Break trims and when to possibly NOT do them


Well-known member
Oct 27, 2016
Lincoln (Eclectus), Apollo (Cockatiel), Aster (GCC)
As some on this forum are familiar, my eclectus Lincoln suffers from chronic beak growth. It's slowed over the years I've had him but it will likely always be there.

Right now his beak is very overgrown. I won't say it isn't. BUT it doesn't affect him at all. He has no problem eating, foraging, playing with toys, navigating his environment, preening, etc. I have noticed absolutely no difficulty with anything.

When we do do beak trims I have to take him to the vet. He's terrified just being there. He cowers in his carrier and I have to pry his feet off the perch so we can get a weight. Then we have to towel him which is an event in itself and the only time he EVER flies and tries to get away. Then we sedate him. Just a little solution that is given via his nose. We then put him back in the carrier to let it take affect. This doesn't fully knock him out, just makes him very sleepy. After ~10 minutes the vet comes back and we towel him again and take the dremel to his beak. At first he is too drugged to really do much. But after a little bit the screaming and biting starts. Most the time we don't even need to give him the solution to reverse the sedation.

It's terrifying for him and I do not like subjecting him to it more than I have to. Yes his beak is long, but from what I can tell, trimming it would be almost entirely for aesthetics rather than for his health. I don't want to subject him to something that is absolutely terrifying for him more than I have to. Is that wrong of me?


Staff member
Super Moderator
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Nov 22, 2015
Isle of Long, NY
Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Ekkie beaks are certainly a different type of beak. To me a lot of them I see look long, to my eye. But there is a long beak and there is an overgrown beak. Overgrown means it now interferes or causes the parrot to have to eat abnormally. And of course normal beak growth is kept in check by chewing, mostly wood or nut coverings. I used to have my Beebee parrot's beak slightly trimmed twice, the tip was just too long. He didnt really have interest in wood. Salty has never had his beak trimmed.
The vet who did Max's said the less the better, and only take a little bit at a time, like 1x a month for 3+ months to trim really overgrown beaks. Same thing like claws, you only take a bit off at a time. Beaks have nerves in them, the tip in particular.

Not something a parrot is going to welcome!

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