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Update of Harley and Marley

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Re: Update of Harley and Marley

Postby Pajarita » Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:54 am

Liz, beaks don't get overgrown from lack of chewing. That is a notion that has been going around in the internet for a long time but which is, simply put, not true. His beak is overgrown because of liver disease due to a bad diet.
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Re: Update of Harley and Marley

Postby Wolf » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:35 am

Thought it was time for an update on the budgies, Harley and Marley. For the majority of this spring Marley kept laying eggs. I would freeze them and put them back and leave them until she lost all interest in them and then pull them and in about a week she would start laying more eggs. She has not laid an egg now for about 6 weeks. Yay !

I am not sure when Harley's last beak trim was but I am thinking that it was very close to 6 months ago and this is a huge improvement. I know that for the longest time I was trimming his beak every month so that he could eat his food. His beak has been a little long for the last 3 months that I am sure of going by my memory, but it seemed to be slowing down enough that it appeared to me as if he was beginning to be able to keep up with grinding it down himself so I just kept watching and waiting until he was beginning to have a little more difficulty with his eating. Not a lot, but he was just starting to pick up his food from the side of his beak. So I trimmed it this morning.
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Re: Update of Harley and Marley

Postby Pajarita » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:22 am

YAAAAYYYYY GREAT NEWS! It's amazing what milk thistle and a good diet do for their liver, isn't it?!

And little Marley is right on schedule!
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Re: Update of Harley and Marley

Postby seagoatdeb » Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:48 pm

i had a cordon bleu finch...17 years ago, and his beak was always overgrowning. The vet said it was an incurable fungus infection and it made it hard for him to eat. His beak growth was not related to the liver. It was a type of fungus and none of the other finches ever got it. I did not have confindence in my own ability to trim his beak, and he needed it every month. I finally found a natural method that was safe for parrots and finally his beak stopped growing and he lived a long life span for a finch of his species. I had a lot of male finches of many species and they all got along and were in the same cage. They had such beautiful songs and I always hoped Gaugan would copy one....lol...but she never did. She viewed the finches as inconsequential.
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Re: Update of Harley and Marley

Postby Pajarita » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:32 am

Yes, finches (all passerines, actually) can get an overgrown beak from fungal and viral infections. I know the viral one is a polyoma-type one but I don't know which fungus causes their beaks to become overgrown - do you remember if the vet said what kind was causing it and why he thought it was incurable, Seagoatdeb? I have a lot of passerines and I always save this kind of info in my computer (I am scheduled to conduct a workshop for the canary club I recently joined and would love to be specific about this).

But I don't think that parrots get the same kind of infection - I don't know if it's because their beaks are harder than passerines or because the rate of growth is different or what...
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Re: Update of Harley and Marley

Postby seagoatdeb » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:00 pm

It was 18 years ago , so if he told me it is long forgotten. He sure was an expensive finch. i had no internet back then, so i was in the library and in the book stores looking for alternative remedies and the trauma this poor finch went through every beak fix was just horrible.
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Re: Update of Harley and Marley

Postby liz » Sat Aug 20, 2016 5:26 am

Pajarita wrote:Liz, beaks don't get overgrown from lack of chewing. That is a notion that has been going around in the internet for a long time but which is, simply put, not true. His beak is overgrown because of liver disease due to a bad diet.



Oh ! Why didn't the avian vet know that? He said he couldn't find anything wrong with Tweetle Dumb. It was so hard to watch him and his buddy Tweetle Dee taking care of him. I know Tweetle Dee mourned his loss but it also took a big weight off him. He mourned for 3 days then was ready to jump in with the Cockatiels.
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Re: Update of Harley and Marley

Postby seagoatdeb » Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:31 pm

Parrots can get overgrown beaks from not chewing, but there is something that is causing them to not chew enough, and it can be anything from not enough to chew in their enviorment, to inability to chew from beak problems due to liver, or fungus or bacterial infections. A depressed, unhappy parrot or a stressed parrot will sometimes not chew and get an overgrown beak too. Vets dont always pick up everything.
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Re: Update of Harley and Marley

Postby Wolf » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:39 am

I do not know what science has to say about whether a parrots beak can get overgrown by not chewing enough as I have not looked into it very deeply. I do know that if a horse does not walk enough it hooves will grow too long and that the walking itself also increases the growth rate of the hoof. I know that in rodents such as rats and beavers and such that not gnawing enough will lead to overgrown teeth. I know that parrots chew a lot and it stands to reason that it is likely that not chewing enough could cause overgrown beaks unless they quit growing at a certain length, but I don't believe that I have ever seen this safeguard in any animal that I have ever known.
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Re: Update of Harley and Marley

Postby Pajarita » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:26 am

I assume that the possibility of a beak growing too much from not been used exists but I've had parrots that I've never seen chew anything and their beaks were just fine. As a matter of fact, I can count with the fingers of one hand and have some leftover the times I've seen Isis Redbelly chewing anything and, when she does, it's always soft (cardboard) and her beak is perfect. Passerines' beaks grow at a rate of a complete 'turn' (meaning from the bone to the tip of the beak) of two years and even though they NEVER chew anything, they don't get overgrown beaks unless they have liver issues.

Thanks for the answer, Seagoatdeb. It is true that years ago nobody knew much about birds and their health issues. I took my first rescue (Pretty Bird, a RLA) to the only hospital in Manhattan that treated exotics back in those days three times, all three times I got a different vet and all three times they told me that her crooked legs were, most likely, a birth defect or caused by a metabolic imbalance when the poor birds had broken bones in them! They never even thought of taking an XRay and stupid me never thought of asking for one, either!
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