Why is my African Grey’s beak growing faster than he can wear it down? Is it something he is eating or something he should be eating and isn’t?
Beaks that overgrow can do so for several reasons and it is recommended that an avian veterinarian evaluate the problem.
Although it may seem simple, clipping beaks at home is not recommended as a badly trimmed beak can bleed, shatter, split or have the sensory portion injured enough to cause the bird pain and discomfort.
Overgrown beaks can be a result of trauma (either to a chick in nest, from hitting a wall or floor beak first or from a inflicted bite from other bird), from poor nutrition, from beak disease (fungal or bacterial infections), beak tumors, genetic abnormalities, liver disease or hormonal surges (a rapidly growing beak meant to be used to hollow out a nesting site). Each cause will have a different work up which should be explored with your avian veterinarian.
In a bird with an abnormal beak, regular beak trimming should be scheduled to prevent excessive overgrowth that may result in shifting of the growth planes of the beak, further disfigurement and TM joint discomfort.
Dr. Kerry Korber
Calgary Avian & Exotic Pet Clinic