Need help w/ blue crown conure (beak issues)

Kayden

New member
Jan 18, 2022
3
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Blue Crowned Conure (Finagin)
Hello everyone. I'm new to this forum but I decided to make an account because I really don't know what to do as of right now and any help or advice would be appreciated. For background I've had a blue crown conure named Finagin for about give or take 1 1/2 years now. He's not the friendliest of birds but we're working on it. My issue is that his beak has always looked rough, but today I noticed a big chunk of the top layer is gone. I know that bird beaks often molt, and that this happens from time to time, but I'm not really sure what to do about it. It looks a little bad imo. I'll post a picture below and if anyone can tell me if he is ok, or if he needs to go to the vet etc. that'd be appreciated. (he's on a normal diet consisting of fruits, veggies, etc and he also has a cuttlebone and a sanding perch in his cage as well).

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May 2, 2021
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Alright well thank you. I'll do that.
Good. In the meantime, it looks like there's a very thin area there, so try not to give him any really hard toys or food to prevent further damage.

Hope your little guy gets better!
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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hi welcome to forum.

He looks like his feathers aren't in best shape either.

Often diets lacking enough nutrients like Vitamin A. Cause flaky beak and poor feather .

Some foods that help are peppers, bell , red chili pepper are usually well liked by parrots and great source of vitamin A. Cooked sweet potatoes are also great and mine dig in when served warm . Cooking carrots makes the vitamin A more bio available as well. Romaine lettuce also is a great source of vitamin A.

I'd serve a little boiled egg with some shell a couple of times a week.

So if he isn't eating those and you can get him eating them, it will improve skin beak feathers.

My GCC received a crush type bite to her beak once and it looked kinda like that, not right away but she started shedding the outer layers. Any chance of him getting his beak stuck or injured?

A veterinarian check up is always a great idea. He kinda looks like he doesn't feel well....to me at least.

I'm leaning towards nutritional deficiencies and poor beak shedding. I know you mentioned fruit abd veg. So is he picky? Is he eating a wide variety? Not too much fruit....but more leafy stuff, sprouts, lots veggies abd hopefully pellets?
 
Last edited:

JamesC

Member
Sep 3, 2011
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Blue Crown Conures: Tootsie and Rosco.
Senegal Parrot: Sidney.
I've had that happen to my approximately 35 year old female blue crown a couple times in the past. She had a very poor diet before I adopted her and it took a long time to get her on a better diet. It still seems to come back once in awhile. It has never harmed her and I usually would help her by flaking the loose layers off with my fingernail. She took care of the rest by rubbing her beak on a cement perch she loves to clean it on. Couple of days later and she was back to normal. His beak does not appear like he has been "feaking" it. A term falconers use for the action of cleaning the beak by rubbing it on an object and I suppose it applies to parrots as well since they do it so much. Does he have a rough perch that he can rub it on? Cement or sandy or otherwise. Might want to get him one if he does not. Still, it is worth a visit to the vet to get checked out and get some advice on. They will probably condition down the beak to where you don't even notice it any longer.

As to the condition of the feathers that Laurasea mentioned above, his feathers look just like my male rescued blue crown. He over preens and nips off the ends of the feathers. I think it is more of a stress thing and he was like that when I adopted him. Worse, actually. He was partially gray from the downy feathers being visible. Over time, he has improved but it is still an ongoing issue. I recently came across a product called Avian Calm that clams that it helps reduce stress for birds but I haven't researched it enough yet to feel confident in trying it. If anyone here has used it or knows if it is a real thing, it might just help out both birds.

One last thing, to help him warm up to you. This sounds absolutely silly to consider doing but I have found it worked on other blue crowns, not just my pair. Stand a couple feet away at about eye level with him then slowly start bowing towards him over and over making a low noise kind of like you are saying "birrrrrrrrrrrrrd". Most likely, he will bow back to you and make a similar noise. I'm not 100% sure of what I'm "saying" to them but my pair will both respond to it in a positive way. I've done it to a couple young blue crowns in a pet store and they responded. And when I was house hunting, I toured a house for sale and they had a blue crown. I think I made the agent's day when I told her to watch this and did it to that bird and had it go from frightened to kind of curious and more relaxed. If you try it, I'd be very interested to hear what kind of a reaction you got.
 

wrench13

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Yep, looks like a Vit A deficiency. More hot peppers, sweet taters and cooked carrots.
Less fruit. Takes awhile to take effect and a certified avian vet visit is warranted to make certain. No dog and cat vet, please.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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I see the over preening barbered yes. But also the other feathers seem dull and unkempt.

