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Nail & Beak Trimming for your pet birds is generally easy to do.
A bird in the wild would normally encounter a huge variety
of perching textures and perch sizes in their wild environment.
This, along with ordinary preening and grooming, wears
the toenails down and helps maintain consistent length and
health of the toenails.
A pet bird typically has perches of the same size and smooth
texture. This leads to an imbalance in the rate of nail
growth and wear. Without trimming, the nails would become
Overgrown nails may become caught and cause injuries to the bird.
A Pet Bird needs only to have the hooked portion of their nail's
If your pet bird has light colored nails you can see where the
bird's nail stops and the quick begins ( the nail's nerve and
blood supply). For dark colored nails, if you are unsure
what you are doing, the best bet is to find a friend who has
done them or your vet. When cut, the quick will bleed profusely.
Help in Trimming a Bird's Nails
1. Use an assistant to hold the bird
2. Wrap a towel around the bird to protect it from injuries
3. Small nail clippers are good for small birds, dog nail
clippers for larger birds
4. Styptic powder or silver nitrate or other vet recommended
clotting agent in case there is bleeding
5. A nail file will smooth rough edges
6. Hobby drills with sanding bits are good for use on macaws and
some parrots and for beak trimming
7. It's better to trim a little at a time than cutting off a
lot at once
Do not use sandpaper perch covers. They do not keep the nails
short and could cause terrible sores on the bottom of the feet.
For the larger birds, a single cement perch may be a beneficial
aid in safely wearing the beak and nails down. For smaller
birds such as a finch, budgie or some parrots: cuttle bones,
lava rock and mineral or iodized blocks may be helpful
The normal action and use of a bird's beak means that birds
will rarely require beak trims, if your bird does need it's
beak trimmed, it most likely is an indication of pathology.