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The ABCs of Beaks


Beaks, Bills, Face Knives, Beakers - whatever we want to call them, they are an integral part of our Hookbills! So, let's break the beak down into some understandable lessons:

A. Anatomy - What is a beak?
It is not "dead" material, like hair or fingernails - rather, it is a living organ, the tip of which contains a bundle of sensitive nerves. The beak itself consists of keratin (a protein called the ramphotheca) which covers bone (the premaxilla or upper beak and mandible or lower beak). Directly above the beak is the cere, which is the soft skin containing a parrot's nostrils. All parrots use their beak as an extra "hand," for climbing, exploring, tasting, sensing, etc. "Beaking" is a stage of developmental growth, where young parrots learn how to use their beaks for various tasks. It serves in the role of a number of tools, such as knife, hammer, chisel, anvil, can opener, etc., but all the while retaining a high degree of sensitivity.

B. Basics - So what do we do in dealing with our bird's beaks on a daily basis?
Most birds love having their beaks touched and rubbed and it's a great way to bond with your parrot to touch and stroke his beak. It's important to set guidelines on appropriate beak use, using commands like "Gentle" to let your parrot know if he's using too much pressure. There's nothing wrong with letting your parrot "beak" gently and appropriately on your fingers. However, that beak can also be a deadly weapon, so be cautious about letting parrots shoulder perch. If a parrot is over stimulated, it's important to keep him down on your forearm or hand, in order to intervene on any aggressive behavior. I do not belong to the school that says "no beak on skin" - you simply need to set guidelines and pay attention to what's going on.

C. Care - To care for your bird's beak you need a combination of good nutrition and proper toys.
Some beak deformities can occur from improper handfeeding techniques but they can also occur from congenital problems or dietary deficiencies. It's important to catch these problems early in order to correct them. Beak overgrowth can be a problem for parrots who don't have enough chewable perches and toys - it can also indicate problems with protein metabolism, or liver and kidney disease. I advocate cuttlebones, mineral blocks, grooming perches, and a variety of soft and hardwood toys to keep beaks in shape. Beak trimming should rarely be necessary for birds with good diets and lots of toys, but if needed, should consist of only gentle clipping and/or filing. NEVER let anyone use a Dremel tool on your parrot's beak (or nails) the high heat can cause nerve damage. By the same token, never let anyone talk you into beak trimming (or beak notching EVER) as a way to deal with biting. Behavior work can help with constant biting, but don't attempt to deal with it by disabling your parrot's beak.

Parrots use their beaks to eat, climb, play, show affection, and explore. All of this is natural and appropriate. Problems with beaks require help from an avian vet, nutritionist, or behaviorist, so it's important to pay attention to what's going on with your parrot's beak on a regular basis.

-----------------------------------------
Your Parrot Place
Marilu Anderson, Bird Nutrition and Behavior Consultant, (503) 771-BIRD. Marilu is a regular contributor to the Your Parrot Place Newsletter. YourParrotPlace.com - Only the Best for Your Parrot!

Free eBook!
140 pages! A compilation of parrot articles from 2000-2004.
http://www.yourparrotplace.com/ebooks/ypp2004ebook.htm


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sun. January / 21 / 2018

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Change a Pet's Life Day | Alabama Public Radio - Alabama Public Radio

Alabama Public Radio

Change a Pet's Life Day | Alabama Public Radio
Alabama Public Radio
Shelter workers and rescue groups make a major difference for animals every day. Folks who make contributions or volunteer allow them to continue helping pets. Pitch in today to change the life of pets - you may find your own life has changed for the ...

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People are dressing up their pets as service dogs, but a new bill would make it illegal - Q13 FOX

Q13 FOX

People are dressing up their pets as service dogs, but a new bill would make it illegal
Q13 FOX
A person and their dog will walk into a store with a “no pets allowed” sign. The dog barks or yips, disturbing other customers. Employees make it known that pets aren't welcome. “It's OK,” the person will say. “It's my service dog.” Or, “it's my ...
Delta cracking down on support animals on planes: Here's what you need to knowWKYC-TV
Delta Just Got Way More Strict About Flying With PetsTravel+Leisure
Good dog, bad dog ... Delta wants to know before you boardSTLtoday.com
Zacks Investment Research -Atlanta Journal Constitution -Delta News Hub -Delta
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Pets of the week: Adopt twin kittens, Skeet and Sketch - LancasterOnline

LancasterOnline

Pets of the week: Adopt twin kittens, Skeet and Sketch
LancasterOnline
Skeet and Sketch are the Pet of the Week for January 21, 2018 and are available for adoption at Furever Home Adoption Center 5984 Main St. East Petersburg. BLAINE SHAHAN | Staff Photographer. Facebook · Twitter · Email; Print. Brothers Skeet and Sketch ...


The Little-Known History of Seafaring Pets - Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura

The Little-Known History of Seafaring Pets
Atlas Obscura
It gets hard to tell when you go back that far, but humans—Homo erectus in this case—probably crafted the first seaworthy vessel some 800,000 years ago. Since then, our ability to build boats and take to the seas has been critical to many of the most ...


Rabies clinic for pets held in Wilton Manors - WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale

WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale

Rabies clinic for pets held in Wilton Manors
WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale
WILTON MANORS, FLA. (WSVN) - - Pet owners in Broward County took steps this weekend to keep their four-legged family members safe and sound. Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center hosted a neighborhood rabies clinic for cats and dogs at Hagen ...

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Dog flu is real: Here's what you need to know to keep your pet safe - Today.com

Today.com

Dog flu is real: Here's what you need to know to keep your pet safe
Today.com
Many pet lovers treat their furry friends like human companions, but few dog owners understand that this season's human flu has an equally infectious form for pets. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “Canine influenza (CI ...


No-fee adoptions for adult pets at 2 PAWS shelters for one day only ... - Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune

No-fee adoptions for adult pets at 2 PAWS shelters for one day only ...
Chicago Tribune
In light of Chicago Animal Care and Control reaching capacity, PAWS Chicago will waive all adoption fees for adult dogs and cats tomorrow, Jan. 20.

and more »

Pigskin party menus aren't for pets - The Commercial Dispatch

Pigskin party menus aren't for pets
The Commercial Dispatch
With conference championship games being played today and the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, there are sure to be a fair share of house watch parties. Football fare is nearly irresistible for dogs -- especially when sitting at eye-level -- but even cats can ...


Talk to Iris: The healing power of pets - CapitalGazette.com

CapitalGazette.com

Talk to Iris: The healing power of pets
CapitalGazette.com
Dogs and cats, the most popular animal companions, are often considered as much a part of a family structure as children. Holiday cards routinely include photos of pets and their names in the signature line. Researchers in science and psychology are ...


Pets of the Week for Jan. 21, 2018 - Montana Standard

Montana Standard

Pets of the Week for Jan. 21, 2018
Montana Standard
Hello! My name is Hackett. If you visit the shelter, you will find me in the cat room hanging out with Gimley and Mara. I am a gentle and loving cat looking for a home with a comfy bed and plenty of food. I am full of life and personality that would ...


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