Soft beak?

Vilatus

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Jul 17, 2017
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Michigan
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One Quaker, Nico
Hi folks,

I just wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone had any ideas on this. Nico has a soft spot on the left side of his beak.

My vet prescribed a vitamin solution for his water and we already did the course of that, with no improvement. He had been eating seed at this point though.

He’s almost entirely eating chop and Harrison’s High Potency pellets now. His beak hasn’t really had enough time to grow out since he’s started that, so I don’t know if it’ll improve or what. He’s started to take much more of an interest in chewing and the like, so I’m hopeful.

Has anyone else had any experiences with this or something similar? I’m wondering if any of this could be genetic as he does have an extra toe and a slightly malformed foot. I’ll post a picture below of his beak.

9F8C1D99-4123-4860-B411-45F8C1AB8ECB.jpeg
 

Owlet

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Oct 27, 2016
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are you talking about the overgrowth of the beak? If so what kind of toys does he have? Sometimes lack of wood toys / ways to self maintain the beak can cause overgrowth.

Overgrowth can also be caused by a highly fatty diet / fatty liver disease. I highly suggest getting labwork done if you havent already since he was on an all seed diet previously (if I'm reading correctly)
 

Littleredbeak

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May 27, 2020
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599
High potency as a main food can contain too much protein for parrots and can stress their system. I do not have quakers but have lovebirds and pigeon who love Harrisons ... I sprinkle it in with their TOPS pellets. Missing link vitamins, a vitamin A and D3 supplement, lafaber senior bird Nutri-Berries, eggs and ground up egg shells. My 2 larger parrots will not touch Harrison, tops or the nutri berries I was advised the egg shell has all the minerals needed for birds to absorb and use the calcium. Hope this helps.
 

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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Truly excellent advice provided above!
I do not believe in disregarding the advice of an Avian Medical Professionals. That said, I am not as kind to Dog and Cat Vets. Vitamin solution in water is IMHO 'old school' as he have learned that Parrots do not take in enough for it to have any effect. Also adding any supplements to a Parrot's diet without first having a full spectrum blood tests that identify specific needs is IMHO a waste of time and money.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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Well baked egg shell may be fun to crunch up, too; but I’m not sure if this calcium will solve the problem. If there’s an injury to the growth plate of the beak then that part of the bill can be soft.

Does your photo show this soft part of his beak? Do you mean the thin translucent edge at the side of his beak? That looks normal to me; just a bit overgrown.

When my Lucy Quaker had a bad liver problem her beak actually looked BRUISED, like a smashed fingernail. That’s not what this looks like.
 
OP
Vilatus

Vilatus

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Jul 17, 2017
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One Quaker, Nico
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are you talking about the overgrowth of the beak? If so what kind of toys does he have? Sometimes lack of wood toys / ways to self maintain the beak can cause overgrowth.

Overgrowth can also be caused by a highly fatty diet / fatty liver disease. I highly suggest getting labwork done if you havent already since he was on an all seed diet previously (if I'm reading correctly)
Yes! He has plenty of wood toys to chew on, as well as other stuff like shredding toys.

He was on an all seed diet previously, correct. I'll see what I can do about getting bloodwork scheduled.
 
OP
Vilatus

Vilatus

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High potency as a main food can contain too much protein for parrots and can stress their system. I do not have quakers but have lovebirds and pigeon who love Harrisons ... I sprinkle it in with their TOPS pellets. Missing link vitamins, a vitamin A and D3 supplement, lafaber senior bird Nutri-Berries, eggs and ground up egg shells. My 2 larger parrots will not touch Harrison, tops or the nutri berries I was advised the egg shell has all the minerals needed for birds to absorb and use the calcium. Hope this helps.
Oh, I was following the instructions from Harrison's saying to feed high potency for the first six months of the switch. Is that not good advice??? He is getting a veggie mix, some extra calcium via a dusting of it from a cuttlebone (not the greatest method I know), he gets nutriberries, and the vet did recommend giving him scrambled egg, which he loves. Sorry if that doesn't make any sense I just woke up.
 
OP
Vilatus

Vilatus

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Truly excellent advice provided above!
I do not believe in disregarding the advice of an Avian Medical Professionals. That said, I am not as kind to Dog and Cat Vets. Vitamin solution in water is IMHO 'old school' as he have learned that Parrots do not take in enough for it to have any effect. Also adding any supplements to a Parrot's diet without first having a full spectrum blood tests that identify specific needs is IMHO a waste of time and money.
Interesting. My vet is considered one of the best in the field (she is a CAV), but I do see your point here. We didn't go the route of blood testing this previous visit (his first) because we were there for a freak accident with my dog grabbing him momentarily. (He's ok and they are permanently separated now!) So he was getting antibiotics and all that. Once again like I said in my other replies I'm sorry if I'm not making sense I'm super drowsy rn
 
OP
Vilatus

Vilatus

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Well baked egg shell may be fun to crunch up, too; but I’m not sure if this calcium will solve the problem. If there’s an injury to the growth plate of the beak then that part of the bill can be soft.

Does your photo show this soft part of his beak? Do you mean the thin translucent edge at the side of his beak? That looks normal to me; just a bit overgrown.

When my Lucy Quaker had a bad liver problem her beak actually looked BRUISED, like a smashed fingernail. That’s not what this looks like.
I was dusting his food with cuttlebone a couple weeks ago, if that counts. I didn't see any improvement though.

Yes, that's the spot. It seems really far up into the beak for it to be normal, if that makes sense? Maybe I'm concerned for nothing but it just seems weird to me.

