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Update on BCC with Plucking Problem

ChronicHal

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5/17/20
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Brought him home today.
He seems very healthy, his poops are great. As is his appetite and his behavior is normal. I'm going to guess his old owner had no idea how to care for a parrot or even feed one properly.
I have a couple concerns, obviously the plucking, how can I alleviate that?
Another is a behavior I've never seen before, he was hopping/swaying from one foot to the other, sideways, almost like a dance. What does this mean?
My last concern is, I was told he's afraid of toys. His cage is barren and I'd like to give him some toys. How can I introduce toys and new perches?
Does anyone else have conures with plucking issues?
 

Mockinbirdiva

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Congratulations and thank you for giving him a new home with hope! What was his diet at his old home? Certainly a better diet can help him to a healthier life but may not help the feather plucking. He probably hasn't had a thorough check up by an Avian veterinarian. There may be underlying causes for the plucking so a few tests will give you what his current health status is. The swaying may mean several things but given he's in a new home with an unfamiliar face it could mean he is nervous, warning you to back away, or anxious to come out of the cage. You won't truly know he's afraid of toys until you introduce a couple to him to see how he reacts. His old owner could have told you that to keep from looking like a bad owner for not giving him anything enriching. Some of my birds are frightened of new toys so I put them within sight a few feet away and gradually move them closer to desensitize the fear. We have some fabulous toy vendors here, some also sell food and healthy treats. Would love to see some photos of him!
 

Sarahmoluccan

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Excellent advice @Mockinbirdiva :)

About to toys it also possible he's frighten of certain toys not necessarily all toys. So try a variety of toys too. Thankyou for taking him in and giving him a good home. I'd love to see some pictures too when he's more comfortable with you and if he isn't afraid of cameras
 

ChronicHal

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Congratulations and thank you for giving him a new home with hope! What was his diet at his old home? Certainly a better diet can help him to a healthier life but may not help the feather plucking. He probably hasn't had a thorough check up by an Avian veterinarian. There may be underlying causes for the plucking so a few tests will give you what his current health status is. The swaying may mean several things but given he's in a new home with an unfamiliar face it could mean he is nervous, warning you to back away, or anxious to come out of the cage. You won't truly know he's afraid of toys until you introduce a couple to him to see how he reacts. His old owner could have told you that to keep from looking like a bad owner for not giving him anything enriching. Some of my birds are frightened of new toys so I put them within sight a few feet away and gradually move them closer to desensitize the fear. We have some fabulous toy vendors here, some also sell food and healthy treats. Would love to see some photos of him!

His diet was Kaytee Forti Diet. Yuck. My guys are on the Higgins California blend with pellets, fruits/veggies, and grasses I've foraged. I'll be finding his favorite pellet brand after he gets used to us.
The vet is aware of him, however I let them know he's very stressed so it might take awhile because I'm letting him take the lead on being handled. When he does get to the vet he will get a nail trim and CBC, along with whatever the vet suggests.

I'm guessing his plucking was from boredom and stress due to his home. It sounded like there were a lot of high prey drive dogs and he never was let out. IMG_20200611_162858.jpg
 

Sarahmoluccan

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He's a beautiful little guy :heart: :xflove: I'm so glad he's in a better home now! Even if he never stops plucking, he'll definitely have much better quality of life with you.

While it would be great to have him fully feathered, don't feel bad if that doesn't happen. I use to own a self mutilator, he has since passed, I try my best to get him to stop but he was so determined to continue hurting himself no what collar or meds I try with him. But even though it was heartbreaking to watch him self harm he was still a loving and happy guy. I tell you all this just so you know he still have a great quality of life even if he plucks
 

ChronicHal

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He's a beautiful little guy :heart: :xflove: I'm so glad he's in a better home now! Even if he never stops plucking, he'll definitely have much better quality of life with you.

While it would be great to have him fully feathered, don't feel bad if that doesn't happen. I use to own a self mutilator, he has since passed, I try my best to get him to stop but he was so determined to continue hurting himself no what collar or meds I try with him. But even though it was heartbreaking to watch him self harm he was still a loving and happy guy. I tell you all this just so you know he still have a great quality of life even if he plucks
Thank you!! When I got home yesterday I cried because I can't understand how you can let a bird get this way. I've been reading on things to do and try. I have dermatillomania, so I'm using some of my experience with that and applying it to him. For me personally I need lots of stimulation, whether reading, writing, drawing. During high stress situations I pick even worse, even the amount of sleep I get impacts me.
If you have any advice at all, feel free to message!! Thank you
 

Mockinbirdiva

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His diet was Kaytee Forti Diet. Yuck. My guys are on the Higgins California blend with pellets, fruits/veggies, and grasses I've foraged. I'll be finding his favorite pellet brand after he gets used to us.
The vet is aware of him, however I let them know he's very stressed so it might take awhile because I'm letting him take the lead on being handled. When he does get to the vet he will get a nail trim and CBC, along with whatever the vet suggests.

I'm guessing his plucking was from boredom and stress due to his home. It sounded like there were a lot of high prey drive dogs and he never was let out. View attachment 341856
If you can transition him from his old diet to a quality pellet that would be great. The Higgins you are currently feeding has a lot of seed and dried fruits in it. I would only use this as a treat and in very limited amounts ( tablespoon or less if he doesn't eat enough pellets). I don't know what grasses you are foraging or if they are even safe or concerning parasites that could be on the grasses. You would be better off sprouting quality grains which would offer more natural nutrients. I don't sprout myself but many others here do that can offer advice on how to go about it. I think sprouts would be very beneficial for him. As far as the plucking, I would think being in a position where there were high prey drive dogs with close access to the cage could give certain cause for stress plucking in addition to poor diet and lack of stimulation ( toys and foraging opportunities). What are the fruits and vegetables you feed? You also have three cockatiels, a conure and what other parrot is that? You do need to quarantine this blue crown away from your other existing flock.
 

BrianB

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I have a blue crown that is a compulsive plucker. I tried to mediate it, but I realized it's a battle I cannot win, so I distract where I can and ignore the rest. I'm at least his 3rd owner. One of his previous owners fed him nothing but human food which wrecked his kidneys. From the time the vet determined that his kidneys were damaged he has been on a pure pellet diet. He gets absolutely no seed at all, but he does get fresh veggies with a little fruit and an almond in the shell once in a while. Luckily he is very food motivated so it was easy to move him from a diet high in sunflowers to a pellet diet.

As for his plucking, he is bare on his chest and stomach, his legs, back, and the top of his wing that I guess would be the shoulder. He used to get fuzzies on his chest and I would praise him, but he ripped them out anyway. They no longer grow. I used to react to the plucking as a way to distract him, but I no longer do that for fear of it encouraging the behavior by my reaction. I tried a lot of different things, but nothing worked. I tried hemp oil, red palm oil, aloe spray, avicalm, and chamomile tea. Once it becomes habitual it's very difficult to break the cycle. Both of my blue crowns seem to be prone to dramatics and are easily upset, though only one of them plucks. I try my best to keep them in a calm environment without significant change from one day to the next. They get several hours a day out of their cage. Neither of them really care for each other, but they don't fight and once in a great while I'll see them sitting close together chattering with each other. I also keep them on a strict light schedule. It comes on at 7am, and goes off at 9pm. There is less plucking than there was, but he still manages to get little ones that he can reach. The good thing is that his flight feathers are intact and he can still fly. I encourage and praise him when he does it, even though he is clumsy and doesn't land gracefully.

Please let us know what the vets says.
 
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