Tailfeathers
Contact | Tour
where bird lovers gather
Bird InformationMessage BoardNetwork Home

 

Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Barbering (with pics)

  1. #1
    Loki - love in bird form Four More Babies Hatched! peachee's Avatar
    Name
    Lisa
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    3,381
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Barbering (with pics)

    I noticed a few days ago that Loki has some feathers on her shoulder area (both sides) where she has snipped parts of the feathers right off. I know what she is doing is called barbering (def: when a bird chews on the ends of the feathers. Some birds will chew the feathers off a little bit at a time, never completely removing the feather. It might affect just the barbules or the shaft itself. In its most severe stage the feather would be shortened to just a little piece of shaft coming out of the skin).

    I haven't taken any pics of Loki's feathers (I'll try tonight) but here is one from the net if you don't know what I'm referring to. Loki has snipped off most of the barbs and only bits and pieces remain attached to the rachis (shaft). It's not super obvious because most of the feathers she does it to on her shoulders are less than 1cm long. The longest ones she has damaged are only 2,5cm (1in) long at most.




    In terms of causes, I'm 99% sure it's behavioural given the location of the barbering and her history. I noticed it this week and there are a few causes I can think of:
    - lack of humidity
    - stress from moving
    - full-spectrum light burnt out and can't find a replacement
    - nutritional deficiency (unlikely since she's been eating the same diet the whole time I've had her)

    Can you think of any other causes and what I can do to prevent full-blown plucking? She is the ONLY HH I have seen of her age or older that isn't plucked and I am terrified she is going to start the cycle... Anything you can suggest to prevent it from going any further? She isn't a chewer and doesn't destroy toys...

    I feel like a terrible parront... I'm clearly doing SOMETHING wrong. Any advice?

    See videos of Loki and the boys here!

  2. #2
    Spank me...I iz naughty!! Tailfeather Sir Peter of Canada's Avatar
    Name
    Peter
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    5,201
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Re: Barbering

    I won't have much to offer in the way of advice Lisa, but as far as the light goes, have you tried Buchanan Lighting on Loretta Ave. The owner spoke at one of the meetings a couple of years ago I believe.
    I'm wondering, if as you say, it could have something to do with the recent move and possibly also from the stress involved with the "friends" you told me about last night. If it's dry skin/feathers, maybe some Red Palm Oil might help that...I know Mark mentioned it in his talk last night but he gave so much info that what he said about it escapes me...I do know Dr. Roscoe told us to try it when Houdini was plucking...she said his skin was dry and it was probably from the dry air because of the electric heat supply...

  3. #3
    Poicephalus Obsessed Found a Mate Shade's Avatar
    Name
    Natacha
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,314
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Barbering

    Piper actually kinda started something similar at the beginning of the winter. Only on the shoulder area too.

    I automatically thought it might be the lack of humidity. This place is heated with electric heat. She wasn't taking that many baths either. I started misting her more often (which she hates which is why I didn't really do it before) and it has helped.

    I don't want to use a humidifier in the apartment because the building is fairly old and I don't know what some extra humidity might "wake up"..

  4. #4
    Loki - love in bird form Four More Babies Hatched! peachee's Avatar
    Name
    Lisa
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    3,381
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Barbering (with pic)

    I figured I'd bump this up a bit and see if I can get any more responses...
    I have finally gotten a good photo of on of Loki's snipped off feathers.

    As you can see, she has snipped it off at the shaft and bit pieces of the feather off. She only does it to the short ones over her shoulder area and has left her flight, tail and chest feathers alone. I just don't understand why the shoulder area and most prominently on her left side although the right is a little bit affected. Any ideas or suggestions on how to prevent it??



    This is the left side; the part that is black is normally covered by green feathers but you can see, the feathers that cover it have all been snipped off.


    This is the right side and although not as bad, you can definitely see chopped feathers.
    Last edited by peachee; 04-11-2009 at 12:45 PM.

    See videos of Loki and the boys here!

  5. #5
    tweet Breeding Shannon's Avatar
    Name
    Shannon
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    2,542
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Barbering (with pics)

    Wow, that's what Diego's tail feather looked like last year when we were on hurricane evacuation! It didn't occur to me that he did it to himself, although, I don't know why.

    I don't think you are a bad parront. You said she's the oldest HH that you've seen that isn't plucked, so you are doing something right. Have you tried foraging toys with her? Are you giving her baths often enough? Have you taken her to the vet for a checkup? If she is concentrating on one area maybe there is something bothering her.

  6. #6
    Hatched! Lori&Tully's Avatar
    Name
    Lori
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ottawa
    Posts
    607
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Barbering (with pics)

    That's interesting. Tully has that on one of her tailfeathers. I haven't seen her chewing on it though. Maybe it does have to do with humidity. I don't know--just guessing. I know my skin starts cracking come winter. I find the Ottawa area pretty dry during winter compared to where I come from.


