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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 Wed. June / 03 / 2020

Leading CBD Brand PremiumJane Announces Launch of Jane's Pets; Releases New Line of CBD Oil for Pets - PRNewswire
Leading CBD Brand PremiumJane Announces Launch of Jane's Pets; Releases New Line of CBD Oil for Pets  PRNewswire

Pets of the week - Chicago Tribune
Pets of the week  Chicago Tribune

Adoptable pets of the week at Animal Harbor in June 4, 2020, edition - Winchester Herald Chronicle
Adoptable pets of the week at Animal Harbor in June 4, 2020, edition  Winchester Herald Chronicle

Dollars and Pets: Importance of brushing your dog - The Mercury News
Dollars and Pets: Importance of brushing your dog  The Mercury News

Pets of the week, June 3 | Gallery | hickoryrecord.com - Hickory Daily Record
Pets of the week, June 3 | Gallery | hickoryrecord.com  Hickory Daily Record

Adopted Pets and Their Parents Gifted Charlotte's Web Free Pet Adoption Kits During Covid 19 - PRNewswire
Adopted Pets and Their Parents Gifted Charlotte's Web Free Pet Adoption Kits During Covid 19  PRNewswire

Pets of the Week: June 3, 2020 | Pikes Peak Courier | gazette.com - Colorado Springs Gazette
Pets of the Week: June 3, 2020 | Pikes Peak Courier | gazette.com  Colorado Springs Gazette

Carver County pet cat tests positive for coronavirus - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Carver County pet cat tests positive for coronavirus  Minneapolis Star Tribune

Are you pet-prepared for New Orleans hurricane season? Read this list to help you get organized - NOLA.com
Are you pet-prepared for New Orleans hurricane season? Read this list to help you get organized  NOLA.com

Sticky weather worries for your pets | Opinion | fergusfallsjournal.com - Fergus Falls Daily Journal
Sticky weather worries for your pets | Opinion | fergusfallsjournal.com  Fergus Falls Daily Journal

Pet Dog, Cat Test Positive for Coronavirus in Separate States - PEOPLE
Pet Dog, Cat Test Positive for Coronavirus in Separate States  PEOPLE

Heat warning: Protect pets--and strays - KGUN
Heat warning: Protect pets--and strays  KGUN

5 ways pets support mental health while social distancing - Times-Mail
5 ways pets support mental health while social distancing  Times-Mail

PACC: Keeping pets cool and safe during excessive heat - KVOA Tucson News
PACC: Keeping pets cool and safe during excessive heat  KVOA Tucson News

How to Deal with Pet Allergies (and Keep Your Pet) - WRCB-TV
How to Deal with Pet Allergies (and Keep Your Pet)  WRCB-TV

Marion County Pets: Alton, Toby, and Trudi - WCJB
Marion County Pets: Alton, Toby, and Trudi  WCJB

What to pack for pets in your hurricane supply kit - WJXT News4JAX
What to pack for pets in your hurricane supply kit  WJXT News4JAX

Pet Network in Incline adjusts operations to save more pets - Tahoe Daily Tribune
Pet Network in Incline adjusts operations to save more pets  Tahoe Daily Tribune

Pets of the Week: The "Nature Litter" - WITN
Pets of the Week: The "Nature Litter"  WITN

Pet dog tests positive for virus causing COVID-19 - Successful Farming
Pet dog tests positive for virus causing COVID-19  Successful Farming

Pigs make great pets but do your research - The Virginian-Pilot - Virginian-Pilot
Pigs make great pets but do your research - The Virginian-Pilot  Virginian-Pilot

Pets of the Week at Pasadena Humane Society – Pasadena Weekendr - Pasadena Now
Pets of the Week at Pasadena Humane Society – Pasadena Weekendr  Pasadena Now

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (6/3/20) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (6/3/20)  ABC15 Arizona

Racist comments by Waco pet store employee on social media spark protests - KCENTV.com
Racist comments by Waco pet store employee on social media spark protests  KCENTV.com

