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is it Preening, Plucking, Picking, Molting ?

Candace & Rudy

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Hey everyone, I am a new bird owner I just adopted a GCC named Rudy he is about 3 years old. I stay in communication with his foster mom as she has been a huge help during the process and she likes to hear how Rudy is doing.

We adopted him this past Saturday. I think he has been adjusting really well! He has a great personality, loves both me and my boyfriend and is okay with our dog as well. My question is about his preening and how I can tell if there is picking or plucking happening (before bald spots occur). We do have him scheduled for his first vet appointment next weekend, but in the meantime here is what I am noticing.

Rudy preens a lot and I know this is normal. He is often on one of our shoulders and I work from home so Rudy has not been in his cage for too long maybe a couple hours at a time. I understand some of the soft feathers (are these called down feathers?) come of naturally as a result of preening. He is also itching it seems like a lot but I am not sure. I was told he is molting and from what I have read it looks like he is - he's got the short, waxy, prick like feathers around his head. My concern is that there has been a couple larger contour feathers left behind. Yesterday while he was on my shoulder I noticed he was holding one and chewing on the end (the side that would be in his body). I noticed today a large contour feather in his cage that looked chewed on as well.

I am trying to determine if he is plucking?

He has been eating and drinking like normal, talking a lot, getting a good 12 hours sleep and even though it has only been a few days we are trying to keep him involved as much as possible without overwhelming him. He easily comes out of his cage, but it is quite the opposite when it is time for him to go back in.

Any suggestions, or thoughts? Is this plucking? To be clear there has been a total of maybe 5 or 6 contour feathers most of them short ones that i notice on the floor when he is done preening, the other 2 i think he chewed on them.

Thanks in advance for your help! I am still learning SO much about my little guy and this species in general!

Candace & Rudy
 

Ziggy Stardust

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Welcome to you and Rudy. From I've heard GCCs are fun little birds with personality plus. Sadly, I am not owned by a bird. Crossing my fingers that someday...lots of GCC owners on here so someone with expertise will be along .
 

sunnysmom

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Welcome to the forum. It sounds to me like he's molting. My bird chews on his big feathers too. The short, waxy things are pin feathers- new feathers growing in. Molting can make birds cranky and tired but it sounds like yours is doing okay. Have you given him a bath/misted him yet? That can make a bird feel better when they're molting. Pin feathers can hurt them so when petting be careful of touching them. It can jab them. A vet check is always a good idea for a new bird so I'm glad you have one scheduled. :) Enjoy your new birdie friend. :)
 

Tiel Feathers

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:welave:

And congratulations on your new little friend! He sounds like he is adjusting nicely to his new home. I agree, it sounds like he's molting. Misting or bathing, if he likes it, will help him to feel more comfortable.

As far as getting him back in his cage, I would give his favorite treat just for giving him once he's back inside. Millet is often a birdie favorite. Also, a little while before you want to put him away, you could take any food you have outside for him away. Then he might be hungry enough to go in his cage and eat the food you have for him in there.
 

Candace & Rudy

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Thanks guys! I appreciate your quick responses. I have tried to get Rudy to take a bath but he's not ready for that yet! Haha, I did catch him taking a quick bath, just around his head, in his water bowl the other day (which I cleaned after) but I think I'll try misting.

Thanks again, I'm glad to be a part of this helpful community!!
 

expressmailtome

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karen256

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It sounds like he's just molting. They do replace all their feathers, not just down feathers, once a year. It's normal for them to sometimes play with the molted feathers, too.
Baths will help him feel less itchy, but if he doesn't like being misted (some birds do, some birds hate it) he'll be ok without the misting. Mine loves to dive into any shallow dish of water she can fit into. You could try offering water in a suitable container on top of his cage and splashing your hand in it a little to get his attention.
 

painesgrey

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If he is interested in bathing in his water bowl, they sell bowls that attach to the side of the cage that are larger, and made for this purpose. Here are two examples: LIX787 Lixit Bird Bath - BATHS, SPRAYS & GROOMING and SC4901 Smart Crock Smart Bird Bath 10 oz - BATHS, SPRAYS & GROOMING .

Matt


I use one of these. When it's full of water it can be a bit difficult to slide out without sloshing water, but it's plenty big enough for my quaker and caique, who likes bathing in his 16oz water dish. I just hooked it on the outside of the cage and fill it a few times a week.
 
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