Julie and Zazu

by Julie
(Canton, GA )

What does it mean when my african gray rubs his beak on my face/nose? I think it is an affectionate sign but I want to be sure.

Why do birds bite their nails /talons?

Comments for Julie and Zazu

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Oct 26, 2010
Bird beak and nail trims
by: Tracie

Actually, your bird should not need a beak trim, and if it does then please, please, please take your bird to an avian vet for a check up and let him/her do the trimming.

I almost lost a bird from a breeder trimming my bird's beak when she was supposed to just be trimming the nails. The bird almost bled to death by the time I reached the avian vet.

Often when a bird has to have it's beak trimmed, it means it has liver problems. Often liver problems are because the bird is not eating an 80% healthy, non-colored, pellet diet like Harrison's pellets. Too much seed will cause fatty liver disease.

Switching Birds to Pellets article

Find an Avian Vet

Oct 25, 2010
nails and beak trim
by: julie and zazu

thank you for your response to my questions. is there somewhere i can see and learn how to clip their nails/talons? If their nails are light, like the cockatiels I used to have, then you can see their vein and its easier to clip. I don't like to take the chance with the darker nails.

as for their beak, how do you know when it's time to clip their beaks? i never knew they really had to be clipped. i thought they just normally wore down from all the things that birds do. i.e, rubbing their beaks on the toys, rough surfaces in their cages, wooden branches, etc. please let me know what to look for as for their beaks being too long. thank you, again.


Oct 02, 2010
Julie and Zazu
by: Linda

Your bird is showing you affection. If your bird's nails are too long, they have to be trimmed. I take mine to an Avian Vet a few times a year for nail and beak trimming. You can clip them yourself once you learn how and you need to always have some styptic powder on hand because overgrown claws will bleed when trimmed.

So, for now, make an appointment with Avian Vet to trim your birds' nails because long nails are dangerous and can become caught in cage wire, toys or things around the house. If a nail is ever pulled off, this becomes an emergency situation because birds bleed out and die very quickly, so go ahead and start routine toe nail clipping so your birds are safe.

Otherwise, it is normal for birds to clean dirt and food off their nails.


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