That's good to hear. I feel as if he's very young to be having something like that but maybe I'm wrong. I'm sorry about your baby, I hope she's better now?
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I don’t think the thin spot is that far up into his beak. I think that the beak should be worn away (worn down and gone) where you see it’s really thin. BUT I am not looking at him directly so I may be wrong!

Lucy had the liver problem about 15 yrs ago. It really did look like a smashed toenail. Scary! She passed in a couple yrs ago at 24 yo. I have heard that beak over growth can indicate a liver issue but I don’t know just how that shows itself.

Willow gets a little ‘fang’ on the tip of his beak that worries me a bit. But it seems a lot of parrots get this. He isn’t very ‘chewy’.
 
OP
Vilatus

Vilatus

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I don’t think the thin spot is that far up into his beak. I think that the beak should be worn away (worn down and gone) where you see it’s really thin. BUT I am not looking at him directly so I may be wrong!

Lucy had the liver problem about 15 yrs ago. It really did look like a smashed toenail. Scary! She passed in a couple yrs ago at 24 yo. I have heard that beak over growth can indicate a liver issue but I don’t know just how that shows itself.

Willow gets a little ‘fang’ on the tip of his beak that worries me a bit. But it seems a lot of parrots get this. He isn’t very ‘chewy’.
Oh awesome!! He did have it trimmed like six weeks ago or something… can’t remember.

That is scary, poor baby… Ah I’m sorry to hear that. That’s a good life though! And it sounds like you got her healthy again? Gosh I’m really hoping that’s not the case. He’s super young.

I see the “fang” quite a bit in birds that don’t chew. That seems to be the least worn area in that case. Nico has only started to take an interest in chewing, so I’m hoping maybe he’ll keep things in check himself… we’ll see.
 

HeatherG

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Well, I just sanitized my nail clippers with alcohol and took the tip of the “fang” off Willow’s beak. His get-back-to-work taps were starting to hurt! He was mad for a second and now is grinding and crunching his beak.

It always makes me nervous but I make sure to only take the smallest bit of the translucent tip. And Willow immediately started chewing on something so I know he wasn’t sore.

Maybe you could ask your vet if you could gently file that bit of overgrowth with an emery board or nail file? I have heard of parrots enjoying that but I would not expect it.
 
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Vilatus

Vilatus

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Well, I just sanitized my nail clippers with alcohol and took the tip of the “fang” off Willow’s beak. His get-back-to-work taps were starting to hurt! He was mad for a second and now is grinding and crunching his beak.

It always makes me nervous but I make sure to only take the smallest bit of the translucent tip. And Willow immediately started chewing on something so I know he wasn’t sore.

Maybe you could ask your vet if you could gently file that bit of overgrowth with an emery board or nail file? I have heard of parrots enjoying that but I would not expect it.
That’s always how it is, absolute fury at the fact you’re handling them, then immediate satisfied grinding because they feel better. 😂

I think as long as you’re giving the opaque area a healthy distance, it won’t be sensitive. I think you did good.

I’m actually going to ask my vet to teach me to use the dremel next time I’m there. I have a pet dremel (super low power) which is the same thing she uses so. Nico is pretty tame being held but yeah I doubt he’s going to enjoy it.
 

MykaMom

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Aug 24, 2019
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Yellow Nape Amazon
Chickens
Hi folks,

I just wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone had any ideas on this. Nico has a soft spot on the left side of his beak.

My vet prescribed a vitamin solution for his water and we already did the course of that, with no improvement. He had been eating seed at this point though.

He’s almost entirely eating chop and Harrison’s High Potency pellets now. His beak hasn’t really had enough time to grow out since he’s started that, so I don’t know if it’ll improve or what. He’s started to take much more of an interest in chewing and the like, so I’m hopeful.

Has anyone else had any experiences with this or something similar? I’m wondering if any of this could be genetic as he does have an extra toe and a slightly malformed foot. I’ll post a picture below of his beak.

View attachment 41414
The white section toward the tip? This looks more like beak overgrowth, but I'm not an avian vet.

Can you provide your Nico branches to chew up? Bird-safe, unsprayed of course! This might help your birb chew down his beak naturally, if that is what I'm seeing.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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That’s always how it is, absolute fury at the fact you’re handling them, then immediate satisfied grinding because they feel better. 😂

I think as long as you’re giving the opaque area a healthy distance, it won’t be sensitive. I think you did good.

I’m actually going to ask my vet to teach me to use the dremel next time I’m there. I have a pet dremel (super low power) which is the same thing she uses so. Nico is pretty tame being held but yeah I doubt he’s going to enjoy it.
That’s good. I think the beak is so thin in that overgrown area that an emery biard or nail file would do it. Anyhow the vet can show you just what to do.
 
OP
Vilatus

Vilatus

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Jul 17, 2017
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One Quaker, Nico
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The white section toward the tip? This looks more like beak overgrowth, but I'm not an avian vet.

Can you provide your Nico branches to chew up? Bird-safe, unsprayed of course! This might help your birb chew down his beak naturally, if that is what I'm seeing.
Yep! Hopefully that’s all it is, I’m hoping being on a healthier diet is improving things too!

Nico doesn’t have branches, but he’s got a load of wood toys! He’s only recently taken an interest in chewing so I’m kind of watching to see if that helps. The rest of his beak looks great, so I’m hoping this follows as he gets more into shredding up wood lol.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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Quakers don’t chew out nest cavities like other parrots, and my three were never big chewers. I don’t know if you can expect him to chew much. I wonder if his jaw could be off a bit from hand feeding while the beak was still soft?

But it should be easy to treat and doesn’t really give him any functional problems, right? I wouldn’t sweat it. There are bigger things you could be worrying about. He’s awfully cute!
 

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