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Thread: Conure problems

  1. #1
    sunshine on my shoulders Egg's Cracking... ladyhedge's Avatar
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    Conure problems

    My little baby, Tuka, has recently been to the vet. They checked him out and said everyone was a o.k., so I took him home happily and worked on one of the few things I was told to which was his diet.. including healthier things other than seed and some of the pellets that the vet gave me.
    Anyway, shortly after the vet visit Tuka's chest feathers were pulled out. I was nervous, but also told by the vet this may happen. So now he had grey down feathers lining his chest where it used to be a bright beautiful green, and I am worried because it has been at least a month and his green feathers have not come back.. not only that, but he itches his chest frequently (and the back near where his wings fold) and I'm starting to get paranoid that he may be picking out his feathers.
    I feel really bad about this, I'm the only one in the house who takes care of him but I have a full time job and am going to college full time and have friends, go work out, ect.. so I try to spend time with him as much as I can, even if that means letting him sleep in my room once a while (which he seems to love very much, I hope it's not disrupting anything for him) but I'm really nervous and worried about what's going on with his feathers. I hope he's not sick, and I hope he's okay.. any advice?

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    Re: Conure problems

    hi there, may i ask what kind of conure that you have?

    Thank You Cara!!

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    sunshine on my shoulders Egg's Cracking... ladyhedge's Avatar
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    Re: Conure problems

    I believe he is a peach front conure.. I'll have pictures of him on my sig/avatar soon to show him off to the world =D

    Oooh, and we live close by! (chicago land area for you, some ways south of chicago for me)\

    Here's a pic of his problem

    Last edited by ladyhedge; 04-27-2008 at 05:21 PM.

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    Re: Conure problems

    At first I thought he was an orange front because of the white around the eyes, but after looking at the big picture, I think you are right that he is a peach front. They seem like sweet birds!
    Last edited by Sapphyre80; 04-27-2008 at 07:54 PM.

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    Re: Conure problems

    Just curious, why did the vet suspect this might happen?

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    sunshine on my shoulders Egg's Cracking... ladyhedge's Avatar
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    Re: Conure problems

    After I got done with the visit (she took some blood work) she said that he may pluck out some front feathers probably because of the process of doing the blood work which may have stressed the poor baby out but that was a while ago and I was hoping by now they'd grow back and it would stop but I'm kind of paranoid it's getting worse..
    When the tests came back from the blood work he checked out perfectly healthy. And she said he was in excellent condition.

    Oh, and there's orange around his eyes.

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    Re: Conure problems

    Yeah sorry, the eyes looked different in the little picture. Definitely a peach front.

    That's really strange about the plucking. If the bloodwork all came back fine, then I guess it must be stress related. Their feathers can take a while to grow back. Have you asked the vet about it?

    Also, she is an older bird, right? Has she ever plucked before? Was this her first time to the vet?

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    sunshine on my shoulders Egg's Cracking... ladyhedge's Avatar
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    Re: Conure problems

    Let's see.. I haven't asked the vet about it, but tomorrow I'm going to give her a call.
    Tuka is at least 11 years old ( our years ). He hasn't done this before, and it was his first time to the vet. He definetly did not come out happy :| Poor baby doesn't like being handled by strangers

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    Re: Conure problems

    Hi Gina, and !
    Poor Tuka, I don't have any suggestions for you, but it does look like he is plucking. Seems so strange that it would just happen out of the blue after you have had him for so long now. Any other household changes (new baby, divorce, new cage, or different placement, did you just start college, etc)? Is he acting any differently? Sorry for all the questions!

    Even with his little plucked chest, he is really beautiful!

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    sunshine on my shoulders Egg's Cracking... ladyhedge's Avatar
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    Re: Conure problems

    Thank you for the compliments =)
    The only thing that happened when he started was the first vet visit and he switched to a diet with the harrisons pellet formula, because we were giving him seed primarily and wanted him to have something healthier. I've temporarily put that on hold and switched him back to his first diet, but that doesn't seen to be doing too well either..

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    Re: Conure problems

    Oh my, what a beauty. Even with a plucked chest. Poor birdy. I have never seen a peach front except a younger one and they are very pretty, just wondering are they a size of a sun conure? I want one.

    As for the plucking, do you give fresh veggies and fruit daily? Maybe some new toys for his cage would keep his mind off plucking? It seems he maybe plucking out of boredom, as you said you are rarely home. Its hard, I hope you can find a solution.

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    sunshine on my shoulders Egg's Cracking... ladyhedge's Avatar
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    Re: Conure problems

    I've bought him some very nice toys recently, and he (For some strange reason) despises fruit so instead I try to defrost frozen veggies and wrap em up and give them to him to chew through. Oh well, I'll be speaking with my vet soon about him so I can find out for sure what's going on

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    Re: Conure problems

    Good luck with Tuka, Gina. He's really beautiful.

