Worried about beak

Jottlebot

Member
Aug 29, 2012
507
10
Shropshire, UK
Parrots
Orange-winged Amazon - RIP Charlie,
Spock - Common Mynah,
McCoy - Alexandrine
Hi Everyone,

I changed my Alex's cage a few months ago and almost immediately I noticed he was wearing a small, pale, spot right in the middle of his beak. I think its is because the cage bars have gone from 1 inch to 3/4 inch and when he's climbing about he's rubbing his enormous beak on the bar above! I love his cage and I'm really annoyed with myself for buying one that isn't right for him.

I can't tell if it is changing, it doesn't seem to have got bigger, but it is slightly flat when I look at it in profile.

Is my only option another cage? I was thinking of covering the inside in rope so he climbs that instead of the bars.

Any advice or other ideas welcome or should I just get another cage and put up with the disappointment and expense?
 

Betrisher

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2013
4,248
107
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Parrots
Dominic: Galah(RIP: 1981-2018); The Lovies: Four Blue Masked Lovebirds; Barney and Madge (The Beaks): Alexandrines; Miss Rosetta Stone: Little Corella
Could you post a photo so we can see what it looks like? Alexandrines are always doing weird things with their beaks and giving us all heart attacks. I've found that most of these things wear off over time and all is usually well. Still, if it's a weird wear pattern, maybe it's worth worrying about. Rather than thinking of changing the cage or adding expensive furniture, why don't you experiment with perches placed at intervals?

I've recently made a sort of 'ladder' in the corner of my Beaks' cage. I put short lengths of natural branches at regular distances across the corner to make a climbable ladder from the bottom to the top. Sigh. They're not actually climbing on it, but instead have been munching on the bark and stripping it away. Oh well. At least they're having fun!

Another idea might be to make a cargo net to hang on one side of the cage? Sisal rope is cheap and not harmful to birds. I use the 9mm thickness, but you could use pretty much whatever you think will suit your bird. It's not very nice to handle (very itchy and irritating), but will hold a good firm knot.

You can either connect the ropes with overhand knots or use a twist of stout wire tightened with pliers. OR - maybe you could cut slices of timber and drill holes large enough to thread two thicknesses of your rope through? There are a few instructions on making cargo nets in our DYI section.
 
OP
Jottlebot

Jottlebot

Member
Aug 29, 2012
507
10
Shropshire, UK
Parrots
Orange-winged Amazon - RIP Charlie,
Spock - Common Mynah,
McCoy - Alexandrine
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Thank you so much for your reply Betrisher. I haven't managed to take a photo, but I'll keep trying to get one in focus! I have no doubt that the Mark's on his beak are from where it rubs on the bars when he climbs around.

Me and my husband have come up with a few ideas that I think will solve the problem. Plan A at the moment it to replace the cage side with clear perspex and drill holes in it as needed for his perches and toys (it's the type of cage where the side just slot in so the cage won't be damaged by doing this of it doesn't work out) and put cargo netting as you suggested on the inside of this and to cover a few other highly used areas with perspex on the inside and again put the ropes up. I'm optimistic it will be a cheap and fast solution. Also I really like his cage, it's a good size and design and I can't find anything similar with 1 inch bar spacing. I'll post pictures when we've done it :)

If it works well and we get brave we might swap the bars out of other areas with the perspex, but this would mean cutting the bars off so we'll see.
 
OP
Jottlebot

Jottlebot

Member
Aug 29, 2012
507
10
Shropshire, UK
Parrots
Orange-winged Amazon - RIP Charlie,
Spock - Common Mynah,
McCoy - Alexandrine
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
I managed to get a couple of pictures of his beak, the spot that's being rubbed and the profile so you can see that it is flattened. He was also getting 2 strips down the side from the same thing.

I made the changes to the cage today. He's getting used to it. The side are completely clear and the top half of the front and back and the top of the cage are covered with perspex so he can't get to the bars. I'm going to make rope ladders tomorrow so he can climb all the way round inside.
 

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Betrisher

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2013
4,248
107
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Parrots
Dominic: Galah(RIP: 1981-2018); The Lovies: Four Blue Masked Lovebirds; Barney and Madge (The Beaks): Alexandrines; Miss Rosetta Stone: Little Corella
Yes, I see what you mean about his beak. He's lovely, though: a very handsome young man!

I have to tell you, the perspex will discolour over time and become quite powdery and opaque. You have to clean it often because droppings and dander get stuck to it and don't help its aging process (I have it on our lovebirds' cage to prevent catattack). Still, it fulfills its function and I don't think glass is a useful option for birds.

Let us know how McCoy's bill does over time, will you? It's normal for the surface of the bill to flake away as it grows, so the damaged spot should disappear eventually. It'll be interesting to see how long it takes to do so.
 

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