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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. February / 21 / 2024

Rabbits are one of the most eco-friendly pets. Here’s why. - The Washington Post
Rabbits are one of the most eco-friendly pets. Here’s why.  The Washington Post

Families' shock as cost to take pets abroad hiked - BBC.com
Families' shock as cost to take pets abroad hiked  BBC.com

‘It’s made me really scared’: Mountlake Terrace dog attacked by coyote, pets missing - KIRO Seattle
‘It’s made me really scared’: Mountlake Terrace dog attacked by coyote, pets missing  KIRO Seattle

California Bill Would Require Landlords to Accept Pets - KQED
California Bill Would Require Landlords to Accept Pets  KQED

Share your best photos on National Love Your Pet Day - 9News.com KUSA
  1. Share your best photos on National Love Your Pet Day  9News.com KUSA
  2. Viewers submit photos for National Love your Pet Day  News10NBC
  3. National Love Your Pet Day: Ways to give furry friends extra TLC  TODAY

California bill would require landlords to accept pets: Report - KTLA Los Angeles
California bill would require landlords to accept pets: Report  KTLA Los Angeles

From starving students to emaciated pets: why are hunger and poverty the UK’s new normal? - The Guardian
From starving students to emaciated pets: why are hunger and poverty the UK’s new normal?  The Guardian

Gila monster 'Winston' bites, kills Colorado man who owned reptile as pet - Fox News
  1. Gila monster 'Winston' bites, kills Colorado man who owned reptile as pet  Fox News
  2. A Colorado man is dead after a pet Gila monster bite  The Associated Press
  3. Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster  BBC.com

Jenks Animal Welfare At Capacity, Asks For Help In Finding Pets Homes - News On 6
Jenks Animal Welfare At Capacity, Asks For Help In Finding Pets Homes  News On 6

5 Things To Know About Alaska Airlines' Pet Policy - Simple Flying
5 Things To Know About Alaska Airlines' Pet Policy  Simple Flying

Pet Gila monster bites Colorado man, who dies in what experts call a "rare event" - CBS Colardo
Pet Gila monster bites Colorado man, who dies in what experts call a "rare event"  CBS Colardo

For the Love of Pets: Celebrating National Love Your Pet Day — Syracuse University News - Syracuse University News
For the Love of Pets: Celebrating National Love Your Pet Day — Syracuse University News  Syracuse University News

Experts say pets need flea and tick treatment year-round - WTVG
Experts say pets need flea and tick treatment year-round  WTVG

Pets of Pima Parade & Friends of PACC Festival 2024 - Arizona Daily Wildcat
Pets of Pima Parade & Friends of PACC Festival 2024  Arizona Daily Wildcat

Pet of the Month: Jolene - hellowoodlands.com
Pet of the Month: Jolene  hellowoodlands.com

Bill Stops Landlords from Denying Housing to Tenants with Pets - Contra Costa News
Bill Stops Landlords from Denying Housing to Tenants with Pets  Contra Costa News

National Love Your Pet Day: Meet the pets of News Channel 20/ Fox Illinois - newschannel20.com
National Love Your Pet Day: Meet the pets of News Channel 20/ Fox Illinois  newschannel20.com

AHS pets waiting for homes get new shelter - FOX 10 News Phoenix
AHS pets waiting for homes get new shelter  FOX 10 News Phoenix

Oregon Humane Society honors compassion in pets, people at annual Diamond Collar Awards - KGW.com
Oregon Humane Society honors compassion in pets, people at annual Diamond Collar Awards  KGW.com

Taking care of our pets on National Love your Pet Day - KULR-TV
Taking care of our pets on National Love your Pet Day  KULR-TV

WNCT.com's Best of Pets: Blake - WNCT
WNCT.com's Best of Pets: Blake  WNCT

Meet Buster & Kendra, our Pets of the Day for Feb. 20 - Dayton 24/7 Now
Meet Buster & Kendra, our Pets of the Day for Feb. 20  Dayton 24/7 Now

Rosie, the leopard gecko's story. - Psychology Today
Rosie, the leopard gecko's story.  Psychology Today

Bill Would Require California Landlords To Accept Pets - KQED
Bill Would Require California Landlords To Accept Pets  KQED

Experts say pets need flea and tick treatment year-round - WTVG
Experts say pets need flea and tick treatment year-round  WTVG

