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Feather Plucking HELP!!

singermanlynne

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Lynne Singerman
My precious Illiger is plucking. It started right after the flooding from Harvey in Texas. I have had him evaluated by a specialist avian medicine and we have tested for everything she can think of. I finally had a collar that I special ordered placed on him and his feathers begin to grow back. I was hopeful. After three weeks we took off the collar and within three days he was pulling every new feather out. It is very distressing and it’s making me very sad. Please help if you can - just know he has tested normal in all testing Including lead and heavy metals. He has received an injection of vitamins and injection to reduce hormones two treatments in case it mites - no change( all of these Treatments were weeks apart) The next suggested Treatment would be something for anxiety.
 

expressmailtome

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JLcribber

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When medical reasons have been ruled out, we start looking at diet and environment. Behavioural plucking is a very complicated thing and there isn't always a fix. If you truly want to get a handle on this it will require thinking outside the box.

So what is his (name?) diet and environment like? Does your bird fly? What kind of schedule/routine does he have? Is he a solitary bird or does he have friends? All very important things.
 

singermanlynne

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So what is his (name?) Ollie diet fresh veg. And fruit - tree nuts - select seeds - breadie bread and some people food like rice - pellets but I am not certain they are eatenf - environment like he is DNA male has a nice cage with the door usually open -he can fly but rather climb Does your bird fly? Yes he flies What kind of schedule/routine does he have? We start late and stay up late - getting between 10 and 12 hours sleep. I am retired and spend most of my time with my birds
  1. Is he a solitary bird or does he have friends? Ollie does not have any actual friends but he does have company he is in a flock with a Blue Crowned Conure a Lilac Crowned Amazon, a Alexandrine
 

JLcribber

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My precious Illiger is plucking. It started right after the flooding from Harvey in Texas.
So what exactly happened during this traumatic event? This is obviously a factor. How old is he?
 

singermanlynne

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He is 5 years old and due to the horrible flooding my adult children lived with me for 5 weeks. They do not like my birds and do not understand why I do. The stress in my house was terrible - some caused by the losses they suffered - some from tight living - but mostly they could not and would not stop complaining about my birds and the noise. The young adults became very child like under stress and acted spoiled and impatient. The house was full of stress that occasionally had the humans screeching.
 

JLcribber

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He is 5 years old and due to the horrible flooding my adult children lived with me for 5 weeks. They do not like my birds and do not understand why I do. The stress in my house was terrible - some caused by the losses they suffered - some from tight living - but mostly they could not and would not stop complaining about my birds and the noise. The young adults became very child like under stress and acted spoiled and impatient. The house was full of stress that occasionally had the humans screeching.
Well that is a plenty big enough event to cause the problem. Especially for 5 weeks. So how long has it been since this event ended and has the stress/chaos in the house also gone?

This was a long enough event for your bird to turn this plucking into a compulsion/habit. Once these things become ingrained they're very hard to stop. There are no magic potions that fix this. Any drugs you administer will only dull your birds senses and make them lethargic and sleepy. There are no easy answers here.

My suggestion is to make life as stress free as possible. Provide lots of flight time and a place to do it. Lots of Enrichment. Time. A busy bird doesn't have time (or need) to pluck. Easier said than done I know.
 

Alicia B

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This sounds like it was a truely stressful event for everyone. Plucking feathers is so stressful as a carer as well. Birds also need strict covered night rest. I know that even though our household is late to bed, we still cover the cage shortly after sun down and uncover in the morning. They say 12 hours of darkness. Also, since he is stressed clearly does he like hanging out on your shoulder? Maybe keeping him close by/on your shoulder to discourage the plucking and offer extra comfort and support? Extra clean cage also helps as well as being meticulous about clearing out fresh food after an hour or two. I know this last part alone, and access to new toys has greatly improved the plucking of my two lorikeets. They are even growing out new feathers! Good luck and lots of love! And be sure to keep the negative people away from him, or not allow them to be negative towards him while they’re in your house. X
 
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