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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks
I hope you are all well! I am a new member excited to be on here! I have a cockatiel who is 15 and has been indoors for 13 months now. She was an aviary bird and not tame. I brought her in when we lost the other bird in the aviary. She mellowed a lot loves her head and necked touched. My question is her nails look long and beak although she is eating ok and gets around her cage easily. I don’t want to take her to a vet to be trimmed because the stress could kill her. Just wondered if any more tiel owners ha e this issue. She seems in good health.
 

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You may need to trim her nails. There is a vein that runs down the center that you should avoid. If you cut too short, and it bleeds, the bleeding doesn't always stop like it does in people.
You need to have some quick stop or styptic powder on hand to stop the bleeding if it occurs.
Have the styptic powder on hand before you start.
There is also a nerve that runs along the vein in the nail. So, cutting too short will hurt!
In birds with white or kind of clear nails, you can see the vein and avoid it. Do this in a well lit area. Holding the bird/nail up so you can see the pink vein helps a lot. However, with dark nails you won't be able to see the vein. The shape of the nail can help you know how far is safe to cut in this case.
I highly recommend you search some YouTube videos on the subject first. So, you can clearly see what I am talking about.
Trimming the nails can be stressful for the bird, and you!
As far as the beak is concerned, it would be helpful if you could post some pictures.
If the beak needs trimming, you really need to take her to an avian vet.
Good luck!
Melissa
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Melissa.
Thank you for the very good reply. Yes I knew about the quick and would prefer the vet to do the nails and beak. She’s in good health and I see the husks in her seed tray daily. I will take some pics to show. Also do you suggest any bird seed in particular? And a iodine block worth having?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You may need to trim her nails. There is a vein that runs down the center that you should avoid. If you cut too short, and it bleeds, the bleeding doesn't always stop like it does in people.
You need to have some quick stop or styptic powder on hand to stop the bleeding if it occurs.
Have the styptic powder on hand before you start.
There is also a nerve that runs along the vein in the nail. So, cutting too short will hurt!
In birds with white or kind of clear nails, you can see the vein and avoid it. Do this in a well lit area. Holding the bird/nail up so you can see the pink vein helps a lot. However, with dark nails you won't be able to see the vein. The shape of the nail can help you know how far is safe to cut in this case.
I highly recommend you search some YouTube videos on the subject first. So, you can clearly see what I am talking about.
Trimming the nails can be stressful for the bird, and you!
As far as the beak is concerned, it would be helpful if you could post some pictures.
If the beak needs trimming, you really need to take her to an avian vet.
Good luck!
Melissa
I took these pics today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’ve taken pics of her to show you. She is in good health in all aspects. She has been an aviary bird a d never handled although she now likes her head scarred through the cage bars. I think the stress of being handled outweighs any action to take yet.
 

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Hi,
Her nails need some care. They appear a bit long and kind of flattened. I wonder if she has arthritis in them as she doesn't seem to grip the perch as she should. You could put some larger perches in that would make it easier for her to stand. Perhaps, if they are available for you, one of the "rope perches" for her comfort. They are very gentle on the feet and a larger diameter.
They are available on Amazon here as well as in stores. They have a flexible metal rod inside that you can shape to fit into your cage.
The beak looks OK from what I can see. The first pic is a little blurry for me. I can't tell for sure from the pic, but the sides/edges of the beak should occlude nicely. It looks like there may be a gap on one side? This could be an issue.
That's great she is eating well.
If there is an occlusion problem, it will be easier to fix the sooner care is started.
The beak is also a bit rough. I'm not sure why this is. Maybe her age? Or maybe she doesn't rub it on anything? My birds rub the sides of their beaks on the perches. To clean them and also to rub off any scaly bits.
It woube a good idea for you to make a new post asking for help with the beak and nails including pictures.
Hopefully someone with more knowledge than I will see it and be able to help you more.
She is a beautiful bird! 🥰
 