    "She was not quite what you would call refined.
    She was not quite what you would call unrefined.
    She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot."
    -Mark Twain

  7. #7
    Loki - love in bird form Four More Babies Hatched! peachee's Avatar
    Name
    Lisa
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    3,381
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Barbering (with pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by Switchbldekitten View Post
    Have you tried foraging toys with her? Are you giving her baths often enough? Have you taken her to the vet for a checkup? If she is concentrating on one area maybe there is something bothering her.
    It's one of those things that often goes unnoticed I think because some feathers do just get destroyed though play or getting caught in cage bars, toys, etc. right? That being said, not catching it early can lead to further problems. The only reason I noticed was because she was on my arm and I was wearing a white knit sweater. THe pieces she had snipped off were all embedded in the knit. I couldn't believe how much there was and took a closer look. Plus, I saw her doing it of course.

    She is on a completely foraging lifestyle. She has no food bowls at all so she has to forage in order to eat. She comes into the shower with me at least twice a week and gets soaked about once every two weeks. Otherwise, we have started spraying her and spraying the newspaper at the bottom of the cage to increase humidity. I have also purchased a humidifier that is on 24/7 now increasing the humidity from about 18% to 45%.

    If it gets to be a real problem, I will go to the vet but there are only specific times she does this (that I can see) and so I am trying to distract her during these times.

    what is her diet like?
    She eats Zupreem pellets, Tropican pellets, Pretty Bird gold, seeds (sunflowers, safflower, etc.) and fruits, veggies, bread, etc. She has never been a "picky" eater and last time she had her blood checked, there were no deficiencies. I don't know how much more I oculd alter her nutrition except to add some supplements, like the red palm oil.

    Tully has that on one of her tailfeathers.
    On tail feathers, I think it's more common to get this "look" but I think it's a result of what I said before; getting caught in cage bars or toys o just old feathers. Loki has it on at least 50 feathers and you can hear her snipping them.

    See videos of Loki and the boys here!

  8. #8
    Loki - love in bird form Four More Babies Hatched! peachee's Avatar
    Name
    Lisa
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    3,381
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Barbering (with pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by sunbirdx View Post
    I would think, if she were itchy, she might be doing typical overgrooming or plucking, but I can't imagine that barbering really addresses itchyness or discomfort.

    Could she be hormonal?
    I agree with your statement about barbering not addressing itching or discomfort.

    Hormonal was what I was considering as well. It wasn't my immediate thought but if she is "under stimulated" maybe this is her frustrations lashing out? She has also been really "full of beans" as in, flying all the time (normally she can relax on her cage for hours) and running up and down on the sofa and me.

    Also, another interesting thing is she doesn't do it when she is alone. I have diligently checked the newspaper at the bottom of her cage and there are never bits of feathers; only regular molted feathers and dander. Which means, am I the object of her affection and is she frustrated I won't mate with her? She isn't showing obvious signs of wanting to mate, she is still pretty young for a HH reaching maturity and I have always tried to avoid long stroking petting on her back and tail area. I try to just scritch her on her head and under her wings or on her chest. Sigh... We'll see if it stops after spring I guess.

    See videos of Loki and the boys here!

  9. #9
    tweet Breeding Shannon's Avatar
    Name
    Shannon
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    2,542
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Barbering (with pics)

    I can't think of anything that might be wrong because you seem to be doing everything right. Red palm oil sounds like it is worth a try. It has worked wonders for many birds with plucking issues.

  10. #10
    First Baby Hatched! parrotsRmyLove's Avatar
    Name
    Sue
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    3,276
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Barbering (with pics)

    Lisa first and foremost I want to thank you for sharing your knowledge. I had never heard of the term barbering. I love to learn as much as I can about our feathered friends.

    Ruby my CAG has done this. She is fine now but on occasion she will do a bit of this so my guess would be stress related or hormonal. As with Ruby those are the to things that send her into a frenzy.
    To discourage this type of behaivor I mist more often. Provide a bath on top of her cage to play around in and load up on the preening/shredding toys for comfort.

    Would not say diet is the issue as I am sure Loki is well fed as always and all his nutrional needs are met.

    I would not freak to much about it as I said Ruby is 10 and this will happen from time to time but always when there is a change or she is mega hormonal.
    Ruby has not taken it further to feather plucking (knocking on wood) and we all know Grey's are prone to that.

    Best of luck with Loki. Does she like preening toys. Ruby's favorite preening toy is called cotton candy. I make sure that toy gets replaced as needed.

    Thanks again for teaching me something new.

    PS: Also recently purchased a product called pro-feda. It is to help with feather issues and to aid with an easier molt period and feather/skin health. Seems to be helping Ruby.
    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...43&pcatid=6143

Similar Threads

  1. Feather Barbering...HELP :(
    By NordicPrincess in forum Conures
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-14-2009, 10:07 AM
  2. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-22-2008, 07:14 PM
  3. Pics of jojo and her art work (NEW PICS)added bath time
    By clifff123 in forum Other Budgie Topics
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-17-2006, 09:06 AM
  4. Parrot Club Pics...and pics and pics and pics and more pics...
    By Sir Peter of Canada in forum Other Parrots
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 07-03-2006, 08:51 AM
  5. Our Parrot Club...pics, pics and more pics...
    By Sir Peter of Canada in forum Other Parrots
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 05-24-2006, 03:59 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Message BoardNetwork Home