Caring for your birds beak and claws.

As a bird owner, you know your fragile pet has a beak and claws that need special care and attention. While there are some things you can do at home, bird grooming tasks generally fall under three categories: upkeep supported by bird products, grooming you can handle yourself at home and grooming that should be handled by a vet. These tips will help you decide which is which…

Maintenance with bird products
Your bird’s natural activities, such as beak rubbing, chewing, foraging and eating will help him stay in shape, but only if you provide the means. Offer bird cuttlebones, natural perches, sanded bird perch covers and foraging toys to keep him happy and his beak and claws healthy.

Grooming your bird at home
Just as we trim our own nails, a bird’s claws need constant trimming. It may take a bit of practice, but trimming can be done at home. This will keep your bird’s nails healthy and prevent him from having perching problems. Before starting, make sure you have styptic powder in case you cut into the quick. Losing blood is very dangerous for birds as just one teaspoon can equal 10% of a bird’s total blood volume. Start by first wrapping your bird gently in a towel, then using bird claw clippers to trim the sharp tip at the very end of the claw only.

Grooming at the vet’s office
The one thing you should never try doing at home is trimming your bird’s beak. While this may not be necessary for most birds, there are times when a bird’s beak becomes overgrown or abnormally shaped. If this happens, visit an avian vet. The vet will use a tool to gently file down your bird’s beak. This is stressful for your bird and may be painful if done improperly, so make sure you leave it to a professional. If you find it hard to trim your bird’s claws, you might want to have your vet take care of that as well.