    I don't know what other suggestions I would give, toys, fruits, and veggies were already mentioned. =/

    Let us know how it's going with the plucking. Hopefully it stops soon!








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    Re: Conure problems

    Sometimes if they have yeast or fungus troubles it is very hard to see in any tests and it will make them pluck their feathers. Boomer has yeast issues but dont pluck but I learned with especially candida it will make a bird pluck the chest and wing area. Did she look at his poop looking for yeast? Sometimes it shows - sometimes it dont.

    Or maybe it is the Harrisons, did he eat corn in his seeds before? I think maybe Harrisons is corn and perhaps he is allergic to corn and made him itchy and plucked.

    I am sorry this is happening, Tuka is so stunning... I just love that bright orange on his head.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Conure problems

    Hi Gina! lemme just tell you that Tuka is BEAUTIFUL!! i hope that you find the sorce of the problem. thats really no fun. may i ask what kind of toys that he has? Koda absolutly loves preening, so i bought him some peacock feathers. he LOVES them. maybe that could help?

    btw. i live in the schaumburg area.. hehe i heard of oswego but dont really know of where it is. or how far it is. lol

    Thank You Cara!!

  16. #16
    sunshine on my shoulders Egg's Cracking... ladyhedge's Avatar
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    Re: Conure problems

    Hello! Thank you all for the compliements =D Tuka would be so happy!
    I know where schaumburg is, it's not too far from here (in my opinion).
    Anyway.. the kinds of toys he has, is a bell with some funny plastic things in the ringer, a rope tied to a plastic holder and this crazy funny bird toy that has, like, everything.. ropes, a little plastic balls with tinier balls inside of it and a cute flat chewy toy that says 'pretty bird' on it (it's soo cute)
    Oh and his fabric I hang in his cage that he loooves to rip apart and shred and cuddle in. I'm wondering if I should get him anything else, switch it up, or what..

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    Re: Conure problems

    I think Tuka would love some shredding toys, my sun conure loves his pinata and has gave her hours of fun. I found alittle hole on the side of the pinata and stuck peanuts up there and it drives my bird crazy as she cant dig them out yet.

    Would it be possible to encourage other family members to spend some time with her?

  18. #18
    sunshine on my shoulders Egg's Cracking... ladyhedge's Avatar
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    Re: Conure problems

    I would like someone else to spend time with Tuka, my mom tries to but he only seems to like me and NOT bite me. Strange..

    I tried getting him a palm beach leaf shredder but he was afraid of it. Poor boy. Maybe I'll buy a pinata shredder that you've mentioned, I hope it's something he can enjoy and keep him busy.

    Poor baby.. today I checked in on him and it looks like more feathers on his front are missing!! It's heartbreaking :'( He's going in for a checkup to see if anything is wrong with him on Thursday.

  19. #19
    Jazzy-Jazz & Tango, too! Hatching ConureMama's Avatar
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    Re: Conure problems

    Hello Gina! I feel bad for not being around for the past week cuz you're dealing with exactly what my Jasper does. The first thing that struck me about the plucking is that your vet said it might happen- did they pull out a couple of the chest feathers for a sex test or something? My vet draws blood from the leg, so it would seem really strange to predict pulling chest feathers!! Is your vet avian certified? (If not, please try to find one... trust me, I've made the mistake myself)

    The other question I have is how long have you had him? If he's a new bird, it might be general stress of the move, plus the vet visit, etc, that has him acting this way. The difference is that Jasper was already doing this before he came to us. I would definitely talk to the vet about this, because I know that the earlier you can curb this problem, the better (before it becomes a habit).

    As for toys, definitely try some that are "shredable" but also try some different things. Jasper doesn't like a whole lot of toys in general, but I've spent tons of money and time decorating his cage with hair ties and band-aids, both of which he's gone through phases with. (The difficult thing is trying to consistently find the newest thing that will keep him busy... and I've spent tons of money on all different types of toys that he never touches in the process )

    Finally, as far as his feathers growing back, it may be a while. Jasper didn't grow any back til his first full molt, though since he's kept plucking them, and goes through more frequent molting cycles, which I think is his body's response to the plucking. I know how frustrating it can be, and I'll be sending positive, fully-feathered thoughts your way, but in the meantime, just keep an eye out to make sure it doesn't get worse (which may require a collar). Luckily, Jasper has only ever just pulled out his colored feathers, only very little of the downy (his chest is all gray like Tuka's!), and he's never pulled at his skin. I watch for it constantly, though, since it can easily become irritated, or an open wound. If you have any more questions, feel free to message me directly!

