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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have had my formerly feral, non-releasable magpie, Maggie, for almost 4 years now (she was found with a wing break that left her flightless). For the first time I've noticed since I've had her, Maggie's beak is looking crooked - please see attached pictures. As of at least a month or so ago it didn't lok this way (a month or so ago I looked at Maggie's beak carefully when I was comparing it to the beak of my other companion magpie, Margo, who is also a non-releasable former feral with a wing injury that left her flightless). Maggie's activity level and food consumption haven't changed (and she's been pretty active and eating pretty well). There's been almost no change in her diet - she continues to mostly eat canned meal worms mixed with Reptical vitamin D3 supplement (she refuses to eat live or dry worms, only canned), Hills A/D catfood, some peanuts, and some of a seed mix. The only change is that I have been offering her some Evolution dry cat / dog food along with her other foods, and I think she's been eating a little of it (but I would be surprised if this caused something to go wrong).

I looked this up and one site said that the beaks can be trimmed (see e.g. https://www.beautyofbirds.com/scissorsbeak.html). I've e-mailed our vet to look into this. Does anyone know if Maggie might be able to correct this on her own? (I ask mostly because before my other magpie, Margo was released from her enclosure into her room her, her top beak was looking pretty long, but in about a week it was back to looking like a normal beak. I assume that she found ways to wear it down). I also saw mention of alterations in Keratin levels changing this. Is there a supplement (beyond what she's getting in her vitamin D3 powder) that could help her?

I would be most grateful for any and all advice and information you you might have.

Thanks so much,
Howard
 

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With the beak growing like that, the top beak can't grow over the bottom beak, so it has to go to the side. I would let the vet trim it, and show you how to do that. That would really be easiest as once they do that, they tend to need trimming occasionally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can She Wait A Few Weeks for Her Regular Vet?

Thanks, Jay3! I was just wondering if you had a sense of whether Maggie could safely wait for a few weeks for her beak to be trimmed as long as she is still eating well and being active. Our usual vet is out of town until early May, and, while there is a clinic we can refer out to, I think it might be better if we can wait for our regular vet to do the trimming.

Thanks again!
Howard
 

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You can probably wait for the vet you know, but if it gets worse, then I wouldn't wait. Also the longer it is like that, it will push the beak over to where it doesn't go back as easily. If there is someone you trust, I would take him in.
 

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One of our chickens has a crooked beak like that. What I did(because my mom was a nurse in haiti so doctoring is common knowledge to me) was take a nail file and carefully file the tip down. I didn't do it all at once since I was nervous, but now she has managed to keep her beak trimmed by herself. You will need to wrap, or mummify you bird in a towel and carefully hold its head still while you file. Be careful not the file the tongue, but as long as use a nail file you can't really hurt the bird unless you slip.
It just like filing your nails :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much for the extremely helpful responses! My vet thought that it was safe to wait until Magpie's checkup next Tuesday, at which point my vet should trim Maggie's beak. In the mean time she seems to have been having no problems eating.

Thanks again!
Howard
 

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Thanks for the update. Have him show you how to do the beak trim, as usually when they grow like that, they will need an occasional trim because the beak grows again.
Let us know how it goes when you bring him in.
 
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