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Spontaneous Plucking?

PrettyBirdy

Strolling the yard
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3/24/14
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96
HI everybody,

I have a year and 1/2 year old goffin, who, as of the last few weeks, has start plucking and chewing her feathers. It started as over preening a part of her wing, and now she's plucking the area over and around her crop.

I'll be making an appointment at the vet for her in a few days.

A little information:

She is in a HUGE corner cage, easily big enough for a macaw. It's the a&e extra large corner cage.

She is near a window which she can look out all day.

She has the company of my other two birds 24/7

She is out at least four hours a day, usually more.

She eats roundybush, fresh fruits/veggies, and grains every day.

She has a lot of toys, a few foraging toys.

I'm trying to figure this out as best I can... Could she be starting to go through hormonal shifts? I can't help feeling like an awful parront to her. She's my baby, and it's breaking my heart. I never actually see her pluck, but she's starting to have bald parts on her chest.

Any recommendations on curbing it?
Anything Homeopathic?
I got my hands on some avicalm, and have been adding it to her water daily, but that only started two days ago.

I'm feeling a bit panicked.

Any suggestions are appriciated.
Thank you!
 

JLcribber

@cockatoojohn
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I'll be making an appointment at the vet for her in a few days.
This is your first/best course of action. You need to rule out any medical cause it may be. She's a bit young to be showing such behaviour issues. Having said that I can say with certainty that of all the cockatoo species, Goffins are the most phobic and the most prone to destructive behaviours. Let us know what the vet says.

 

msplantladi

Jogging around the block
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Any changes in the household? even the smallest change that we don't think anything about can & will upset them. I use & swear by avi-calm for calming stressed birds.
 

LWK

Meeting neighbors
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My G2 is just under 1 1/2 and also started plucking when I went on vacation and had someone else care for him. My solution, which has worked for far, is to wrap "Shredders" tape around his cage bars right near his favorite perch so he shreds that tape (made from banana leaves) rather than his feathers. I've also purchased chemical free sisal rope and put in in a similar place in the cage. He shreds that too. So far this has stopped the plucking from becoming a habit, although I assume there will be more issues if I go away again....
 

geff

Walking the driveway
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It helps if you know the birds complete history. If the bird was hand reared this can be a reason for plucking, and other behaviour problems further down the line in the birds life.
 

Kodigirl210

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
10/13/18
Messages
1,403
Location
Cali
I don’t know as much about cockatoos as other parrots as I honestly have always known that I could never provide a home for one, but phobias I am familiar with. Sitting next to a window is great for some birds but is there a possibility something is crossing her line of sight that didn’t use to before? Are there more neighbood kids, is there an outdoor cat or loose dog that may be causing her to be afraid? I know where we live the red tail population has exploded. Is it possible there are hawks in the air she can see or any other bird that might be predator-like ie crows? As I said windows can be great for a lot of birds but sometimes it just adds more stress to their environment because they are seeing something that frightens or agitated them. I had to keep one of my reduced away from the window because he was totally freaked out by “outside.” Just a thought. I truly hope you find out what’s bothering your fid. I know it can be tough trying to find answers. Maybe the vet will offer some information that will help her pull out of it. Lots of luck to you :)
 

PrettyBirdy

Strolling the yard
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Joined
3/24/14
Messages
96
Any changes in the household? even the smallest change that we don't think anything about can & will upset them. I use & swear by avi-calm for calming stressed birds.
My G2 is just under 1 1/2 and also started plucking when I went on vacation and had someone else care for him. My solution, which has worked for far, is to wrap "Shredders" tape around his cage bars right near his favorite perch so he shreds that tape (made from banana leaves) rather than his feathers. I've also purchased chemical free sisal rope and put in in a similar place in the cage. He shreds that too. So far this has stopped the plucking from becoming a habit, although I assume there will be more issues if I go away again....
It helps if you know the birds complete history. If the bird was hand reared this can be a reason for plucking, and other behaviour problems further down the line in the birds life.
I don’t know as much about cockatoos as other parrots as I honestly have always known that I could never provide a home for one, but phobias I am familiar with. Sitting next to a window is great for some birds but is there a possibility something is crossing her line of sight that didn’t use to before? Are there more neighbood kids, is there an outdoor cat or loose dog that may be causing her to be afraid? I know where we live the red tail population has exploded. Is it possible there are hawks in the air she can see or any other bird that might be predator-like ie crows? As I said windows can be great for a lot of birds but sometimes it just adds more stress to their environment because they are seeing something that frightens or agitated them. I had to keep one of my reduced away from the window because he was totally freaked out by “outside.” Just a thought. I truly hope you find out what’s bothering your fid. I know it can be tough trying to find answers. Maybe the vet will offer some information that will help her pull out of it. Lots of luck to you :)
Sorry for the late responses! Things have been hectic. So far no definitive answers, but she also seems to be slowing her plucking somewhat. I did have a thought that resonated with a lot of y'alls points. Her history: She was abandoned by her parents day one, when her nest box collapsed on her during a storm, she never got that initial interaction with them. The people who bred her drove her two hours in the rain, with no heat aside from what was in the car and dropped her off at a breeders whom they were buying a cage from. They hand raised her from there, and my best guess is that they force weaned her, since she was completely weaned at 4 months, too early to my knowledge. I offered her formula when I got her, just to see, and she freaked out at the sight of the syringe. Could this nontraditional upbringing be a cause of her neurotic behavior at this point in her life?
 

Kodigirl210

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
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Location
Cali
Oh absolutely this could have had a very detrimental affect on her. It sounds like she never formed a good bond until she got to you. Force weaning is very bad, it causes self esteem and other personality issues. I wouldn’t be surprised if she exhibits agitation any time there is a storm or even just rain. Observing her without her noticing might also be helpful. The cage may be too large for her especially if she feels insecure all the time which she might due to her unusual history. We never know when things will manifest. Our fids are long loved and have very good memories.

The most important thing is taking her to the vet. If there is something wrong in her crop or throat that may be the simplest explanation of all. If there is nothing that can be pin-pointed through the vet visit then take all of the other things into consideration. I would still see if there is a way to observe her without being seen. That could give you a lot of important info. Like if the cage is too big for her. If she doesn’t like being near the other birds. If she’s jealous of the other birds. If there is something disturbing her outside the window. That all might be seen by watching her.

I hope you figure it out soon. Good luck :D
 
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