Why Blame Your Bird for Destroying Furniture or Injuring Itself?

Why Blame Your Bird for Destroying Furniture or Injuring Itself?

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

The thread below triggered the idea for this post.

It’s time to revisit the general subject of where to put your bird when it’s out of the cage.

It’s also time to look at some common sense pet bird-keeping ideas.

From Facebook:

“How do I get my bird to stop biting my neck?”

Answer: “Don’t put them on your shoulder until the bird is trained.”

“How do I get my bird to stop biting my hand when I put it into his cage?”

Answer: “Don’t put your hand in the cage.”

My follow-up to that will always be “install a perch inside the cage door which we have done on all of our bird cages.”

blue Quaker parrot named Chili on grooming perch attacherd to the inside of the door to his cage

And here’s a question I have for you:

“Where does your bird go when it’s out of the cage?”


Ideally, a Playtop Cage can offer out-of-the-cage activity, but birds will be birds and they will always climb to the top of any cage regardless of style.


Even somebody living in a studio apartment might want to bring the bird across the room from his cage to say the kitchen.


If the bird flies into the kitchen on its own or you bring the bird in the kitchen, the bird will sit where, while you’re together?


Human furniture is never a good option because it provides ample opportunity to chew.

Birds don’t know the difference between a $12 perch and a $200 side chair.

Multiple birds present even more of a complicated situation.


I’ve been in homes where birds were encouraged to sit on the top of open closets or room doors.


The two problems with this strategy are, poop running down the door and the possibility of a crushed bird.


Curtains and blinds should not be an option for obvious reasons.


Seabirds like seagulls, ducks, and cormorants have flat feet, that’s why you’ll see birds especially like seagulls in metropolitan areas, perching on the top of streetlamps – because they are flat.


Tabletops and countertops may seem reasonable but birds don’t like to perch on flat surfaces because of the design of their zygodactyl feet unless the feet are arthritic in have difficulty gripping round perches.


What does bird furniture look like?


Here’s what we think.


Bird Furniture, not Human Furniture ~ Video

To our original point, I’m sharing the thread below to illustrate how what appeared to be an innocuous action such as “I’ll just put you down on the counter here.”


Spoiler alert:


This happened when the Caique tried to lift the lip, of the stainless steel sink.

The lip that supports the sink sitting in a square hole, on the kitchen counter.



Susan F


Hi Mitch!

The articles were great! Thanks for sending them…very informative 🙂


I have been so busy with school work and my classes that I haven’t taken a close inspection of Seymour which I often do.


Lately, while I am on my iPad teaching, she has been hooking her lower beak under the slight opening that is forming on the left side seam of the kitchen sink’s aluminum basin in an effort to widen a slight lifting of separation in the basin and the actual kitchen counter.


That Hookbill In Your Home – How Much Do You Know About Bird Beaks?


The entire small area of the kitchen counter is her play area with all her toys. I have heard her tugging away at it and always get up to stop her.


She knows that she is doing something wrong and scurries away when I get up to remove her from doing it.


Everything looked fine with her beak and I never thought to check her lower beak, but yesterday, I was playing with her and I see on the underside of the bottom beak, she seems to have worn away some of her beak unless it’s supposed to be that way.


I have placed a large, weighted obstacle over the area so she can no longer do this, but I think she may have caused some damage to her beak unless again, it’s completely natural that her beak formed this way.


I can’t really tell and have been looking online to see if any other Caiques lower beak is shaped this way.


Is this damage permanent or can a beak rejuvenate itself?


She is also now able to open her cage door as of the past two weeks so now I have to lock it with a type of latch. She is a mischievous bird…constantly exploring.


Now, after all these years, she seems to be wanting to eat some of my human food (breaded fish filet), but I am afraid to allow her to have any.


(A tiny bit of breaded fish fillet won’t hurt).


Sometimes, it seems that she wants the company when she eats and waits until I eat.


