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Pictures PLEASE HELP. What is this??

Luvthosebirds

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22AD02E6-B429-4C2D-AB01-D7BC49E3B977.jpeg 8970101C-8F43-462C-ACCB-80BBBD1AF57A.jpeg 22AD02E6-B429-4C2D-AB01-D7BC49E3B977.jpeg This is my 3.5 year old goffin cockatoo. I’ve recently noticed that under his feathers (DNA sexed male), it looks like this. He hasn’t plucked before and has millions of toys, a cage mate and is otherwise in good feather condition. It looks like “holes” where a feather is supposed to be...?? He has molted a little bit but I haven’t seen much of an improvement under his wings over the last month- (it looked like this a month ago but not as severe). What are the “holes”? And the black dots within the holes?

I’ve owned birds (macaws, pionus, cockatoos) for many years and have seen a lot. I have another bird that plucks but her stomach or under her wings never look like this. I really want to understand what I’m actually looking at. Thanks in advance!!
 

Luvthosebirds

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I can definitely take him to the vet next week- the vets I’ve been to around here are not that great. I’m worried they won’t be able to help much... my friend is a long time parrot breeder and she thinks the black is blood from him pulling out his feathers?
 

Sarahmoluccan

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Looks like feather follicles to me. Sort like pores in mammals but instead of hair feathers come out of them. I hope that makes sense. The black stuff is probably dried blood.

Zane my M2 and self mutilator has had something similar. He has damaged some his feather follicles to the point where feathers no longer grow. I'd get a vet's opinion but it looks to me like some your bird's follicles are pretty damage :( I hate to the bearer of bad news but again I'd check to see what your vet thinks. I hope this helps
 

Luvthosebirds

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I live in American Fork, UT. I usually go to Jay Dee Ipsen at Payson Family Pet Hospital. I’ve seen a few at Wasatch Avian and been to Parrish Creek.
 

expressmailtome

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I live in American Fork, UT. I usually go to Jay Dee Ipsen at Payson Family Pet Hospital. I’ve seen a few at Wasatch Avian and been to Parrish Creek.
Have you seen Dr. Scott Echols at Parrish Creek? He is highly respected. There is also Dr. Lara Taylor at Clearfield Veterinary Clinic, https://clearfieldvetclinic.com/ .
 

Familyof12

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I sure hope your baby is okay! Please let us know how he/she is doing!
 

cassiesdad

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That looks like where new feathers will be coming in soon. The dark areas will be where the new sheaths pop up...I believe that's where the blood is coming. It looks like little scabs. You can see new feather growth right next to the "holes" in the picture there.

Milton gets these a lot when he molts. If it concerns you though, talk to your vet...
 

JLcribber

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I really want to understand what I’m actually looking at. Thanks in advance!!
Yes she is plucking. Goffins (like most cockatoos) have a propensity towards feather destructive behaviour. A very complicated thing as you know because there are so many factors.

Rule number 1 is rule out medical issues. That means a full medical checkup first.

Here's some good reading on the subject.

The Basics of Feather Picking
 

cassiesdad

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Does this hurt them when this happens?
To me, it's hard to tell if the area gives a bird pain or not. If anything, maybe it itches them. When the sheaths are prematurely broken, there is pain...that what Milton has shown me, at least...
 

Laylatoo

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When Layla plucks hers I sense relief. She’s so bothered by her skin and pin feathers that when she gets it out she seems to feel better. Unfortunately that starts a vicious cycle of plucking and endorphin release.



Does this hurt them when this happens? Thank you!
 

JLcribber

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Does this hurt them when this happens? Thank you!
Preening is a natural and hard wired instinct. Plucking is an exaggeration of that behavior and if not dealt with quickly becomes a habit much like chewing your fingernails. As a result of nervousness the feather picking is a stress coping mechanism. There is an endorphin rush from pulling the feather and relieving the irritation which is a reward. Much like scratching an itch. The pain itself might even be reinforcing. When a feather is pulled, there is about a 2 week cycle before the new feather starts to stick out of the skin. The bird may not pluck for 2 weeks and then start again. This is a bad cycle. Never make a fuss over plucked feathers. That is also a reinforcer.
 

macawpower58

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Sadly my Goffin has areas that look just like that. She's a plucker, bad at times, less so at others.
 

Tiel Feathers

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I'm sorry your bird is having this issue, and I hope you can make an appointment with the vet soon!
 

Familyof12

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Much like scratching an itch. The pain itself might even be reinforcing. When a feather is pulled, there is about a 2 week cycle before the new feather starts to stick out of the skin. The bird may not pluck for 2 weeks and then start again. This is a bad cycle. Never make a fuss over plucked feathers. That is also a reinforcer.
Thank you for explaining! I've read but the reading is pretty dry and only explains the medical reasons. Mine don't pluck and I hope it doesn't happen. I understand it is common among parrotlets and that is why I'm so interested in this.
 
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