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Green Cheek conure belly feathers turning grey??

mango&dex

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Hello, I recently got a new green cheek conure Zazu after the death of my yellow sided green cheek Mango whom was bonded with my other green cheek Dexter. They bonded very quickly and we’ve had Zazu for almost 4 months. However when we first got him his feathers were fine, no sign of feather loss or anything. They’re both on a diet of roundy bush pellets which I mix with zupreme pure fun for a little variety (mainly pellets still). Zazu eats fresh fruit daily like mango, and apples and he loves veggies like carrots and broccoli. He has been behaving normally but I have noticed his belly feathers are turning grey and he is losing a lot more feathers than usual, he was hatched Dec 4th 2022 Im unsure if this is just him molting as he has new feathers growing but I just want to be sure. I don’t think it’s him plucking because he isn’t showing any signs of stress and he has many things to keep him enriched as I play videos for both of them and they have a variety of perches and toys. I will attach pictures of both of my conures and a picture of how much feathers he has lost in the span of two hours, the one with normal feathers is Dexter the one with the greying feathers is Zazu. I plan to take him to the vet soon anyway but I just want to be sure if this is normal before consulting about the issue.
 

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April

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Zazu is such a handsome boy but unfortunately it does look to me that he is plucking. I'd definitely get his vet appointment as soon as you can since suddenly plucking like this could indicate a medical issue and he's plucking because something inside maybe bothering him.

It's also possible that since it's spring and hormonal times and he's in a new home that he maybe plucking from hormonal frustrations.

@Mizzely @Pixiebeak @webchirp
 

Mizzely

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Those grey feathers are the downy feathers that usually hide under the colored feathers. When you see them like that, it is not due to molting. This is usually from feather destructive behaviors, which are not always related to diet or enrichment issues. They can be due to hormones, illness, pain, etc. Ruling out health issues is a good first step!

Are you sure "he" is a he? Any nesting behaviors going on?
 

mango&dex

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Those grey feathers are the downy feathers that usually hide under the colored feathers. When you see them like that, it is not due to molting. This is usually from feather destructive behaviors, which are not always related to diet or enrichment issues. They can be due to hormones, illness, pain, etc. Ruling out health issues is a good first step!

Are you sure "he" is a he? Any nesting behaviors going on?
I’m pretty sure he’s a he we never got any of our conures tested but our conure that passed away did project those hormonal behaviors as she would stick her butt up and screech in dark places, he isn’t displaying any sign of being a female from what I see.
 

mango&dex

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I’m pretty sure he’s a he we never got any of our conures tested but our conure that passed away did project those hormonal behaviors as she would stick her butt up and screech in dark places, he isn’t displaying any sign of being a female from what I see.
I have these little collar things for parrots that I got from Amazon for Dexter when he had his foot injury to prevent him from biting his foot. Should I put this on Zazu to prevent him from plucking and instead chew on the collar instead? This is only a temporary fix until I am able to schedule his vet appointment, it’s a little too big but I can resew it if needed.
 

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Your sweetie is barbering. You need to book an appointment with your avian vet and have some bloodwork done. Cbc, fecal gram stain and anything else the vet feels is necessary.
 

mango&dex

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Your sweetie is barbering. You need to book an appointment with your avian vet and have some bloodwork done. Cbc, fecal gram stain and anything else the vet feels is necessary.
I did fail to mention that I went to a wedding and we dropped them both off to my friends house for her to watch for 2 days, could this also be a reason for his plucking? This is a photo of the day before we dropped them both off.
 

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He was barbering in that photo too it looks like. Being in a different environment may have exasperated it but it wasn't when it started
 

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This could be a simple infection cured by antibiotics. The trick is to stop.it before it becomes a bad habit.
 

mango&dex

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This could be a simple infection cured by antibiotics. The trick is to stop.it before it becomes a bad habit.
What could it be an infection of? I put apple cider vinegar in their water to prevent bacteria in their crop as our vet recommended after Dexter’s check up.
 

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ACV does not cure infections. Acv will lower the chances of a yeast infection but do nothing for bacteria.
 

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What could it be an infection of? I put apple cider vinegar in their water to prevent bacteria in their crop as our vet recommended after Dexter’s check up.
Could literally be anything. Bacteria thrives everywhere.
 

mango&dex

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Could literally be anything. Bacteria thrives everywhere.
He didn’t like the collar when I tried putting it on him and I don’t want to stress him out if that is the possible cause of plucking but I will be keeping an eye on him for a few days before the appointment. If I see him pluck I’ll try giving something to chew or snack on to keep him distracted.
 

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Don't give him attention when he plucks, barbers, preens....
 

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Hi,
First off ,there really isn't a need for a collar, as he/she isn't mutilating themselves.

Your new bird has gone through a lot , changed homes and routines, diet , and added to a new bird . And then 2 weeks in a different home for pet sitting..

As mizzly said,these are the grey under fluffy feathers and he or she has plucked out the color feathers.

Feather destruction behavior is complex. Agree 100% with everyone that the place to start is a health exam with your Avian veterinarian. Plucking can be a symptom of ns y different health issues , so you want to rule that out.