The Ultimate List of 13 Bird Beak and Foot Structures


To look at her square on, I can’t see any damage to her beak, but if I look at her side profile and look very closely, I can see it.


I have to admit that I never checked the bottom underside of her beak before.


At first, I didn’t know if it was the normal shape of her beak. I don’t even know how she could do this unless she was trying to force her beak under this slight opening and just wore her beak down.



I do not think it is a beak abnormality of any kind and the beak coloring looks fine.


I am thinking that it just may be the natural shape of her beak. It seems perfectly symmetrical on both sides.


She is also pulling at the microwave door trying to cause it to open so I needed to put a large microwaveable tray (obstacle) covering the door to the microwave which she is afraid of so she stays away.


Her demeanor is perfect.


She is cheerful, constantly singing and being her lively self…lying on her back, tugging away at her toys and being a normal little birdie so I am trying not to be too concerned about it as there is so much else to worry about right now.


I just want her beak to go back to being the way it was if it is not supposed to be that way.


Her beak is not looking weaker, but she appears to have possibly put a dent in it.


Maybe that dent is natural and is supposed to be there.


What do you think, Mitch?


I don’t want to have to take her for an unnecessary trip to the vet.


She gets traumatized and his waiting room is tiny.


There would be zero social distancing.


Seymour was due for her grooming last month, but due to COVID, I do not want to take her out and besides, it’s still too cold.


Her nails are quite long, but she seems OK.


Can I skip 5 months or is this something that must be done for her health?


She scares me because she screams and is traumatized by the whole process of being restrained to have this done.


Even the lady who does it (grooming birds for 40+ years) was scared that Seymour was going to give herself a heart attack.


If not for COVID, I would take her as soon as temps get to 70 and above.


I will send pics of her beak. It was tough taking pics with my iPad.


Hi Mitch!

I spoke to vet tech who said

The lower mandible will not rejuvenate.

Only the top rejuvenates.

As long as she is able to eat normally, it should be fine.


Again, I don’t know if her beak was always shaped this way.


I never took notice of it before now.


I will have to watch her like a hawk from here on in.


She is mischievous and still goes back to that same area.


I have nowhere else to put her to play when she is outside of her cage which is all day since I’ve been staying home.


Thanks for your help & articles,



From: Mitch Rezman <[email protected]>

To: Greg Burkett <[email protected]>, “Susan D. F”, Catherine <[email protected]>
Subject: Caiques lower beak break

Greetings Dr. B and Missy


Hope all is well and you are all staying safe


I need a small favor – a quick FactCheck


A reader of ours thinks her Caique broke off the bottom of her beak while trying to lift the lip of the kitchen sink.


She called her vet but only got as far as a tech who said:

” The lower mandible will not rejuvenate. Only the top rejuvenates.”


That just doesn’t sound right?


Clarification would be most appreciated.




Dr Greg Burkett Diplomate ABVP Avian


to Mitch

The bottom also grows back.

It is possible to damage the growth plate and cause the beak to either not grow back or grow back deformed.

Other more serious injuries can also cause deformity.


The way it sounds, I don’t think that is the case here.


I can help more if you want to send pictures.

Dr. B


Mitch Rezman <[email protected]>


to Dr B




Thank you – I advised soft food and to mist with diluted Listerine.





You may want to let your vet tech know to stop passing bad info


Dr. Greg Burkett Diplomate ABVP Avian


We’ve known Dr. B for 20 years



Also, for now, follow these instructions for an Amazons broken beak from a similar situation 

Best of luck


Susan F.



I have to get her to the vet and double-booked an appt.


I discovered it just now and they close the office at 1 PM.


I asked for a call back from the vet, but I think the receptionist did not pass the message on.


I tried calling the office again just now, but they are closed. 


I hate it when they lie that they will give the message to the doctor.


One appt is for Monday, but I don’t think I can get off from work.


I booked next Saturday morning as well.


They are VERY busy.


The erosion where I can now see down to the cartilage is spreading.


It was very tiny the other day.


