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Sandra May 13, 2022

Why Pet Birds Can Have Flaky Beaks

 A flaky beak is natural and normal for most beak peeling cases. A bird's beak is a tool that they use every day. Birds use their beaks to grasp objects, crack open seeds and nuts, shred material, and even for climbing. So you can see how important a solid and healthy beak is to a bird! 

A bird's beak is made of keratin. Keratin is a type of protein, and different kinds of keratin are responsible for the growth and structure of the fingernails, hair, and skin, but for a bird, it's their nails and BEAK! A bird's beak will continue to grow throughout their lives and needs to be worn down. This keratin sometimes becomes flaky, which is a normal part of the molting of the outer layers of keratin; this molting allows new keratin to develop as the old keratin is worn off.

Any bird's normal daily activities should keep its beak worn down as it continues to grow. In the wild, birds climb, forage, and open nuts and seeds, which helps keep their beak worn down. Our pet birds need to mimic the wild.

Some good ideas include offering a cuttlebone, offering lots of opportunities for destroying and playing with toys and climbing and foraging.

One cause for concern about flaky beaks is a vitamin-A deficiency. However, there's a pretty easy fix, and it's your parrot's diet— ensure you are offering a variety of fresh foods and high-quality pellets. A healthy diet is an excellent way to ensure that your bird's beak remains healthy and normal.

I like to offer a fresh chop with lots of veggies in the morning, some fruit and a healthy dry food mix for munching. Mia loves to destroy broccoli and straw/paper toys, whereas Mango enjoys destroying wooden toys.

Beaks can also get flaky-looking patches as they grow because new growth can appear streaky or striped.

If your bird's beak is growing with abnormal grooves or there are pieces of the beak that are completely flaking off, then an avian vet visit is required for a diagnosis and recovery plan.