Friday, October 09, 2009

A beak and pedi

The talons and beak of wild birds in captivity grow and they aren't naturally trimmed as well as in the wild. In the wild they would chew more on bones and such things more than they have the opportunity to do in captivity. Ghost the Snowy Owl's diet is mainly mice and he eats them whole. I vary his diet from time to time with rabbit, chicks, rats and pheasant. He also chews on the astro turf that I have on his perches. But his beak still grows and needs a little help being trimmed or coped.

Ghost has never needed his beak coped before. His talons get trimmed several times a year though. He maintains his beak pretty good. A few weeks ago, I asked Cindy to check out his beak while we were at a presentation. She said he was borderline needing it coped. So I made an appointment for it to be done today. It's not something you can do by yourself and I know of no one in Bird TLC who has more experience performing them or is there anyone I trust more with Ghost than Cindy.

For something that's not natural to him, having a Dremmel run around his beak, he handled himself well. The whole procedure with talon trimming and all took less than five minutes. Ghost is still molting even though it's getting below freezing at night. When he was let up and got back on fist, feathers went everywhere.

So now he has a healthy shaped beak and trimmed talons. I gave him a frozen mouse as a treat. Maybe I should have offered one to Cindy since she did all the work. Well, thanks anyway Cindy!


Britt said...

Great post, great photos! Cindy is the wild bird dentist. :) And complete with a pedicure too!

Meggie said...

Looks like Ghost had quite a day at the beauty parlor.