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Preening and Pin feathers help!

ConureMom95

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Recently adopted a rescue African Grey. It’s been a lot of work but I’ve finally gotten him to trust me enough to cuddle and give scratches. The problem now is the absurd amount of pin feathers on his head and neck!
It’s been awhile since he’s had any body close enough to work on those babies so they’ve added up.
With my conures pin feathers are easy a little rub and poof they’re gone. But the sheaths on Rex’s head are THICK!
Ive discovered a technique to pinch off the tips when they turn white and I’ve got some molt ease spray on its way.
But Rex is really not a fan of my pinching method. He’ll only allow me to do 2-3 feathers before he gets irritated and no longer wants to be touched.
I know it’s helping because since I’ve started those feathers have considerably loosened up but it’s still a far cry from done.
I’m wondering if anyone else out there with greys or other birds with tough pins has any suggestions we can try.
Thank you so much!!!! The itchy boy appreciates it!
 

Shezbug

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They will eventually break and flake away on their own if it is a problem for either of you.
If I do Burt's when the tip of the pin has only just gone white I chance him getting a little crabby as they are not quite ready enough to not still be sensitive. Once the white has traveled further down the shaft I can do them with ease and they even break differently. I find extra misting/ showers helps speed the whole process up. Once they are actually ready Burt is much more accommodating and will let me get them pins tidied up good.
 

Snowghost

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Congratulations on being able to get him to scritch his had and cuddles. The only thing I know to about pin feathers is more misting/showers.

I'm curious I have a 20 year CAG that was ignored and cage bound. I have worked hard for a year now to get him to trust me.

What is your techniques to get him to trust me enough for head scritches and cuddles?
 

ConureMom95

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Congratulations on being able to get him to scritch his had and cuddles. The only thing I know to about pin feathers is more misting/showers.

I'm curious I have a 20 year CAG that was ignored and cage bound. I have worked hard for a year now to get him to trust me.

What is your techniques to get him to trust me enough for head scritches and cuddles?
Thank you for the tip!
Rex and I didn’t get along well he’s much younger tho, he’s about 5 years old. Essentially what ended up working for me was moving his cage into my room where I spend the most time and opening the cage. He has a domed cage but if you have a flat cage that you can put a play stand on that’s even better. I just placed a large perch next to his cage and covered it with toys and treats. I allowed him to come out and explore on his own while I was in the room. After awhile I’d take the toys and things away and when he’d come out I’d give him the toys. i got luck in that Rex does know step up so on occasion he’d freak out and fly across the room and allow me to take him back to his cage. I never kept him out just took him back. After I knew he liked coming out I’d assert myself as the gateway. Offering to step up. If he didn’t step up he didn’t come out. Now he knows step up is how he gets to come out and now he’d rather be with me than on his play perch.
if you haven’t check out Marlene Mccohen. She has rescued a few greys and has some great tips in her videos that I built on to work with Rex.
 

ConureMom95

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They will eventually break and flake away on their own if it is a problem for either of you.
If I do Burt's when the tip of the pin has only just gone white I chance him getting a little crabby as they are not quite ready enough to not still be sensitive. Once the white has traveled further down the shaft I can do them with ease and they even break differently. I find extra misting/ showers helps speed the whole process up. Once they are actually ready Burt is much more accommodating and will let me get them pins tidied up good.
Thank you! I’ll try to give some of them a bit more time. We’re definitely working on misting but the spray bottle makes him mad haha haha! Thanks again :D
 

Snowghost

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@ConureMom95 If he is mad at the spray bottle try squirting him further away. Paco wasn't crazy about it at first either. I always keep a routine with him. It seems to help him as it did my Amazon. He is in my room with a tropical fish tank. Every Saturday morning, I clean the fish tank (lots of water noises going on there) I sit the squirt bottle out and I say, "Paco want a bath" I continue cleaning. I always say, "Paco dirty bird, let's clean up" I change his paper, quick vacuum under cage and his bottom tray. After that I say, "All nice and clean". On bath days I take everything out and lay towels. He is terrified of towels so I call them "laundry" Trying to get him used to towels, God forbid if and when I will need to towel him for something. The first time I just gently squirted him and he didn't like it. But I kept at it. Making it exciting, Paco get a bath! He now looks forward to it and knows when I get the bottle out he is going to get his bath.

