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Feefo Feefo is offline
Posted 2nd July 2007, 08:52 AM
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"Prosthetic" beaks for birds


I have just returned from delivering a partially paralysed pigeon to Hallswood, a sanctuary near here. As I was being showed around the owner told me that they deal with thousands of birds a year, and that if a bird dies they remove and keep the beak. He said the wildlife hospitals also do this. Then, if they get a bird of the same species that has lost its beak (or part of its beak) they attach one of the beaks they have saved with superglue. He pointed out a pigeon in the aviary which had a prosthetic beak and it looked pretty normal to me.

I can't see myself doing that, but perhaps those of you who carry out necropsies could save some beaks for needy birds?

Cynthia


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Posted 2nd July 2007, 09:11 AM
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Well, I never thought of this, but sounds like a good idea.
Do they keep the detached beaks in some kind of solution so they don't dry up?
I am bird sitting a pigeon right now without a beak and would love to have a long term solution for him.

Reti
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Pidgey Pidgey is offline
Posted 2nd July 2007, 09:15 AM
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Many birds have beaks that are literlly constantly growing from a root bed, kinda' like a fingernail. Pigeons are a little different than that and it's only their tip ends that actually grow and I think that really only applies to the top beak. Did that person say anything about that in particular?

Pidgey
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Posted 2nd July 2007, 09:15 AM
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Wow that is wonderful news that someone has done this successfully.

I was wondering myself, how do they keep the beaks viable?
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Feefo Feefo is offline
Posted 2nd July 2007, 09:26 AM
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I am not very good at "the science bit", but I asked for permission to post this so maybe you could e-mail them about your specific pigeon, Reti and get the information? You know the right terminology.

Their e-mail address is lyz@hallswood.plus.com

Cynthia
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Posted 2nd July 2007, 10:13 AM
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Thank you, Cynthia.
I will send them an email.

Reti
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xxmoxiexx xxmoxiexx is offline
Posted 2nd July 2007, 10:31 AM
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i'm interested in what you guys learn about this, if you could post it that would be awesome!!
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Larry_Cologne Larry_Cologne is offline
Posted 2nd July 2007, 10:35 AM
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Nail-like / "fingernail" like / keratin part of pigeon beak


Pidgey,

the part of the beak that grows like a fingernail on a human, applies to both the upper and lower beaks.

I have a mummified pigeon skull (not processed so that only bone remains.

Both upper and lower beak have a dark, shiny, nail-like tip.

I posted photos of this skull one time, but web-cam photo ddid not show small details clearly.

Upper beak "nail" grows quicker because it meets no resistance other than wear and tear from pecking hard surfaces.

The lower mandible hits the bottom of the upper beak, and growth is regulated by opposing pressure.

Most of the bone of the beak, where it is thick, is porous or spongy (contains marrow?) for added strength and weight reduction. One can look at the cross-section of the ball of a human hip bone to get an idea of the spongy look. The thin part of the beak, between the socket and the tip, is solid and has a very small cross-section.

Larry
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Last edited by Larry_Cologne; 2nd July 2007 at 10:41 AM.
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Pidgey Pidgey is offline
Posted 2nd July 2007, 01:08 PM
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Yeah, I've got a pigeon skeleton that was cleaned by my Dermestid beetle colony. What I was getting at more was that the keratinous portion of the pigeon beak doesn't all grow laterally. Some of it just maintains its thickness but doesn't go anywhere. I was intimating that only the tip end actually grows laterally, replacing itself in time. A lot of birds have a much larger laterally growing portion because they actually dehusk (is that a word?) much of their food. Pigeons don't chew anything and the only real wear is the tip end due to pecking. The loss of the lower beak that Rocky17's bird experienced will not be replaced naturally in that bird's lifetime. It'd be nice to know exactly how much of a pigeon's upper beak actually regrows (all info to come from random past traumas from assorted case histories and not from experiments, by the way).

Pidgey
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Larry_Cologne Larry_Cologne is offline
Posted 2nd July 2007, 02:05 PM
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Growth direction of bird's beak


Pidgey, and others,

I've had some type of nail fungus on both big toes and a couple of others, which slowly developed, beginning in Panama Canal Zone in 1959. Tried all kinds of stuff, found something a couple of years ago which helped a bit, but haven't finished with it. My more or less recent observations have led me to this conclusion, which I haven't verified or done research on -- yet:

The keratinous nail is like a lot of hairs fused together. The nail seems fibrous (I've tried removing most of the nail to get to the layer where the fungus is so I could apply something directly to the fungus). The part or "hairs" of the nail near the tip of the toe come from the skin closest to the toe's tip, and these "hairs" are progressively layered over by the "hairs or fibers farthest away from the toe's tip. If you part the hair on top of your head, and lay it flat to two sides, the hairs closest to the part lay on top of the other hairs. All the hairs grow at more or less the same rate, and variations in growth rates during disease may cause the nail to ripple or look unusual.