Humane Societies urging pet owners to prepare for emergencies as hurricane season begins - KHON2
Humane Societies urging pet owners to prepare for emergencies as hurricane season begins  KHON2

Adjustment Period Is Likely For Pets As Owners Head Back To Work From Coronavirus Quarantine - CBS Pittsburgh
Adjustment Period Is Likely For Pets As Owners Head Back To Work From Coronavirus Quarantine  CBS Pittsburgh

Pandemic Pets - East Bay Express
Pandemic Pets  East Bay Express

'They were sick or dying’: Waterford Lakes pet store under scrutiny for years now facing state action - WFTV Orlando
'They were sick or dying’: Waterford Lakes pet store under scrutiny for years now facing state action  WFTV Orlando

Some people can’t afford to keep their pets during pandemic - WDVM 25
Some people can’t afford to keep their pets during pandemic  WDVM 25

Dakin Humane Society: Pets offer companionship during pandemic - MassLive.com
Dakin Humane Society: Pets offer companionship during pandemic  MassLive.com

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Jan - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Jan  KCBD

Check yourself and pets for ticks as weather warms in metro Detroit - WXYZ
Check yourself and pets for ticks as weather warms in metro Detroit  WXYZ

Adoptable Pets - Ponca City News
Adoptable Pets  Ponca City News

How do pets react to our stress? - WGN Radio - Chicago
How do pets react to our stress?  WGN Radio - Chicago

Volusia County Animal Services giving out free pet food, microchips - WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando
Volusia County Animal Services giving out free pet food, microchips  WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando

Pets find homes during pandemic - Journal Times
Pets find homes during pandemic  Journal Times

Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Slade - TAPinto.net
Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Slade  TAPinto.net

PACC offers free vet clinic to pet owners financially impacted by COVID-19 - KVOA Tucson News
PACC offers free vet clinic to pet owners financially impacted by COVID-19  KVOA Tucson News

Selective planting can protect your pets - Idaho Press-Tribune
Selective planting can protect your pets  Idaho Press-Tribune

3 Pet Med Stocks That Offer Growth and a Nice Dividend - Motley Fool
3 Pet Med Stocks That Offer Growth and a Nice Dividend  Motley Fool

Unattended vehicles pose threat to children, elderly and pets - KTVH
Unattended vehicles pose threat to children, elderly and pets  KTVH

RPG The Waylanders features many pets, and they are cute - PC Gamer
RPG The Waylanders features many pets, and they are cute  PC Gamer

Clarksville area Pets of the Week for June 3rd, 2020 - Clarksville, TN Online - Clarksville Online
Clarksville area Pets of the Week for June 3rd, 2020 - Clarksville, TN Online  Clarksville Online

IronPigs to host pet food drive | Sports | wfmz.com - WFMZ Allentown
IronPigs to host pet food drive | Sports | wfmz.com  WFMZ Allentown

Pet stores in Santee, Escondido cited by San Diego Humane Society - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Pet stores in Santee, Escondido cited by San Diego Humane Society  The San Diego Union-Tribune

Pet of the Week: Dillon - KEZI TV
Pet of the Week: Dillon  KEZI TV

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society hosts pet food pantry - WRGB
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society hosts pet food pantry  WRGB

Local charitable group donates $11,000 to Coulee Region Humane Society for pet health - La Crosse Tribune
Local charitable group donates $11,000 to Coulee Region Humane Society for pet health  La Crosse Tribune

Hillsborough names pet center after retiring administrator Mike Merrill - Tampa Bay Times
Hillsborough names pet center after retiring administrator Mike Merrill  Tampa Bay Times

Should you be quarantining with your pets? - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Should you be quarantining with your pets?  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pet spot: Harry is a bird, and squirrel, watcher - Leader Publications
Pet spot: Harry is a bird, and squirrel, watcher  Leader Publications

Pets can get coronavirus, but vets say no cause for concern - Carolinacoastonline
Pets can get coronavirus, but vets say no cause for concern  Carolinacoastonline

