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Conure will not preen tail??

haze

Sprinting down the street
Avenue Veteran
Joined
11/2/15
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402
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Houston
Real Name
Sam
So as some of yall might remember, I have a CBC with a barbering problem. He is getting better with it, and right now his main issue is that he has no tail. He often breaks the tail feathers while they are still blood feathers, and then they just fall out.
The few tail feathers that he does have are chewed off so they are only about half as long as they should be. One thing I noticed though that I think is contributing to the broken blood feather problem is that Charles NEVER preens his tail. The feathers that he has are always very messed up and not "zipped" together because he cannot fly so his tail is always dragged against the cage bars. He does preen his wing and body feathers, but I don't think I have ever seen evidence of him preening the tail other than just chewing the broken feathers off.

What might be causing him to not preen the tail feathers at all? I'm concerned that his lack of attention to preening down there is contributing to his feathers breaking. How can I encourage him to preen? He is a senior bird so maybe he just doesn't care anymore? I'm not really sure. He gets lots of fresh air and sunlight outside on the screened porch and he loves to take baths, and I give him a feather supplement powder on his food.
 
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MommyBird

Biking along the boulevard
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Debbie
If he's a senior bird he may have arthritis and cannot bend to preen his tail.
I noticed this in my Jenday conure when I adopted him in his 20s. I need to preen him if it is going to happen.
A few weeks ago my avian vet did an xray and we could see severe arthritis in his neck that is so bad the vet isn't even able to move his neck enough to do a blood draw.
 

haze

Sprinting down the street
Avenue Veteran
Joined
11/2/15
Messages
402
Location
Houston
Real Name
Sam
If he's a senior bird he may have arthritis and cannot bend to preen his tail.
I noticed this in my Jenday conure when I adopted him in his 20s. I need to preen him if it is going to happen.
A few weeks ago my avian vet did an xray and we could see severe arthritis in his neck that is so bad the vet isn't even able to move his neck enough to do a blood draw.
Oh thanks, I hadn’t considered it could be arthritis related. He has never been x-rayed. How do you preen his feathers for him? They are quite tattered and I’m not sure how I can make them zip together as a bird would. He also unfortunately is not tame and probably wouldn’t allow it but I can try.
 

MommyBird

Biking along the boulevard
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Mayor of the Avenue
Joined
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Oh thanks, I hadn’t considered it could be arthritis related. He has never been x-rayed. How do you preen his feathers for him? They are quite tattered and I’m not sure how I can make them zip together as a bird would. He also unfortunately is not tame and probably wouldn’t allow it but I can try.
mostly I have to help with pinfeathers, as he will leave an entire tailfeather or wingfeather as a mature pinfeather.
He doesn't knock his feathers about too much but it does happen. With that I can smooth them out but what may be the best thing for you to try first since your guy isn't too tame would be a bath where his feathers get very wet. That does have a way of making much right with feathers.
 

haze

Sprinting down the street
Avenue Veteran
Joined
11/2/15
Messages
402
Location
Houston
Real Name
Sam
mostly I have to help with pinfeathers, as he will leave an entire tailfeather or wingfeather as a mature pinfeather.
He doesn't knock his feathers about too much but it does happen. With that I can smooth them out but what may be the best thing for you to try first since your guy isn't too tame would be a bath where his feathers get very wet. That does have a way of making much right with feathers.
Charles currently has some itchy pinfeathers on his head. Yesterday he got a full shower so that he would be completely wet, and I think it will help him with the pin feathers. I can tell he is so frustrated by them because he keeps rubbing his head on the cage bars. :laugh: He is so itchy that he is warming up to the idea of letting me preen his head. It's like he knows he wants it, but then once my fingers touch him he gets a little scared. I think he will come around to being handled eventually. He is not scared of hands, only of them touching him when he didn't decide it.
I think you are right about the arthritis. I've been observing him, and he really just does not bend his neck much if he can avoid it. He also has pretty knobby looking foot joints. I'm going to do more research about taking care of senior parrots so that I can accommodate him properly. In the meantime, he will be getting a lot more baths to help with his itchyness. Hopefully it will help with his feather barbering too!
 
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