After ruling out health, then it's behavioral. This pattern of destruction is pretty typical of behavioral,.

If you have these 2 caged together, I would separate to side by side cages ,and still time out of together tho. Observe and monitor. Very often one bird is stressed by sharing a cage . It can be very subtle to pick this up . I think it's a very likely scenario and a place to start. They can still be very good friends and enjoy time out together, but the new one might feel more confident and comfortable with their own space for now. In the future they may be happy to share a cage again. I previously had 2 very bonded females who shared a cage , but I over r their years together, occasionally needed to be separated to side by side, and then would choose to share again. It was very subtle, Ta-dah would displace Burt from preferred spots, and from food dish . They did not fight . Still preen each other.

When you move them to side by side cages, mashed up together . Observe, from a distance, try nit to be obvious and intense about it. Give the observations a few days . While still having them out together as your normal routine. If either bird seems indifferent to this new situation, and is happy to chill out do their own thing , tho being interested in what the other is doing is fine, then this is probably for the best for them. One of them may be frantic and contact calling , and worried about not being attached at the hip, but if the other is not, then they should have their own cages.

I suggest also adding back 10% seeds to the diet, you can offer at the very end of the day and thst way should not affect pellet or veg consumption. These are hook bills, and if Zazu had seeds before could be feeling the frustration.

On that note as well , I would be weight checking. I hope you have the weight when first arrived to compare to. But if not , you can see where it is now and how that compares to the average GCC expected weight. I like once a week or once every 2weeks for life .. daily if I think there is a health issue or changing things like diet and changing cages. All to often quick diet changes can have the bird not actually eating enough, even if observed eating. Or stressed by the change , and even health issues even though pellets s d veggies are healthy food , sudden changes can disturb gut flora, trigger fatty lipidosis as less calories less fat , triggers sudden release of fats ( lipids) that can overwhelm or inflame the liver . I know that sounds weird , but it's how the body works.


It's normal to never actually see the feather destruction happening, they are sneaky, and often it happens at night or wee hours of the morning. As shared if you do see it, pay it no attention whatsoever. Birds do a lot of preening normally a d you don't want to disrupt that. They especially seem to like doing a big preen session even out of the cage or hanging out with you.
Be sure to offer a bath daily, as free choice. GCC seem to bathe nearly daily. At least mine all have. I use a sturdy ceramic bowl with a thick rim , and only about 2 inches of water in it. One is a rabbit food or water dish , the other I have is a ceramic pie or cake dish, as well as one of plastic clear bath dishes they sell for parakeets or small birds.
 

mango&dex

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Hi,
First off ,there really isn't a need for a collar, as he/she isn't mutilating themselves.

Your new bird has gone through a lot , changed homes and routines, diet , and added to a new bird . And then 2 weeks in a different home for pet sitting..

As mizzly said,these are the grey under fluffy feathers and he or she has plucked out the color feathers.

Feather destruction behavior is complex. Agree 100% with everyone that the place to start is a health exam with your Avian veterinarian. Plucking can be a symptom of ns y different health issues , so you want to rule that out.

After ruling out health, then it's behavioral. This pattern of destruction is pretty typical of behavioral,.

If you have these 2 caged together, I would separate to side by side cages ,and still time out of together tho. Observe and monitor. Very often one bird is stressed by sharing a cage . It can be very subtle to pick this up . I think it's a very likely scenario and a place to start. They can still be very good friends and enjoy time out together, but the new one might feel more confident and comfortable with their own space for now. In the future they may be happy to share a cage again. I previously had 2 very bonded females who shared a cage , but I over r their years together, occasionally needed to be separated to side by side, and then would choose to share again. It was very subtle, Ta-dah would displace Burt from preferred spots, and from food dish . They did not fight . Still preen each other.

When you move them to side by side cages, mashed up together . Observe, from a distance, try nit to be obvious and intense about it. Give the observations a few days . While still having them out together as your normal routine. If either bird seems indifferent to this new situation, and is happy to chill out do their own thing , tho being interested in what the other is doing is fine, then this is probably for the best for them. One of them may be frantic and contact calling , and worried about not being attached at the hip, but if the other is not, then they should have their own cages.

I suggest also adding back 10% seeds to the diet, you can offer at the very end of the day and thst way should not affect pellet or veg consumption. These are hook bills, and if Zazu had seeds before could be feeling the frustration.

On that note as well , I would be weight checking. I hope you have the weight when first arrived to compare to. But if not , you can see where it is now and how that compares to the average GCC expected weight. I like once a week or once every 2weeks for life .. daily if I think there is a health issue or changing things like diet and changing cages. All to often quick diet changes can have the bird not actually eating enough, even if observed eating. Or stressed by the change , and even health issues even though pellets s d veggies are healthy food , sudden changes can disturb gut flora, trigger fatty lipidosis as less calories less fat , triggers sudden release of fats ( lipids) that can overwhelm or inflame the liver . I know that sounds weird , but it's how the body works.