Escondido pet store cited for illegal puppy sales - Coast News
Escondido pet store cited for illegal puppy sales  Coast News

Pandemic pets: How to take care of that newly adopted quarantine companion - The Mercury News
Pandemic pets: How to take care of that newly adopted quarantine companion  The Mercury News

Emergency pet care assistance for panhandle pet owners - WEAR
Emergency pet care assistance for panhandle pet owners  WEAR

Vets Prepare To See More Cases Of Pet Anxiety As Their Owners Return To Work - CBS Pittsburgh
Vets Prepare To See More Cases Of Pet Anxiety As Their Owners Return To Work  CBS Pittsburgh

RACC starts shelter pet video conference program - WWBT NBC12 News
RACC starts shelter pet video conference program  WWBT NBC12 News

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Kali - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Kali  KCBD

The Comfort of Pets - Richmond magazine
The Comfort of Pets  Richmond magazine

This is what happens to the pets left behind when their owners die from coronavirus - CNN
This is what happens to the pets left behind when their owners die from coronavirus  CNN

Michigan dog groomers set to reopen Thursday as restrictions ease up - Detroit Free Press
Michigan dog groomers set to reopen Thursday as restrictions ease up  Detroit Free Press

Pet of the Week: Cutie - wausaupilotandreview.com
Pet of the Week: Cutie  wausaupilotandreview.com

Families Foster Classroom Pets During Coronavirus Shutdown - NPR
Families Foster Classroom Pets During Coronavirus Shutdown  NPR

Survey shows benefits of pet ownership during pandemic - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Survey shows benefits of pet ownership during pandemic  Atlanta Journal Constitution

The Last of Us Pt. 2 hands-on: You can't pet the dog—but you can expect terror - Ars Technica
The Last of Us Pt. 2 hands-on: You can't pet the dog—but you can expect terror  Ars Technica

Smucker names senior vice president of pet food business - Crain's Cleveland Business
Smucker names senior vice president of pet food business  Crain's Cleveland Business

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria distributes 5K pounds of free pet supplies during coronavirus pandemic - WTOP
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria distributes 5K pounds of free pet supplies during coronavirus pandemic  WTOP

Animal Humane Society hoping families adopt pocket pets who still need a home - KSTP
Animal Humane Society hoping families adopt pocket pets who still need a home  KSTP

First-ever national virtual pet super adoption hopes to place thousands of pets - KUTV 2News
First-ever national virtual pet super adoption hopes to place thousands of pets  KUTV 2News

The JM Smucker Company Names Rob Ferguson Leader of Pet Food and Pet Snacks Business - PRNewswire
The JM Smucker Company Names Rob Ferguson Leader of Pet Food and Pet Snacks Business  PRNewswire

Mass. Pets Getting Seriously Hurt in Grooming Mishaps, Veterinarians Say - nbcboston.com
Mass. Pets Getting Seriously Hurt in Grooming Mishaps, Veterinarians Say  nbcboston.com

Pets strange behavior amid COVID-19 - 11Alive.com WXIA
Pets strange behavior amid COVID-19  11Alive.com WXIA

Your quarantined pet may be acting odd. Here’s how to help. - The Washington Post
Your quarantined pet may be acting odd. Here’s how to help.  The Washington Post

Are you paying more attention to your dog or cat during coronavirus quarantine? You're not alone, survey shows - USA TODAY
Are you paying more attention to your dog or cat during coronavirus quarantine? You're not alone, survey shows  USA TODAY

PetDine Introduces Its Latest Innovation in Pet Products With Nutritional Liquid Pet Food Toppers - WFMZ Allentown
PetDine Introduces Its Latest Innovation in Pet Products With Nutritional Liquid Pet Food Toppers  WFMZ Allentown

Pet Sustainability Coalition expands board and team - Pet Food Processing
Pet Sustainability Coalition expands board and team  Pet Food Processing