(if anyone wishes to, or can, refute me, please do so).

If you split a fingernail or toenail, it's unlikely it will join together again, and will almost always be painful when you do something rough with that digit. My Belgian father-in-law (retired) who was in the artillery, and trained with the American Army (NATO), has a split nail on a thumb, which he attributes to a U.S. Army howitzer shell dropped on his hand.

Incidentally (I mentioned this once before in PT) I once showed him the fine, almost knife-edge sharp pair of tweezers on a Victorinox champion Swiss Army knife, and said how good it was for removing the very fine and hard to see but aggravating prickly pear cactus needles, and he informed me the tweezers were designed with removal of shrapnel splinters in mind.

(if anyone wishes to, or can, refute me, please do so).
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Posted 2nd July 2007, 02:37 PM
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Hi Larry,

Completely OT but have you consulted a doctor or chiropodist about the fungus? I ignored the same problem for years but this year found that it is athletes foot. I can't do anything about it until I am off steroids, then I will be prescribeda pill. Apparently sprays etc don't work if it is in the nail.

Cynthia
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Larry_Cologne Larry_Cologne is offline
Posted 2nd July 2007, 03:38 PM
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Reply to OT subject


Cynthia,

Yes I did, and she prescribed a clear liquid medicine which would penetrate the nail, and a cream for the between-the-toes athlete's foot.

Athlete's foot (the skin problem) went away quickly. Treatment for the nails wold take several years, she said. Need to re-start it.

I had gone to her after seeing a very expensive antibiotic heavily advertised on the internet, hoping medical insurance would cover it. She wanted to try this other stuff first.

Over the years I had tried Ting, zinc oxide, talcum powder, white socks, sun-burning in summer with sandals, Mesenex (?) medicated baby powder with corn starch (?), pocket knives to show the fungus you are not friendly and mean business (sometimes works with warts and corns, I've read). Haven't tried Tom Sawyer's spunk water (need dead cat, bad man recently buried, midnight graveyard visit, rainwater collected from stump, rituals). some worked temporarily.

Read because of CF and continuous treatment with cotrim that the fungus might be had to get rid of with some other medicine. Bacteria and fungi are enemies in a sense: they compete for the same resources (such as parts of my body: they avoid my brain with its defective reasoning -- a real lose-lose situation, they figure).

Had some clear liquid I tried years ago, prescribed by skin specialist. It worked for a month or so: Turned nails orange-ish, then fungi came back.

As I get older I find I don't turn the heads of women as once occasionally happened, so don't get too worked up if my feet look like I'm preparing for a role in a monster movie (The Night of the Living Larries). Why is it so many film nerds and oddballs seem to be named "Larry"? Have I helped contribute to that stereo-typing?

Larry
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Pidgey Pidgey is offline
Posted 2nd July 2007, 06:05 PM
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Ever tried Lamisil (for the nail-embedded fungus)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry_Cologne View Post
As I get older I find I don't turn the heads of women as once occasionally happened...
Well, I never did so consider yourself lucky.

Pidgey
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pdpbison pdpbison is offline
Posted 2nd July 2007, 07:37 PM
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Hi Larry,


Try the 'Oxine'...

Diluted to appropriate levels, and some prolongued soaks...

I had something years ago on my feet soles...it did not respond to the prescribed meds, so one day I just started pouring some Clorox into the Shower basin, ran a little water, and semi-dry showered while my Feet soaked in it, then ran the Water normally for the rest of the shower and finished up...in less than a week it was all gone and did not come back.


Prosthetic Beak wise, it seems to me a donor Beak-assembly ( mandible, pallette, and so on if upper Beak ) which is merely glued on, would shrivel for want of intrinsic noursishment from fine blood vessels...granted, the outermost keratinaceous sheath would remain fairly inert and stable, but...


I am surprised to hear it will work...


Phil
Las Vegas
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Reti Reti is offline
Posted 3rd July 2007, 04:22 AM
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I have heard from several people that chlorox does the trick in curing stuborn funguses. You have nothing to loose by giving it a try.

Reti
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