Parakeet Flying into Mirrors and Windows

User Question
I am a new owner of a little parakeet, and I have spent a tremendous amount of time searching the web for information and advice. Time and time again, I find your site to be a fabulous resource. You have given me so much information that I've not been able to find anywhere else.

However, I do have one question: it appears that my parakeet's beak is cracked or broken towards the tip. He has had a few little "accidents" where he's flown into windows or mirrors in the house... is it possible that he has cracked his beak? If so, is this painful to him? Is there anything that I can do to fix it, or at least relieve his pain, if he has any? He seems to be acting perfectly normal, and he appears to be eating and drinking properly. Any thoughts?

Thanks, again, for a fabulous site!

Lisa's Answer
Young parakeets don't yet understand about windows and mirrors and, just like wild birds fly into windows, they try to go 'through' the glass. Glass doesn't exist in nature :) So it is definitely important when you have a young parakeet that is just learning to fly, to pull the curtains and put stickers or stick-on suction cup animals on your mirrors so the birds realize something solid is there.

If it's just the very tip of the beak that's broken, I wouldn't worry about it too much (assuming the bird is still able to eat). Parakeet beaks grow non stop just like your fingernails do. In fact one of the things you need to have in the cage is a cuttlebone or mineral block so the keet can help keep his beak trimmed. Parakeets love to gnaw and gnaw on things 24 hours a day to keep their beak trimmed to a reasonable length. Otherwise it would keep growing and growing. So even though the tip is chipped, that will just get worn down soon enough as the beak keeps growing out.

If your keet isn't eating, though, or the crack seems to go up more than say 1/3rd to 1/2 the length of the beak, I'd go to a vet and see if they can help. My concern would be that the crack is so large that it keeps spreading upward and causes some serious damage.

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