Oregon Humane Society honors pets and people for compassion, dedication - KGW.com
Oregon Humane Society honors pets and people for compassion, dedication  KGW.com

Most Buffalo Story of the Day: National Love Your Pet Day - WGRZ.com
Most Buffalo Story of the Day: National Love Your Pet Day  WGRZ.com

Florida couple arrested, accused of sexual assault on household pets - WDBO
Florida couple arrested, accused of sexual assault on household pets  WDBO

Meet our station pets for National Love Your Pet Day - WNCT
Meet our station pets for National Love Your Pet Day  WNCT

Love Your Pet Day | Send pictures of your pets to 9NEWS! - 9News.com KUSA
Love Your Pet Day | Send pictures of your pets to 9NEWS!  9News.com KUSA

The reason why all pet owners should consider pet insurance - WIFR
The reason why all pet owners should consider pet insurance  WIFR

WNCT.com’s Best of Pets: Rocko - WNCT
WNCT.com’s Best of Pets: Rocko  WNCT

Exploring The Bond Between Humans and Their Pets - KLAS - 8 News Now
Exploring The Bond Between Humans and Their Pets  KLAS - 8 News Now

Adopt a Pet in Alexandria: Meet Roxanne - The Zebra-Good News in Alexandria - The Zebra
Adopt a Pet in Alexandria: Meet Roxanne - The Zebra-Good News in Alexandria  The Zebra

Pets of the Week - Meet Bluey & Xavier - City of Arlington
Pets of the Week - Meet Bluey & Xavier  City of Arlington

Pet of the Week: Spunky Sophie - WTVY
Pet of the Week: Spunky Sophie  WTVY

Insiders share photos, videos on SnapJAX during National Love Your Pet Day - WJXT News4JAX
Insiders share photos, videos on SnapJAX during National Love Your Pet Day  WJXT News4JAX

PHOTOS: Some of metro Atlanta's cutest pets – WSB-TV Channel 2 - Atlanta - WSB Atlanta
PHOTOS: Some of metro Atlanta's cutest pets – WSB-TV Channel 2 - Atlanta  WSB Atlanta

What Seniors Need to Know About Pet Care - Northern Virginia Magazine
What Seniors Need to Know About Pet Care  Northern Virginia Magazine

BARCS animal shelter receives $30,000 grant to help pet owners in need - wmar2news.com
BARCS animal shelter receives $30,000 grant to help pet owners in need  wmar2news.com

Safe ways to spoil pets for Love Your Pet Day - KTUL
Safe ways to spoil pets for Love Your Pet Day  KTUL

Leaving Pet Poop on the Sidewalk Isn't Only Bad Manners--It's Hazardous - Scientific American
Leaving Pet Poop on the Sidewalk Isn't Only Bad Manners--It's Hazardous  Scientific American

How to travel with your pet responsibly | Lifestyle | uniondemocrat.com - Union Democrat
How to travel with your pet responsibly | Lifestyle | uniondemocrat.com  Union Democrat

Family of 4 escapes with pets as blaze torches Lehigh Twp. home, fire official says (UPDATE) - lehighvalleylive.com
Family of 4 escapes with pets as blaze torches Lehigh Twp. home, fire official says (UPDATE)  lehighvalleylive.com

Locked Out Drunk Husband Threatens to Cook Wife’s Pets - Scioto County Daily News
Locked Out Drunk Husband Threatens to Cook Wife’s Pets  Scioto County Daily News

Pet Connection: Household pets are popular participants at cat shows - South Bend Tribune
Pet Connection: Household pets are popular participants at cat shows  South Bend Tribune

National Love Your Pet Day in Wilmington, NC - StarNewsOnline.com
National Love Your Pet Day in Wilmington, NC  StarNewsOnline.com

Baltimore Humane Society- Pets of the Week - Patch
Baltimore Humane Society- Pets of the Week  Patch

New Mexico Living Pet Pics February 20, 2024 - KRQE News 13
New Mexico Living Pet Pics February 20, 2024  KRQE News 13

Woman injured, several pets killed after house fire on West Chester Pike in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania - WPVI-TV
Woman injured, several pets killed after house fire on West Chester Pike in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania  WPVI-TV

