Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: New Jersey, USA
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These are pms following the posting about boarding the Hyacinth macaw and my mentioning that his beak looked overgrown on the picture and that the owner should take the bird for a physical to determine what was causing it. I am posting the correspondence because I've seen many postings saying that a bird could have an overgrown beak from not chewing enough but, in my personal experience, this is NEVER the case, it's always caused by a medical condition and liver malfunction is always involved.
You seem to know a lot about birds so i figured i would private message you if you dont mind. Why would you say the over grown beak could be a health related problem. Just curious. My friend just purchased this bird and if i can forward any info on to her that would be great. With birds we are always learning new stuff. One never seem to know it all. I have no experience with this breed and am sure neither has she.
Thanks in advance
Because, in my personal experience, this is always the case. People talk about parrots getting overgrown beaks from not chewing but every single bird I've had that has come to me with an overgrow beak has always been because of a health issue - and, in every single case I've had, it has always been a liver problem. Young birds usually don't get overgrown beaks even when they have a terrible diet (most common cause of liver problems) but diet is not the only reason why there could be liver deficiency - there was a 6 year old CAG that had cirrhosis from having psittacosis, and a 5 year old lovebird that had severe liver malfunction from having been starved. Metal poisoning can be cured but it can leave both kidneys and liver damaged in the process and you can restore some of the liver function if the damage is not too extensive but you need to continue supplementing and, if you stop, the liver does not function as well as it needs to.
Perfectly healthy birds can get an overgrown beak if there is a defect (like scissor beak or another mild deformity) or had suffered trauma (where part of the top or bottom of the beak doesn't grow or grows to one side), but this bird's beak 'bite' looks perfect to me so I don't think that would be the reason why.
Personally, if the bird were mine, I would take him to the vet to have its beak trimmed AND to have a complete physical done (CBC, chem panel, bile acids and Xray) because, like I said before, trimming takes care of the symptom but it doesn't cure whatever is causing it. Also, although I don't know where or from whom this lady purchased this bird, I am thinking that, at five yeas of age, it could not be the breeder (bird is too old) so the bird must have had a previous owner and this owner must have vet records (I would assume), and asking for them might be a good idea so the lady's avian vet can compare the more recent results to the old.
Hope this helps.
Yes thank you so much for taking the time to explain all of this. Apparently the bird was owned before as a pet but was returned to the breeder. She did take him to the vet and wouldn't you know the bird has the worst case of fatty tumors he said he has seen in a while. Bad diet of seed and peanuts. She is talking to the breeder at this time and has spoken to Dr Scott Macdonald i believe who was his vet. She is waiting for all the paper work to be forwarded. I guess it does make sense what you are saying a healthy bird does not need a beak trim. Mine have enough toys and wood to chew and other things like perches where they can rub there beaks on. Funny how a breeder can cheat someone like this. Charging that kind of a dollar amount for a bird knowing it is not a perfect bird. The vet also said that since the bird has these tumors he would not be used as a breeder and that is also maybe why she sold him. One really cannot trust people. Well i thought that was interesting how you commented on the beak and thought to talk to you, You know your stuff, lol thanks again for your input.