    Wishing you the best of luck to curb this quickly!!
    ~Laurie, Jasper, & Tango

  20. #20
    sunshine on my shoulders Egg's Cracking... ladyhedge's Avatar
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    Re: Conure problems

    Quote Originally Posted by ConureMama View Post
    Hello Gina! I feel bad for not being around for the past week cuz you're dealing with exactly what my Jasper does. The first thing that struck me about the plucking is that your vet said it might happen- did they pull out a couple of the chest feathers for a sex test or something? My vet draws blood from the leg, so it would seem really strange to predict pulling chest feathers!! Is your vet avian certified? (If not, please try to find one... trust me, I've made the mistake myself)

    The other question I have is how long have you had him? If he's a new bird, it might be general stress of the move, plus the vet visit, etc, that has him acting this way. The difference is that Jasper was already doing this before he came to us. I would definitely talk to the vet about this, because I know that the earlier you can curb this problem, the better (before it becomes a habit).

    As for toys, definitely try some that are "shredable" but also try some different things. Jasper doesn't like a whole lot of toys in general, but I've spent tons of money and time decorating his cage with hair ties and band-aids, both of which he's gone through phases with. (The difficult thing is trying to consistently find the newest thing that will keep him busy... and I've spent tons of money on all different types of toys that he never touches in the process )

    Finally, as far as his feathers growing back, it may be a while. Jasper didn't grow any back til his first full molt, though since he's kept plucking them, and goes through more frequent molting cycles, which I think is his body's response to the plucking. I know how frustrating it can be, and I'll be sending positive, fully-feathered thoughts your way, but in the meantime, just keep an eye out to make sure it doesn't get worse (which may require a collar). Luckily, Jasper has only ever just pulled out his colored feathers, only very little of the downy (his chest is all gray like Tuka's!), and he's never pulled at his skin. I watch for it constantly, though, since it can easily become irritated, or an open wound. If you have any more questions, feel free to message me directly!

    Wishing you the best of luck to curb this quickly!!
    Let's see.. the vet said it might happen, she did a sexing and blood test and took a sample from his upper area. And my avian vet is definetly certified, I had to make sure before I went. I've had Tuka for about 11 years now. We got him in Florida, and we've been living where we've been living for over a year now and he's been fine up until.
    Thank you for your help and sharing your experience. Tomorrow we'll be seeing the vet so we can find out what's going on with him

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    sunshine on my shoulders Egg's Cracking... ladyhedge's Avatar
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    Re: Conure problems

    Ah.. had the vet appointment today. Tuka didn't appreciate that. There's nothing medically wrong, that we know of, so it's probably a behavioral thing. We're working on solutions for him. I made a little mix tape for him to play when I'm not around so he has something to listen to and such, and we got this soothing spray for his feathers in case it's itching.

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    sunshine on my shoulders Egg's Cracking... ladyhedge's Avatar
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    Re: Conure problems

    Sigh.. well, here's some pictures of him now. I made a collab of different shots of him, he seems to be 'itching' his back and front A LOT. We got soothing spray on him and that helps.. but as you can tell in most of his pictures he's itching himself. Oh, and here are some pictures of his home too-








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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Conure problems

    Since he's healthy, I'm guessing it's just behavioral plucking. Have there been any other big changes in your house that could have stressed him out? Even small things can stress birds sometimes.

    It looks like he could use a lot more toys and perches to keep him busy. Try to get some foraging toys, where you can find some of his food, and add "rubble" (pieces of wood, crumpled paper, beads) to his food dish, so that he has to forage through to get his food. It's important to keep him busy and keep his mind off plucking.

    www.chopperstoys.com sells a lot of toys specifically for pluckers, as well as some foraging toys. I don't think I've ordered from them before (maybe some toy parts), but I do have at least one of their toys that I bought through another site.

    I'll have to double check this, but I'm pretty sure you can put some aloe in his water as well as misting him with it to help soothe any irritated spots. I'm not sure exactly what the spray you got is.

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    sunshine on my shoulders Egg's Cracking... ladyhedge's Avatar
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    Re: Conure problems

    We have two sprays, one that's a basic bathing mist with soothing aloe and the other that is to be sprayed on his itches only. I have some other toys for him too, but the vet told me to keep about 4 in at a time and rotate them weekly.. today, we put in a little rolled up in paper thawed veggies for him to rip apart =D

    I'm thinking his plucking may be due to stress though. I've found out some unfortunate news that could be the cause of this.. apparently my mother and her boyfriend, whose house we live at, argue quite a bit (and i'm not home alot when they are) and the yelling between them is probably stressing the bird out, especially since the boyfriend doesn't like the bird or the noises he's making.
    Sigh. I wish I could have him in a safer better environment :'( But I do try when I can.

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Conure problems

    Can you move him to a bedroom where he's away from the yelling?

    I'm not so sure I agree with your vet on the toy thing. Even if you don't want to cram his cage full of them, he really needs some more interesting ones. Bells/other noise makers, forraging toys, preening toys, chewing toys, etc. You can even just order toy parts and make your own that you'll know he'll like. I would suggest ordering toys or toy parts, as most pet stores don't have a very good selection of toys.

    Keeping him busy will keep his mind of plucking as well as keeping him quieter. Daily showers, if he likes them, can also help with plucking.

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