Veterinarians reveal the biggest mistakes you're making when buying toys for your pets - Insider - INSIDER
Veterinarians reveal the biggest mistakes you're making when buying toys for your pets - Insider  INSIDER

Meet Fando, FOX8’s Pet of the Week - myfox8.com
Meet Fando, FOX8’s Pet of the Week  myfox8.com

Animal Rights: Victory For Activists As China Reclassifies Dogs As Pets In New Guidelines - Green Queen Media
Animal Rights: Victory For Activists As China Reclassifies Dogs As Pets In New Guidelines  Green Queen Media

City Of Buda Implements Changes To Pet Registration Process - San Marcos Corridor News
City Of Buda Implements Changes To Pet Registration Process  San Marcos Corridor News

Coronavirus and pets: Scams exploit animal lovers in crisis - Los Angeles Times
Coronavirus and pets: Scams exploit animal lovers in crisis  Los Angeles Times

Moment of Paws: About your pets and the pandemic - Dorchester Reporter
Moment of Paws: About your pets and the pandemic  Dorchester Reporter

How to adopt your next pet safely and virtually - The Verge
How to adopt your next pet safely and virtually  The Verge

Pet Save turning to homemade face masks to keep adoption service afloat - CBC.ca
Pet Save turning to homemade face masks to keep adoption service afloat  CBC.ca

We have 19 special pets ready to be adopted: May 23-24 - SILive.com
We have 19 special pets ready to be adopted: May 23-24  SILive.com

Local veterinarians seeing an increase of pets with snake bites - WBRC
Local veterinarians seeing an increase of pets with snake bites  WBRC

Amazing Glaze's "I Love my Pet" Camp Week 6/22-6/26 - Patch.com
Amazing Glaze's "I Love my Pet" Camp Week 6/22-6/26  Patch.com

Dubuque to open pet, skate parks, other amenities with restrictions - telegraphherald.com
Dubuque to open pet, skate parks, other amenities with restrictions  telegraphherald.com

Arlington Pet of the Week: Sam & Marlowe - ARLnow
Arlington Pet of the Week: Sam & Marlowe  ARLnow

Latest Hinsdale Adoptable Pet: Lance - Hinsdale, IL Patch
Latest Hinsdale Adoptable Pet: Lance  Hinsdale, IL Patch

Pet Adoption Spotlight: Pogo | Region | northwestgeorgianews.com - Northwest Georgia News
Pet Adoption Spotlight: Pogo | Region | northwestgeorgianews.com  Northwest Georgia News

Pet Pals: Great Danes Inspire Essential Local Business — TPG, Inc. - TPG Online Daily
Pet Pals: Great Danes Inspire Essential Local Business — TPG, Inc.  TPG Online Daily

Austin Pets Alive! asking for donations after kennels flood over Memorial Day weekend - KVUE.com
Austin Pets Alive! asking for donations after kennels flood over Memorial Day weekend  KVUE.com

Pets and the Humans Who Loved Them - The Wall Street Journal
Pets and the Humans Who Loved Them  The Wall Street Journal

N.J. pets in need: May 25, 2020 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: May 25, 2020  nj.com

Get on a repatriation flight without their pets or miss the last flight home? - Vancouver Sun
Get on a repatriation flight without their pets or miss the last flight home?  Vancouver Sun

How to Make Your Garden Safe for Pets - 7 Unexpected Solutions for a Pet-Safe Garden - HouseBeautiful.com
How to Make Your Garden Safe for Pets - 7 Unexpected Solutions for a Pet-Safe Garden  HouseBeautiful.com

Urinary tract disease common in cats: Pet Connection - GoErie.com
Urinary tract disease common in cats: Pet Connection  GoErie.com

Local pet kennel comes to aid of victims of abuse and their pets - Steamboat Pilot & Today
Local pet kennel comes to aid of victims of abuse and their pets  Steamboat Pilot & Today

Cats, Dogs and COVID: How Safe Are Your Pets? - WebMD
Cats, Dogs and COVID: How Safe Are Your Pets?  WebMD

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