Posted by: Micks | 2005/01/05


Why does my bird pull out his feathers?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Micks

Feather plucking is not a specific disease/problem. It can be a symptom of a whole range of problems including disease (such as chlamydia, giardia etc), chronic toxicities (such as chronic zinc poisoning), dietary imbalances, allergies (such as people smoking cigarettes in the bird's vicinity), sexual frustration, inadequate sunlight, inadequate sleep, separation anxiety, too low humidity in the environment etc etc.

What I would recommend is finding an experienced avian veterinarian in your area and taking the bird in for a feather plucking workup. This may include a radiograph, blood tests etc. The vet will also take a detailed history and discuss the birds diet and daily routine with you in order to try to discover the reason for the feather plucking.

This is a very common problem with parrots and parrot-like birds and can become extremely difficult to control if the bird continues to pluck for a prolongued period, as the bird can then become a compulsive plucker and may continue with the behaviour even when the initial problem is corrected.

Good Luck!
Dr Dorianne Elliott
Bird and Exotic Animal Veterinarian

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Micks | 2005/01/06


Reply to Micks
Posted by: Chill | 2005/01/06

One of two reasons: he's got a skin/parasite problem, or he's bored.

Why will he continue to pluck his feathers: because if you don't nip this in the bud very smartly, it becomes a habit which is very difficult to break.

So. First, you take him to an avian vet to check his health anr to help you see if he has mites or something else. Then, you take some trouble to provide him with stimulating activities so he doesn't get bored.

Parrots are highly intelligent and can't be left to amuse themselves in a sterile environment. Find him toys: non-toxic twigs (grapevine, elderberry, to name two, but NOT pine or avocado or citrus). Plastic bottle-tops to chew. Give him an old, clean toothbrush to play with. Edible things like a grenadilla, a lychee, grapes, strawberries also help Use your imagination, and switch the toys around a bit now and then.

Good luck.

Reply to Chill

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