San Antonio may consider a pet deposit assistance program to help mitigate stray animals - Texas Public Radio
San Antonio may consider a pet deposit assistance program to help mitigate stray animals  Texas Public Radio

Pet Supply Stores Lose Sales Occasions to eCommerce Rivals - PYMNTS.com
Pet Supply Stores Lose Sales Occasions to eCommerce Rivals  PYMNTS.com

National Love Your Pet Day ... share your pet photos with us! - KKTV
National Love Your Pet Day ... share your pet photos with us!  KKTV

Love 4 Pets: Feb. 20, 2024 - KOB.com - KOB 4
Love 4 Pets: Feb. 20, 2024 - KOB.com  KOB 4

Meet Nino and Batty, this week’s CVAS pets of the week - Franklin County Free Press
Meet Nino and Batty, this week’s CVAS pets of the week  Franklin County Free Press

Dr. Marty Pets Invites You To Celebrate "Love Your Pet Day" With Nature's Blend Essential Wellness - Yahoo Finance
Dr. Marty Pets Invites You To Celebrate "Love Your Pet Day" With Nature's Blend Essential Wellness  Yahoo Finance

Minnesota dog to appear on "Dolly Parton's Pet Gala" - CBS News
Minnesota dog to appear on "Dolly Parton's Pet Gala"  CBS News

'Dolly Parton's Pet Gala' is ready for a howling good time on CBS: How to watch and/or livestream - Knoxville News Sentinel
'Dolly Parton's Pet Gala' is ready for a howling good time on CBS: How to watch and/or livestream  Knoxville News Sentinel

Finding fur-ever homes for pets with the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation - WJLA
Finding fur-ever homes for pets with the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation  WJLA

Meet Gotti From Austin Pets Alive! - KXAN.com
Meet Gotti From Austin Pets Alive!  KXAN.com

We love them! See the FOX 8 family pets - WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland
We love them! See the FOX 8 family pets  WJW FOX 8 News Cleveland

Mission Mountain Launches the World's First Pets Friendly Tent On Kickstarter - Yahoo Finance
Mission Mountain Launches the World's First Pets Friendly Tent On Kickstarter  Yahoo Finance

Henrico Humane Society to hold 23rd annual Pet Expo at Richmond Raceway - WRIC ABC 8News
Henrico Humane Society to hold 23rd annual Pet Expo at Richmond Raceway  WRIC ABC 8News

Show off your pet for 'National Love Your Pet Day!' - Live 5 News WCSC
Show off your pet for 'National Love Your Pet Day!'  Live 5 News WCSC

How can the health of homeless pet owners and their companions be improved? - The Jerusalem Post
How can the health of homeless pet owners and their companions be improved?  The Jerusalem Post

Taking care of your furry friend on National Love Your Pet Day - KULR-TV
Taking care of your furry friend on National Love Your Pet Day  KULR-TV

Portage fire sends one to hospital, kills two pets - WMTV
Portage fire sends one to hospital, kills two pets  WMTV

Finn & Berry, the Wenatchee Humane Society Pets of the Week - KPQ
Finn & Berry, the Wenatchee Humane Society Pets of the Week  KPQ

A Colorado man is dead after a pet Gila monster bite | Daily Independent - Daily Independent
A Colorado man is dead after a pet Gila monster bite | Daily Independent  Daily Independent

Gordon County Adoptable Pets | Gordon Life | northwestgeorgianews.com - Northwest Georgia News
Gordon County Adoptable Pets | Gordon Life | northwestgeorgianews.com  Northwest Georgia News

Former Petco executive becomes NaturVet CEO - PetfoodIndustry.com
Former Petco executive becomes NaturVet CEO  PetfoodIndustry.com

3 pet insurance moves new dog owners should make - CBS News
3 pet insurance moves new dog owners should make  CBS News

BCH celebrates National Love Your Pet Day - KTAB - BigCountryHomepage.com
BCH celebrates National Love Your Pet Day  KTAB - BigCountryHomepage.com

Falmouth to host pet CPR class - Press Herald
Falmouth to host pet CPR class  Press Herald

What's The Most Popular Pet In America? - 93.1 KISS FM
What's The Most Popular Pet In America?  93.1 KISS FM

Rabbits are one of the most eco-friendly pets. Here's why. - The Washington Post
Rabbits are one of the most eco-friendly pets. Here's why.  The Washington Post