It's normal to never actually see the feather destruction happening, they are sneaky, and often it happens at night or wee hours of the morning. As shared if you do see it, pay it no attention whatsoever. Birds do a lot of preening normally a d you don't want to disrupt that. They especially seem to like doing a big preen session even out of the cage or hanging out with you.
Be sure to offer a bath daily, as free choice. GCC seem to bathe nearly daily. At least mine all have. I use a sturdy ceramic bowl with a thick rim , and only about 2 inches of water in it. One is a rabbit food or water dish , the other I have is a ceramic pie or cake dish, as well as one of plastic clear bath dishes they sell for parakeets or small birds.
UPDATE: I called the avian vet and emailed them pictures of Zazu and he said it was just a molt. Actually the same thing started happening to my other green cheek near the neck area. He says to keep an eye on him for maybe 2 weeks to a month and if there are still barely any colored feathers/ no pin feathers growing to come back. Zazu is growing back his feathers as I check his belly and multiple feather shafts are forming. I did not switch his diet to pellets immediately when I got him I just started mixing them in with the seeds and slowly adding more and more and less seeds. He actually really likes the pellets but I do mix seeds still in their bowl. Thank you all for the advice! I put a camera up to check on him throughout the day when I’m unable to be near them. Today I saw Zazu take a bath and I didn’t see him pluck any feathers. When he fluffed up or when he would preen himself or Dexter would, some feathers would shed, which my vet said would most likely make it a molt.
 

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mango&dex

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Haniya
Hi,
First off ,there really isn't a need for a collar, as he/she isn't mutilating themselves.

Your new bird has gone through a lot , changed homes and routines, diet , and added to a new bird . And then 2 weeks in a different home for pet sitting..

As mizzly said,these are the grey under fluffy feathers and he or she has plucked out the color feathers.

Feather destruction behavior is complex. Agree 100% with everyone that the place to start is a health exam with your Avian veterinarian. Plucking can be a symptom of ns y different health issues , so you want to rule that out.

After ruling out health, then it's behavioral. This pattern of destruction is pretty typical of behavioral,.

If you have these 2 caged together, I would separate to side by side cages ,and still time out of together tho. Observe and monitor. Very often one bird is stressed by sharing a cage . It can be very subtle to pick this up . I think it's a very likely scenario and a place to start. They can still be very good friends and enjoy time out together, but the new one might feel more confident and comfortable with their own space for now. In the future they may be happy to share a cage again. I previously had 2 very bonded females who shared a cage , but I over r their years together, occasionally needed to be separated to side by side, and then would choose to share again. It was very subtle, Ta-dah would displace Burt from preferred spots, and from food dish . They did not fight . Still preen each other.

When you move them to side by side cages, mashed up together . Observe, from a distance, try nit to be obvious and intense about it. Give the observations a few days . While still having them out together as your normal routine. If either bird seems indifferent to this new situation, and is happy to chill out do their own thing , tho being interested in what the other is doing is fine, then this is probably for the best for them. One of them may be frantic and contact calling , and worried about not being attached at the hip, but if the other is not, then they should have their own cages.

I suggest also adding back 10% seeds to the diet, you can offer at the very end of the day and thst way should not affect pellet or veg consumption. These are hook bills, and if Zazu had seeds before could be feeling the frustration.

On that note as well , I would be weight checking. I hope you have the weight when first arrived to compare to. But if not , you can see where it is now and how that compares to the average GCC expected weight. I like once a week or once every 2weeks for life .. daily if I think there is a health issue or changing things like diet and changing cages. All to often quick diet changes can have the bird not actually eating enough, even if observed eating. Or stressed by the change , and even health issues even though pellets s d veggies are healthy food , sudden changes can disturb gut flora, trigger fatty lipidosis as less calories less fat , triggers sudden release of fats ( lipids) that can overwhelm or inflame the liver . I know that sounds weird , but it's how the body works.


It's normal to never actually see the feather destruction happening, they are sneaky, and often it happens at night or wee hours of the morning. As shared if you do see it, pay it no attention whatsoever. Birds do a lot of preening normally a d you don't want to disrupt that. They especially seem to like doing a big preen session even out of the cage or hanging out with you.
Be sure to offer a bath daily, as free choice. GCC seem to bathe nearly daily. At least mine all have. I use a sturdy ceramic bowl with a thick rim , and only about 2 inches of water in it. One is a rabbit food or water dish , the other I have is a ceramic pie or cake dish, as well as one of plastic clear bath dishes they sell for parakeets or small birds.
Also we were only gone for 2 days, we dropped them off last Friday morning and came back to pick them up Sunday afternoon.
 

Peachfaced

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That is NOT a molt. Who is your Avian Vet? It really sounds like you need a second opinion.
 

mango&dex

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That is NOT a molt. Who is your Avian Vet? It really sounds like you need a second opinion.
It’s a called exotic bird hospital, I got my bird Dexter treated for his foot injury there. They do many other animals as well like reptiles and hedgehogs, ferrets, etc.
 

mango&dex

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That is NOT a molt. Who is your Avian Vet? It really sounds like you need a second opinion.
They never said it wasn’t plucking they said there is a possibility it is a molt, and to come back after 2 weeks if it’s still bad.
 
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