Your parrot's beak is one of his most important body parts. A parrot with a damaged beak may be in pain, unable to eat or drink properly, and he could even be suffering from a disease. Problems with your parrot's beak should be treated as quickly as possible by an avian veterinarian to prevent the problem from worsening and the parrot's health from deteriorating further as a result of the damaged beak.
Your Parrot's Beak
Parrots' beaks grow continuously and are covered by a horny exterior that is very similar to your own fingernails. It's normal for minor cracks and flaws to appear on your parrot's beak as the beak continues to grow and renew itself. Your parrot should not appear to be uncomfortable or in pain during the beak's normal growth process -- if your parrot is reluctant to eat or sensitive to the line on his beak being touched, then there is a high probability that your parrot has a problem with his beak.
The Cracked Beak
Your parrot's beak can be broken or cracked as the result of an injury or impact. A crack in your parrot's beak may look like a line in the beak. A cracked beak may be able to heal on its own or it may require veterinary treatment. Because there are bones and tissues in the beak, it's advisable to take your bird to the veterinarian the moment you notice his beak has developed a line or crack in it.
Old injuries can take a significant amount of time to heal and grow out. In the case of significant injuries, the tissue underneath the surface of your bird's beak may be permanently scarred. A beak that has been previously damaged may have a line running through it or give the appearance of having a line running through it because the tissue or the beak itself are scarred from the injury. Some birds who have suffered severe, long-term injuries are left with partially functioning or weak beaks and require specialized care because of the previous damage to the beak's structure.
A sick parrot may have a weak or flawed beak because the growth of the beak is being impeded or damaged due to the illness. This can occur when a bird has psittacine beak and feather disease, which can cause the beak to weaken, crack or even rot. Beak damage can also occur due to malnutrition or a diet that doesn't contain enough vitamins and minerals to keep your bird healthy. A trip to your veterinarian will be necessary to determine exactly what type of illness your bird is suffering from as well as how to treat it.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.