You can just mist him very lightly with spray bottle pointed up and let mist fall back down on him. This often triggers good preening behavior. And this time of year with heat on makes humidity low in our homes. So a little misting can help. No need to drench him or cause a chill.

Plucking and barbering is a complex issue, often never resolves. But good nutrition can improve.

You mentioned some trust issues. Target training can help. Shaping behavior like they have done below
 
OP
Kayden

Kayden

New member
Jan 18, 2022
3
4
Parrots
Blue Crowned Conure (Finagin)
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I've had that happen to my approximately 35 year old female blue crown a couple times in the past. She had a very poor diet before I adopted her and it took a long time to get her on a better diet. It still seems to come back once in awhile. It has never harmed her and I usually would help her by flaking the loose layers off with my fingernail. She took care of the rest by rubbing her beak on a cement perch she loves to clean it on. Couple of days later and she was back to normal. His beak does not appear like he has been "feaking" it. A term falconers use for the action of cleaning the beak by rubbing it on an object and I suppose it applies to parrots as well since they do it so much. Does he have a rough perch that he can rub it on? Cement or sandy or otherwise. Might want to get him one if he does not. Still, it is worth a visit to the vet to get checked out and get some advice on. They will probably condition down the beak to where you don't even notice it any longer.

As to the condition of the feathers that Laurasea mentioned above, his feathers look just like my male rescued blue crown. He over preens and nips off the ends of the feathers. I think it is more of a stress thing and he was like that when I adopted him. Worse, actually. He was partially gray from the downy feathers being visible. Over time, he has improved but it is still an ongoing issue. I recently came across a product called Avian Calm that clams that it helps reduce stress for birds but I haven't researched it enough yet to feel confident in trying it. If anyone here has used it or knows if it is a real thing, it might just help out both birds.

One last thing, to help him warm up to you. This sounds absolutely silly to consider doing but I have found it worked on other blue crowns, not just my pair. Stand a couple feet away at about eye level with him then slowly start bowing towards him over and over making a low noise kind of like you are saying "birrrrrrrrrrrrrd". Most likely, he will bow back to you and make a similar noise. I'm not 100% sure of what I'm "saying" to them but my pair will both respond to it in a positive way. I've done it to a couple young blue crowns in a pet store and they responded. And when I was house hunting, I toured a house for sale and they had a blue crown. I think I made the agent's day when I told her to watch this and did it to that bird and had it go from frightened to kind of curious and more relaxed. If you try it, I'd be very interested to hear what kind of a reaction you got.
Thank you so much for all the advice. I'm still working on building a relationship with him. He's been through quite a few homes before me, and I feel that it's gonna take a while for him to fully open up. He is affectionate with me, but only with me, and not all the time is he "nice". His feathers definitely aren't in the best shape but I will try to change his diet some more and do some research on how I can get those better (they've been that way for a while, he's never plucked or anything though.) He does have a few perches with texture that he can rub his beak against. Thanks for all your advice though it's good to know that it most likely isn't anything serious + I do plan to have a vet check up on him eventually, but as of right now he seems fine and his beak is already starting to wear down a bit and look normal, so I feel safe just letting it play out for right now. I'll definitely try the warming up technique :)
 

JamesC

Member
Sep 3, 2011
582
19
Knoxville, TN
Parrots
Blue Crown Conures: Tootsie and Rosco.
Senegal Parrot: Sidney.
Best of luck with him. And let me know if he responds to the bowing technique. I'm curious to know if other people can get their blue crowns to respond too or if I'm just weird with a strange flock. :rolleyes:
 

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