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Anna
Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11139
Experience:  Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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My name is***** am & have been caring parakeet

Customer Question

Hi, my name is***** am & have been caring for a parakeet rescue for the last 5 years. I have limited income and care for him quite well. He has always had health issues but has an over grown beak that I keep clipping and caring for as well. I cannot afford to take him to the vet but would like to do everthing else within my means to help him be more comfortable.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hello Christine, and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in birds. I can tell you really care for Gizzy.
As you probably know, a beak that overgrows is often a symptom of an underlying health problem. It is no longer recommended to feed parakeets a seed-based diet. Birds that have been fed a diet consisting of mostly seeds are especially prone to fatty liver disease as the years pass. That is one of the leading causes of this kind of beak growth. Diet is the single most important factor in keeping our birds healthy. Many people do still feed a diet consisting mostly of seeds, and pet stores often suggest such diets, but recent research has shown that an all-seed diet is not good for parakeets. Pellets, supplemented with various fresh and healthy “people foods,” along with a few seeds make up a healthier diet. However, since Gizmo is used to eating mostly seeds, you’ll have to convert him to pellets gradually. The following two sites are where you can get reliable information on feeding and care. The second one has a section on converting from seeds to pellets, and applies to parakeets as well as cockatiels.
http://www.4animalcare.org/birds
http://www.cockatiels.org/ownersandenthusiasts/converting-seed-junkie-to-pellets.htm
By scrolling down on the following page to the section on overgrown beaks, you can read more:
http://www.avianweb.com/beakdeformities.html
Even though he's not interested in fresh foods, don't give up. It can help if you sit beside him and eat fruits or vegetables while he watches. From time to time, offer him a bit. Many birds will eventually eat produce.
Besides an improved diet, the only other thing to try is to provide chew toys. They can help keep the beak worn down. These are sold in most pet stores.
If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope you and Gizzy will enjoy many more years together.
Anna
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