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Feather Plucking

WHY DO BIRDS FEATHER PLUCK?

Where do we start? There is no simple answer or treatment for this complaint.

One thing is certain though and that is that Greys and cockatoos are more prone to feather plucking than other bird species.

Disease

Over the years we have come in to contact with quite a few feather plucked birds, the first course of action necessary is to get an avian vet to take blood samples in order to see if there are medical reasons why the bird is plucking. Disease is a common cause for feather plucking, and only last year we received a phone call about a grey that was feather plucking, however when the bird was taken to an avian vet it was found that the poor bird had cancer.

Feather damage

Just like you scratch your skin where it itches, birds will pluck areas that feel uncomfortable. Bad wing clipping, damage to feathers or feather follicles due to the cage being too small for the bird are all causes of plucking.

Psychological causes

This can be due to the bird needing to mate or the mate that it has being incompatible with it. Even a lack of suitable nesting material has been known to cause a bird to pluck its feathers.

We came across one grey that had been hand reared and had never learned to preen its self properly. Then there are those birds that learn that if they pull a feather out, they can get you to do what they want (give them attention)

Stress can cause your bird to feather pluck, yes birds do get stressed if they are in unsuitable or unhygienic conditions or have inadequate space (cage too small)

Then there is the number one cause for feather plucking: Diet

Again, where do we start?

We at Junglegold still find it amazing how many phone calls we get where the caller tells us their bird has a good diet. Then after a while talking with the caller, we find that the bird is not really being fed a good diet after all.

Such owners buy their seed from the local pet shop, from which 9 out of 10 varieties are full of sunflower seeds and peanuts. Much research over the years has found that, an abundance of sunflower seeds is harmful to your bird, and they also become sunflower junkies.

 

The Premium Parrot "Ideal" mix which we have specially made in Holland and can be supplied by mail order is a great start to get your bird on the road to recovery. This mix contains very little sunflower seed, but does have other ingredients such as pumpkin, rolled pea, carrot, mountain ash and rosehip, to name just a few

 

Calcium depravation is also a key factor especially when African Greys feather pluck. Psittamix a vitamin and mineral supplement with additional calcium is essential for any feather plucked bird. It boosts the bird's ability to replace feathers without drawing the necessary calcium needed from the birds own skeletal structure.

 

Parrot Palm Fruit Extract has also been proven to be highly beneficial when dealing with feather plucking birds, especially when the cause is dietary based. The high levels of beta carotene and vitamin E aid the production of replacement feathers while conditioning the skin to reduce the irritation of feather growth.

 

 

Its the same bird about eight months later, he is still not 100% but getting there fast.