Is Marlene McCohen on here or You Tube. I was going to try and train him with sunflower seeds, I just can't find any seeds that are salt free. I am pretty sure it will take more time before I am allowed to touch him, maybe never, but I'm not giving up hope.
 

Shezbug

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Please check out people who are actually fully qualified and know what they are doing to get training and bonding tips from.... lots of these you tube stars (that is what they are:- stars, not bird behaviorists or experts of any sort) actually advocate for some really questionable stuff..... yes some of it may be good but lots of it is just down right scary and uneducated.

Healthy bird treats you can get from many different places like health food stores or Nuts.com: Premium Bulk Nuts, Dried Fruit, Healthy Snacks, and Gifts I think this place has people treats too, not one I use as it is not in Aus.

Training resources by actual qualified people: Free Training Resources
 

Snowghost

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Thanks @Shezbug I looked up the Marlene McCohen and I wasn't impressed, her birds are tame and not scared. Paco is very fearful. I know his cage was in the corner of a living room next to a sliding glass door. He was pretty much cage bound for 6 years in that house. Previously, the man that got him as a baby apparently ignored him when he got a new boyfriend, Paco did not like the bf and that is why Paco does not like the color black, apparently that is what color the man wore. I got this information from the woman that gave him to me. His cage was filthy, water bottle full of brown water, and he had plucked his chest, wings and tail feathers. She was working 70 hours a week and had no time for him so she gave him to me. I work with him every day, telling him what I am doing, I have taught him objects and he eats his goodies from my fingers, no head scratching at all. We did have a spell of biting when I asked him to step up. We have gotten past that bump. I just want him happy and not afraid of his little world. I will check out the link you posted, thank you.
 

ConureMom95

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Only advocated for the one video because it helped me. You should always check resources and do viable research for everything though.
Every bird is different and what works will be different for every bird.
That being said this forum kinda just goes against what was said....very few people on here are “experts” and I’ve seen a lot of shady tips. I’ve even been told to just accept that Rex stay in his cage.
Yikers.
Watching YouTube, posting on a forum and consulting a specialist are all things that we can do and I don’t think we should shame anyone who is trying to help the community.
But again be safe and do your research if you aren’t going directly to a specialist.
 
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Snowghost

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I haven't seen any shady tips on here. I know there are not experts on here, however I do know there are many people with years of experience and they have been very helpful to me. Did you feel that I shamed you for using YouTube? I'm sorry if I made you feel that way. I have not found many YouTube vids very helpful on any topic, many people just ramble on. Maybe I'm impatient and just want them to get to the topic. I have experienced parrots with pin feathers, I had a tiel that would have night terrors and would break blood feathers in the middle of the night. I was looking for some suggestions on how I could get Paco to let me scratch his head.
 

Shezbug

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Only advocated for the one video because it helped me. You should always check resources and do viable research for everything though.
Every bird is different and what works will be different for every bird.
That being said this forum kinda just goes against what was said....very few people on here are “experts” and I’ve seen a lot of shady tips. I’ve even been told to just accept that Rex stay in his cage.
Yikers.
Watching YouTube, posting on a forum and consulting a specialist are all things that we can do and I don’t think we should shame anyone who is trying to help the community.
But again be safe and do your research if you aren’t going directly to a specialist.
I also have not seen shady tips from any of the long term members (I do see them a lot from newer members, older less involved members and newer bird owners on here though). I do not think anyone here has claimed to be an expert....... when you see a shady tip or dangerous advice please report it so it can be either corrected, removed or watched- none of us want birds hurt or tortured due to bad advice shared here.

I am not sure if you are saying you feel like someone tried to shame you or you feel someone is trying to shame someone else like an expert, youtube star or other member of the forum for trying to help others, I have looked and I am having trouble seeing where anyone tried to shame anyone else for any reason in this thread.
 
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