Beak Flaking and Peeling

by Deja
(Honolulu, HI)

I have a 5 month old Peachface Lovebird, and a few days ago, when I was taking her out of her cage; I noticed that her beak was flaking. The tip of her beak is black (is this normal?) but it looks like the "layer" of the beak is slowly peeling off.

Is my bird chewing on something so roughly that it peels her beak? The lower mandible of her beak is also peeling. Every few days, parts of the layer that is flaking will come off. Sometimes I have to clip the dry flakes off because it bothers her while she eats.

I have included a close-up image of her beak!

Comments for Beak Flaking and Peeling

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Sep 28, 2012
Flaking beak
by: The Avian Vet

This is normal beak growth. The black tip is an indication that you have a young lovebird. The black should go away soon.

Dr B

Sep 27, 2012
Beak Flaking and Peeling
by: Linda

Do not clip anything about the beak because this area is where birds can bleed out and die. I suggest you have her examined by an Avian Vet and have some basic bloodwork done to see if she has any kind of viral infection or parasites. Also have throat swab done to check for bacterial infections.

If she is eating a poor diet of all seeds or junk pellets like ZuPreem or Lafaebers, then this will show in the skin, beak and nails. Inside, a bird eating an all seed diet is slowly dying of starvation. Seeds have large amounts of fat and carbs with very little high quailty proteins. It's like you eating popcorn and chips for every meal. You would die and so will they. Feed high quality organic pellets like Harrisons found here and make pellets 80-85% of diet with a little fruit and veggie added a few times a week. NO human food of any kind because this interferes with bird's diet, and they will eat the junk before their healthy pellets. Below is link to article written by Avian Vet on how to go about changing from seeds to pellets, and bird has to be examined by an Avian Vet ONLY before any dietary changes are made.

To sum up, take bird for an exam with an avian vet to see if she is healthy enough to begin changing to a healthy diet. Stop messing with her beak. Some flaking is normal as birds age, and this sounds abnormal to me and could be the result of diet being poor or illness.

Switching Birds To Pellets article

A note here is that when diets are changed to healthy ones, it can take a year or more before you begin to see changes for the good. It takes a long time to starve so it takes a long time to come back from starvation. While you are making the changes, make sure she is seen by an avian vet for any work done on her beak as this area is extremely sensitive and must be handled by a trained avian vet only. Stay away from pet stores because these employees are not avian vets and are not trained to do much more than sell birds to anyone who walks in with the money to buy one. Never give over the counter meds or anything from a pet store because until bird is examined and diagnosed it cannot be treated.


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