body just like human hair or nails, but that’s not the case. Rather it is more like a human tooth and is sensitive to pain and bleeding if gets hurt or catches a disease. And since adapting to captive conditions, there has been a tremendous increase in Quaker parrot beak problems.
This condition gives sleepless nights to the Quaker owners as it prevents the bird from normal eating and drinking. The earlier he is taken to the vet, the better it is.
But what is a scissor beak? Quaker parrot scissor beak is a condition where the upper and lower part of his beak does not align well and ultimately locking the beak opening in the form of a scissor-kind of cross-lock.
What causes scissor beak in Quaker parrot? There is no single reason that causes this deformity. It could be due to behavior pattern the bird might have been using while opening and closing his mouth, or a result of poor diet which made the beak tissues to grow out of their naturally aligned position, or fault of the bird’s owner for following a wrong method for hand-feeding his Quaker. Either of these or a combination thereof might cause misalignment of Quaker’s beak.
Discolored or Black beak
Normally, Quaker parrot beak color is orange. And it’ll stay the same as long as it is being taken care of. But sometimes, the owner might notice a Quaker parrot beak discoloration due to few reasons:
- A Quaker parrot beak turning black might be due to fatty liver disease. Normally, black spots will start appearing on the beak, ultimately covering the whole beak, thus, making it appear black.
- A Quaker parrot beak injury might also be a reason for a discolored beak due to the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels beneath. Normally, such a beak is of a dark shade of blue.
Just like human nails, Quaker’s beak keeps on growing throughout their lifetime and the underlying new tissues replace the above worn-out layer. As a result, the outer layer develops some cracks or stripes due to becoming dead. But, be sure these peels do not stay for a long period as they must be filled as soon as the whole new layer comes to the surface just as in the case of a human’s wounds.
During the process of Quaker parrot beak peeling, the bird might resort to what is called a Quaker parrot beak rubbing. And more often than not, the bird might start doing against the hard rods of his cage, thereby, risking an injury. The reason behind this is that they sometimes feel the discomfort of the peels or these scales on their beak. Such behavior must be discouraged by the owners. And if one sees his Quaker parrot beak bleeding, immediate medical attention is advised as it may cause a blood loss, thereby, risking a bird’s life.
Sometimes, one might notice flakes coming off from his bird’s beak. So, if you are also thinking that Why my Quaker parrot beak is chipping? , then it’s high-time the bird’s diet is changed. Lack of Vitamin A deficiency causes Quaker parrot beak flaking. Feeding some fresh fruits and leafy vegetables along with Vitamin A supplements can make the difference.
A Quaker uses its beak in the wild for hunting down his food and tearing leaves and branches apart to make nests. This leads to Quaker parrot beak grinding and thus, prevents it from overgrowing. So, a wild Quaker will hardly face the issue of an overgrown beak. But in captivity, the overgrown beak is among one of the biggest Quaker parrot beak issues.
Why Quaker parrot beak overgrows? More often than not, the answer to this question is a lack of activity of the beak. A Quaker inside his cage is pampered like a family member and he receives all his food and other things fully prepared. Even the nest material is provided by the owner in the form of wood shavings or paper cuttings. Hence, the Quaker parrot overgrown beak.
A few of the other causes for an overgrown Quaker parrot beak could be metabolic abnormalities like fatty liver disease; nutritional deficiencies; bacterial, viral or parasitic infections of tissues of the beak; or any trauma. But treating overgrowth as soon as possible is imperative as a Quaker parrot beak too long might mean more serious implications. And the best way to treat an overgrown beak is to trim it first.
How to trim Quaker parrot beak? For the safety of the bird, Quaker parrot beak trimming should not be tried at home. Taking the Quaker to a certified avian vet as soon as possible is advisable as the procedure involves the use of a motorized drill Since the overgrown beak also contains live tissues and blood vessels to the tip, any accidental bleeding during a home trim might cause permanent damage to the bird’s beak.
How to prevent beak from overgrowing? The best way to address a problem is preventing it from becoming one. So, preventing Quaker parrot beak from overgrown due to lack of activity beforehand is the best solution to keep the bird from any kind of beak issues. And for this, Quaker parrot beak grinding organically is preferable:
- Provide him cuttlebone to chew upon. This is the best way to keep the bird’s beak from overgrowing along with increasing his calcium intake;
- Provide the Quaker as many organic wood toys to chew upon as much possible:
- Giving him hard nuts like almonds, walnuts to open would help in grinding his beak naturally. Do not overdo on his nuts intake as it may make the bird obese.
- How to take care of Quaker parrot beak?
Realizing so many health issues arising only because of the beak, Quaker parrot beak care becomes the responsibility of his owner. And he must make all efforts to do so:
- Provide the bird with a healthy and balanced diet;
- Offer entertaining chewable made from organic wood;
- Fix a slightly harder or coarser perch in his cage so that he can wipe the food off his beak, grinding it simultaneously;
- Always take your bird’s safety seriously. Keep hazardous things like electrical cords, or broken metal chips away from bird’s reach as it may cause traumatic injuries like a Quaker parrot hole in beak, or a Quaker parrot beak torn away from face, etc.
- Drape all probable beak hazards like ceiling fans or mirrors while the bird is let out to enjoy his flight; and
- Lastly, pay regular visits to the avian vet to ensure his beak’s well being.
Taking care of the Quaker’s beak from the beginning is imperative. Also, regular visits to the vet are helpful. But if in the meantime if the owner finds any abnormalities in his bird’s beak like a Quaker parrot beak torn away from the face, or a Quaker parrot hole in the beak, an immediate vet visit is necessary to prevent the bird from risking his life.
Additionally, it’s also important to stay informed about what kind of beak activity is not a health issue to save your time and effort. For eg. a Quaker parrot clicking beak is just an act of him getting territorial and trying to scare away the fellow cage mates; or if one is witnessing a situation like ‘Quaker parrot rubbing beak on me’, it simply means he sees you as his flock member and wants to mate with you.
So, to keep your bird safe and healthy, stay alert and informed too.