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I give my birds cuttle bone and mineral blocks, so they can choose what their body tells them they need. They use both of them. I think it is a good idea to have both as the mineral block has nutrients that the cuttle bone alone doesn't have. We call it mineral block here. I'm guessing the iodine block is the same thing.?
I don't know of a specific food for senior birds. But, there could be. You could post that as a separate question here. I would be interested in knowing as well.
What I can say is to make her diet well rounded and varied. Offer lots of fruit, vegetable, and dark greens options. (No avocados)
You can also offer whole grain bread cooked pasta (whole wheat preferably) and cooked rice (brown rice is healthier). They love starches as much as we do. Of course these are not as nutrient dense. But a well loved treat!
Don't add salt, sugar, oils to any foods you cook for her.
Also cooked unseasoned egg without oil or salt added.
Use fresh or frozen without additives. Organic if you can manage it.
Canned or jarred foods usually have salt, sugar or other things added that aren't healthy.
Good quality baby foods can be handy. Small containers that you can cover and store in your fridge. Carefully warm only what you will offer.
Always stir and check the temperature before giving it to her. (You don't want any scalding or burns) Just check the ingredients for additives.
They really enjoy warm cooked foods. If she doesn't like fruit and veg fresh, you can offer it cooked, whole or mashed. Just like us, sometimes it is a texture thing.
Keep offering it. If she doesn't try it at first, she may decide to give it a taste the twentieth time you offer it.
Of course they are small creatures, so only need small amounts. Too much of a good thing, as they say...
Also, if they see you eating it, they are more likely to give it a try! Monkey see, monkey do, lol!
One bird I have that was stubbornly refusing to try, I stood eating pieces of apple in front of her, while holding a piece through the bars of the cage. Kind of ignoring her and just enjoying my apple slices. After a while, she decided to come over and have a taste. Realized it was good and came back for more!
This was after about 5 or 6 months of offering it in her cage and her steadfastly avoiding it! Lol!
Now, she likes me to stand by her cage with my hand inside and hold her fruit and veg the entire time she is eating!
But, I'm good with that! She is getting a better diet and also some extra skritches and cuddles when she is finished.🥰
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I give my birds cuttle bone and mineral blocks, so they can choose what their body tells them they need. They use both of them. I think it is a good idea to have both as the mineral block has nutrients that the cuttle bone alone doesn't have. We call it mineral block here. I'm guessing the iodine block is the same thing.?
I don't know of a specific food for senior birds. But, there could be. You could post that as a separate question here. I would be interested in knowing as well.
What I can say is to make her diet well rounded and varied. Offer lots of fruit, vegetable, and dark greens options. (No avocados)
You can also offer whole grain bread cooked pasta (whole wheat preferably) and cooked rice (brown rice is healthier). They love starches as much as we do. Of course these are not as nutrient dense. But a well loved treat!
Don't add salt, sugar, oils to any foods you cook for her.
Also cooked unseasoned egg without oil or salt added.
Use fresh or frozen without additives. Organic if you can manage it.
Canned or jarred foods usually have salt, sugar or other things added that aren't healthy.
Good quality baby foods can be handy. Small containers that you can cover and store in your fridge. Carefully warm only what you will offer.
Always stir and check the temperature before giving it to her. (You don't want any scalding or burns) Just check the ingredients for additives.
They really enjoy warm cooked foods. If she doesn't like fruit and veg fresh, you can offer it cooked, whole or mashed. Just like us, sometimes it is a texture thing.
Keep offering it. If she doesn't try it at first, she may decide to give it a taste the twentieth time you offer it.
Of course they are small creatures, so only need small amounts. Too much of a good thing, as they say...
Also, if they see you eating it, they are more likely to give it a try! Monkey see, monkey do, lol!
One bird I have that was stubbornly refusing to try, I stood eating pieces of apple in front of her, while holding a piece through the bars of the cage. Kind of ignoring her and just enjoying my apple slices. After a while, she decided to come over and have a taste. Realized it was good and came back for more!
This was after about 5 or 6 months of offering it in her cage and her steadfastly avoiding it! Lol!
Now, she likes me to stand by her cage with my hand inside and hold her fruit and veg the entire time she is eating!
But, I'm good with that! She is getting a better diet and also some extra skritches and cuddles when she is finished.🥰
Thanks again are you in America? I will try her on of these foods in moderation but yes I meant a mineral block will be good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have a new perch coming which is thicker and apparently good for helping to keep nails trimmed too. She’s doing ok at moment. I don’t want to handle her because she’s never handled but likes her head scratched a lot.
 

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I have a new perch coming which is thicker and apparently good for helping to keep nails trimmed too. She’s doing ok at moment. I don’t want to handle her because she’s never handled but likes her head scratched a lot.
Hi,
That's so wonderful that she loves head scritches! Especially having been an aviary bird!
You said the new perch is supposed to help with nails. I would be careful with those type that have the kind of sanded finish. They can potentially make their delicate feet sore. I have heard of some that have the bumpy/sanded part only on the bottom of the perch, so theoretically only their nails rub against that part.
Some of my birds also like to stand on a flat corner shelf. That doesn't help the toenails, but they seem to enjoy the feeling. Sometimes settling down for a nap.
Give her some head scratches from me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you that’s a good point I will check when it arrives first before I use it. Yes unusual that she was in an aviary last 14 years a d I brought her in in January last year as she was the last bird. My last bird died at 27 which was amazing.
 
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