Filing Button Quail Beaks

Discussion in 'Quail' started by elinore, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. elinore

    elinore Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 9, 2013
    Back in September, I adopted 4 battered female buttons with major health problems (severe picking, open sores, missing toes, mites, etc). I'm happy to report that they are now much healthier after some love, mite spray, room to roam, sand to throw everywhere and a much better diet. However, one has an overgrown beak, and another will likely have beak issues as well.

    When I first got them, one had a very badly overgrown beak, so I had a pet shop with a fantastic bird department file down their beaks and trim their nails. They told me that the one with the severe beak problem (now named Lady Godiva) would likely have to be re-treated in a few months, and the others might need sporadic beak filing. Now, Godiva is doing ok, though I'm watching her closely, but her "sister" Marion has developed a very overgrown beak. The birds are doing well now, but I hate to stress them out by taking them back to the pet shop, so I'd like to do the filing myself if I think it's safe. I'm just wondering if anyone has experience in beak filing that they could share? I found online articles about how to file finch beaks, and it doesn't seem too difficult beyond restraining the bird and carefully using a nail file, but I'd love some input from anyone with experience!

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    This is Lady Godiva, who had a horribly overgrown beak when I first got her. I think it's still pretty normal right now, but I expect it'll become overgrown it in the relatively near future and need some filing.

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    The light-colored bird in these pictures is Marion, who really needs some beak care. I had a terrible time getting a picture- she's actually only about 60% feathered (the poor thing's back and chest are mostly naked and I don't think the feathers will ever grow back entirely), but I had to use the flash to get a clear picture of her beak. She doesn't seem slowed down by the beak, but I'd really like to address the issue in the next few days, before it gets uncomfortable for her.


    Also, the birds get powdered oyster shell and vitamin supplements, and I have a few blocks of wood in their enclosure for them to peck at, but is there anything else I can offer them so they might keep their own beaks filed? I was thinking of getting a small parakeet perch made for beak filing, and screwing it into their pen near their food and water, to try to encourage them to wipe their beaks on it when they eat and drink. Does this sound like it would be helpful? I've heard they ignore cuttle bone, but does anyone think it might be good to try? Thanks!!!
     
  2. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2012
    Colorado
    the wood is not necessary. This can be from nutrition all the way to hereditary. the best thing is if they get overgrown take them into a vet. the beak contains nerve endings which help it to feel to pick up food and even drink water so this should not be done without proper training. You could give them larger grit oyster shell or even bird gravel and grit and try putting a cuttle bone in the cage. the only thing about the cuttle bone is that sometimes they can contain mercury and might be more harmful then good. be sure they are getting a nice crumble to peck on and seeds as well not too many soft foods. do they also have long toenails? if so its probable diet related. too much keratin. good luck.
     
  3. elinore

    elinore Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 9, 2013
    I found a FANTASTIC solution to the overgrown beak problem! I stumbled across an article written by a finch keeper who suggested using a terra cotta pot saucer as a food dish. The terra cotta is porous enough to act as a "file," so the birds can file their own beaks as they eat. I thought, what the heck, may as well give it a try before I spend $70 to let my avian vet show me how to do it (the vet said he was certain I could do it myself, but would have to charge me for an initial checkup to show me how- he actually encouraged me to find a tutorial on YouTube and do it myself at home, to avoid the stress of bringing the bird to the vet). Thankfully, the terra cotta saucer worked right away!

    Within a just few days, little Marion had fixed up her own overgrown beak! I started noticing a difference literally the day after I put in the dish. I'm so happy, and so is she! This simple addition has completely solved the problem and it cost me 29 cents.

    My four little ladies are getting stronger and healthier every day, and I couldn't be more pleased with their progress!
     
    1 person likes this.

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