Trimming beak

by Cindy

What is the best implement to use to trim a birds' beak? Her previous owners used a fingernail clipper but I am hesitant to do that as it might not be sharp enough to make a clean cut and I don't want the beak to be ragged nor do I want to have the beak split. Also, what is the proper bird holding method to enable me to trim the beak? Should I wrap her in a towel and have someone else hold her while I do it?

Comments for Trimming beak

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Apr 17, 2013
Trimming beak
by: Cindy

Thank you both for your responses. I was hesitant to trim the beak and nails, that's why I wrote in.
I have never done it before and would hate to do it wrong or cause my bird any undue stress. Her toenails are black, so it's impossible to see where the blood vein is and where to trim. I have made an appt. with an avian vet for a checkup and beak and nail trim. Thank you!

Apr 16, 2013
Trimming beak
by: Linda

I second Tracie's opinion about break trimming. It does not cost much to take your bird to an Avian Vet who knows exactly how to do this without killing the bird. The beak is a place where lots of blood vessels live, and if you happen to cut up into the quick, your bird can bleed out before you can get to the vet. Always take birds to avian vet for beak trims and save this bird's or another's life.

Toenails are easier to work with though while at the avian vet, let them trim them as well. I used to trim my own bird's nails and a lot of birds in various stores I worked in. Though it is easier with less risk, you need to know exactly how to do it and have quick stop nearby just in case.

Now that I'm older and reflexes are slower, I take both my wild Amazons to avian vet for beak and nail trims which causes the bird's much less stress. Unless you are well trained in these things, you can cause your birds way too much stress, and birds have been known to die from heart attack when too much stress is put on them.

Use your avian vet because that is what they are there for. In the old days when I first started working with birds, there were no avian vets, no pellets and no recourse when a bird was sick except to watch it die. Now, all of you have benefits I never dreamed of, so take advantage of them.

Thanks for writing,

Apr 16, 2013
Beak trimming should be done by an avian vet
by: Tracie

Oh how happy I am that you wrote to ask this question! YOU do NOT want to trim your bird's beak. Leave this to the avian vet. Your bird could bleed out! I had a breeder once trim my bird's beak without my permission. She was supposed to just be trimming the wings and the bird almost bled to death. She had trimmed hundreds of beaks, so she said, but never had that happen before.

An avian vet will explore WHY your bird needs a beak trim. Is it due to something missing in it's diet, does it have a disease or an illness? It turned out my bird, that almost died, had fatty liver disease from the way it was fed before I put it on Harrison's pellets.

I added to the early death of a couple of birds before I had access to the Internet and even found out there were avian vets, not just dog/cat vets. Don't make the same mistake.

You can use this Find an Avian Vet link to find an avian vet for your bird if you don't already have one.

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