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Thread: feather plucking

  1. #1

    feather plucking

    well we have a couple of teils that are big feather pluckers. they both have had this problem for quite awhile and weve tried several methods of preventing this, sprays, neck cones, etc. but they just seem to go back to pulling them out again. the one that is most serious is this one particular bird we recieved from a friend who, when we first got her, had pulled out every single feather and looked like totally naked. she actually had almost totally recovered, but after having chicks went back to normal. And to top it off, she is the mate of t he other feather pulling bird. anybody have any tips on how to get these crazies to stop pulling out their feathers?

  2. #2
    Always Awing Tailfeather featherjinxer's Avatar
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    Re: feather plucking

    If they are feather pluckers, they should NOT be bred until you figure out the reason, and perhaps not even then.

    Has the vet seen them? there are several diseases that cause plucking.
    What is their diet like?
    Are they plucking each other as well, or themselves?

  3. #3
    Old admin Baby Tviokh's Avatar
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    Re: feather plucking

    They continue to pluck because you haven't been treating the cause.

    Cockatiels are rarely, RARELY behavioral pluckers. 99% of the time there's an underlying health cause such as a giardia infection, other parasites, bacterial infection, yeast infection, fungal infection, viral infection, cancer, liver, or kidney problems.

    You should also not be breeding these birds; there is no way to do so responsibly at this point.

    These birds need to see an avian vet.
    There is no other solution and nothing you can do at home or buy in a pet store that will help.

    From my Bird FAQ:

    Cockatiels very rarely pluck for psychological or behavioral reasons.

    Your bird needs a vet ASAP; if you delay in vet care and allow him to pluck for an extended period of time, it can become engrained as a 'habit'; so even if you DO treat and cure what initially caused the plucking he may still pluck out of habit.

    The most common cause of plucking in cockatiels is a parasite called giardia.
    It's fairly common, but can be hard to diagnose(especially for a non-avian vet) because it isn't shed constantly in the feces.
    This means a fecal smear test could come up clear when the bird is, in fact, infected.

    This ALSO demonstrates the importance of an avian vet over a regular vet, as an avian vet can recognize other symptoms of giardia and will usually give treatment for it even if the fecal smear shows negative.

    I'd also like to point out that giardia isn't the only cause of feather plucking in cockatiels; some others include:

    1) Allergies to something in the diet.

    2) Poor diet

    3) Mites

    4) Infection (bacterial, yeast, fungal or viral)

    5) Parasites other than giardia

    6) Kidney problems

    7) Liver problems


    Very rarely a cockatiel will start plucking due to stress.
    Has he had any major changes in his life lately? New kids, new dog, new cat, cage by a huge window, a move?
    Is he in a round cage? I ask because round cages are very stressful for birds as they provide no "safe" corners for them to hide in.

    At any rate, a good avian vet should be able to tell you why your bird is plucking and what you can do about it, so please get him to a vet fast!

    www.aav.org/vet-lookup to find an avian vet.

  4. #4

    Re: feather plucking

    well a vets seen them both already, thats when they had their neck cones. there is nothing physically wrong with them, no parasites or anything. this has been going on for some time though, so i think it might be a habit already.
    the round cage thing is interesting though, never thought of that, right now they are in a hexagonal cage, but one of the birds was in a square cage before our friend gave it to us.
    maybe well try coning them again, that worked for awhile.
    crazy birds.

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