'Petflation' persists: Impact on consumer spending & pet market - PetfoodIndustry.com
'Petflation' persists: Impact on consumer spending & pet market  PetfoodIndustry.com

Man dies after one of his venomous pet Gila monsters bites him, Colorado cops say - Sacramento Bee
Man dies after one of his venomous pet Gila monsters bites him, Colorado cops say  Sacramento Bee

Colorado man dies after his pet gila monster bites him — an extremely unusual reaction - Boing Boing
Colorado man dies after his pet gila monster bites him — an extremely unusual reaction  Boing Boing

Celebrate your furry friend: Today is National Love Your Pet Day - WBIW.com
Celebrate your furry friend: Today is National Love Your Pet Day  WBIW.com

Discover The Fascinating World Of Exotic Pets At Colorado Reptile Expos - Retro 102.5
Discover The Fascinating World Of Exotic Pets At Colorado Reptile Expos  Retro 102.5

National Love Your Pet Day Photos 2024 - News 12 Bronx
National Love Your Pet Day Photos 2024  News 12 Bronx

Gila monster bites, kills Colorado man, 34, who owned venomous reptile - USA TODAY
Gila monster bites, kills Colorado man, 34, who owned venomous reptile  USA TODAY

13 readers share photos for National Love Your Pet Day - Boston.com
13 readers share photos for National Love Your Pet Day  Boston.com

ABC 12 celebrates National Love Your Pet Day | Video | abc12.com - WJRT
ABC 12 celebrates National Love Your Pet Day | Video | abc12.com  WJRT

Lakewood man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster - FOX 31 Denver
Lakewood man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster  FOX 31 Denver

Animated Series ‘Morphle And The Magic Pets’, Based On YouTube Shorts, Debuts On Disney Next Month - Deadline
Animated Series ‘Morphle And The Magic Pets’, Based On YouTube Shorts, Debuts On Disney Next Month  Deadline

LEX 18 viewers help us celebrate National Love Your Pet Day - LEX 18 News - Lexington, KY
LEX 18 viewers help us celebrate National Love Your Pet Day  LEX 18 News - Lexington, KY

Making your pet feel special on National Love Your Pet Day - CW39 Houston
Making your pet feel special on National Love Your Pet Day  CW39 Houston

SEND US YOUR PET PHOTOS: Happy National Love Your Pet Day! - WOAI
SEND US YOUR PET PHOTOS: Happy National Love Your Pet Day!  WOAI

Pet of the Day: Chance is looking for 2nd chance - WGHP FOX8 Greensboro
Pet of the Day: Chance is looking for 2nd chance  WGHP FOX8 Greensboro

Meet Sugar - The Animal League's Pet Of The Week - Mike Delaney
Meet Sugar - The Animal League's Pet Of The Week  Mike Delaney

Irate woman kicked out of NYC pet store for kicking puppy kennel 'slaps the s--t out' of tourist in brutal video: 'Welcome to New York' - New York Post
Irate woman kicked out of NYC pet store for kicking puppy kennel 'slaps the s--t out' of tourist in brutal video: 'Welcome to New York'  New York Post

"It's okay to grieve" – How to cope with the loss of a pet on 'National Love your Pet Day' - LocalNews8.com
"It's okay to grieve" – How to cope with the loss of a pet on 'National Love your Pet Day'  LocalNews8.com

These BFFs Could Be YOUR BFFs: Today's Pets of the Week - kdhlradio.com
These BFFs Could Be YOUR BFFs: Today's Pets of the Week  kdhlradio.com

Royal Canin Celebrates National Love Your Pet Day, Announces 2023 Donation Totals - StreetInsider.com
Royal Canin Celebrates National Love Your Pet Day, Announces 2023 Donation Totals  StreetInsider.com

National Love Your Pet Day: Local animal rescue shares health tips, foster info - WBBJ-TV
National Love Your Pet Day: Local animal rescue shares health tips, foster info  WBBJ-TV

Pets may help fend off cognitive decline in single seniors - Harvard Health
Pets may help fend off cognitive decline in single seniors  Harvard Health

Today is National Love Your Pet Day! The SMSL team reacts to your furry friends - KSDK.com
Today is National Love Your Pet Day! The SMSL team reacts to your furry friends  KSDK.com

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