I had to add water to her Nutriberries to try and soften them.


It is all she will eat.


She will not eat broken parts of the Nutriberries when she rips them apart.


She will only eat it intact.


Please pray that she will be OK.


Maybe it’s a vitamin deficiency of some kind…calcium?


I thought Nutriberries had tons of vitamins in them.


Lately, she has been getting out of her cage by opening her cage door.


She has been tugging at it. She seems to have chipped the lower tip of her mandible.


This is how I noticed it. Can they do some type of reconstructive surgery to a beak???


Mitch replied

Reconstructive surgey is possible but only an avian veternarian can guide you on the subject.

Make sure you are feeding her soft foods


Hi Mitch,

Boy, was it POURING here this morning.  I never got caught driving in heavy rain like that before. 


I had a full hour’s drive and there was flooding all over. 


I had to sit out in my car to wait in front of the vet’s office as she was being examined and there were 5 assistants carrying so many dogs back and forth from the car to the office and then back to the car again. 


These dogs looked so healthy. 


I swear they have a smile on their face when they leave Dr. Krasnoff’s office 🙂 

The assistants were soaking wet. 


Dr. Krasnoff came to the door and asked me to call him on my cell because it was pouring so badly. 


He said that Seymour looks very healthy. 

Her beak is fine and will grow back.


He said that what I am seeing on her beak is normal, but it just didn’t look normal to me.


He trimmed the sharp edges on her lower mandible so it looked better than it did before. 


He gave her grooming and she came out looking fine… Not very traumatized like she usually is, but I could hear her from my car squawking through the office door during her examination.


She can have a shrill scream when she wants to. 


When she was in the car on the drive home, she was twitching a little bit at first, but now she’s calm and the twitch every 10-20 seconds stopped. 


Now she is eating and drinking as normal. I feel sooooo relieved.  I was charged $95. 


He performed an avian culture which I am hoping is part of her wellness exam so there won’t be another separate charge. 


All week, I was so worried. 


I was so proud of her because this time she didn’t ignore me on the way home. 


She was friendly and kissy-face 🐥❤


Thank God, she’s all right. 


Now I can relax for the rest of the weekend.


Have a nice Memorial Day!



I’ve been worried about the two of you – I  can take this off my “worry about” list, let Dr B know and finish the story


Have a great weekend

Stay healthy




Thank you for asking Dr. B this question.
I had an appt with Dr. Krasnoff yesterday (Saturday) and he said that her beak is fine and looks normal.  
He said that it will regenerate.
 Seymour rubbed her beak vigorously against the lip of the sink and it seemed that she made the lower mandible thinner.  
I could see the sunlight through her beak when I was looking at her profile near the window on a very sunny day.  
That is what was worrying me.  
It seemed so thin and the front of it chipped a little.
 It looked brittle.
Dr. Krasnoff trimmed her lower mandible and it looks a whole lot better now.

I am keeping an eye on it and have placed an obstacle where she tried to lift the lip of the sink.  

Thanks so much, Mitch!

Dr Greg Burkett
Sun, May 24, 7:02 AM (3 days ago)
to Mitch, Catherine

I am so glad everything is well.

Dr. B

Your zygodactyl footnote


I read a lot on the Internet, of course, that the primary reason birds break their beaks is because of fighting with other birds.


The problem that I see and hear about many solo bird beak injuries.


By the way, if this should happen to your bird.


  • Try to stop the bleeding (cornstarch can work if you have nothing else)
  • If a part of the beak is only semi-detached leave it.
  • Rinse the wound with a saline solution, contact lens solution is fine as long as it preservative-free.


Until the extent of the injury is determined soft food should be offered like mashed sweet potatoes or even baby food.


Beaks can be repaired by repurposing the same dental acrylics used on human teeth.

Pigments can be added to match the color of the bird’s beak.

And although not a solution for every beak break but bridges or even prostatic beaks are made using 3-D printers. 

Mitch Rezman

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