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Thread: Plucking Cage Mate

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg rydunnit's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    Angry Plucking Cage Mate

    I've had my two tiels for about 6 years now.

    This past month... my male cockatiel has been plucking ALL of my females head feathers out!! He only does it when she follows him and then bends her head down to him (which she does so often). She loves loves loves head scritches! and she tries to get them from the male. He NEVER used to do this before.. but he has started this nasty habit recently. Its gotten bad so I finally decided to separated them. They are both in cages side by side.

    He still will pluck her even when they are out for playtime. I've tried using anti-pick spray, but it doesn't seem to work at all. I monitor their play times as best as I can, but as soon as I leave the room for just a moment I hear the familiar shrill, OUCH! She just doesn't stop begging for scritches!! Immediately after he plucks her, she'll go right back! I have looked every where on the internet and message boards and it always points to territory/breeding issues. They've never had a clutch before or bred. They used to mate on occasion, but it never last but a second (he seemed too uncoordinated, lol). They've been great cage mates up until this past month.

    Any suggestions to why this behavior surfaced all of a sudden?? I am looking into purchasing a new cage but I want a divider in the middle. I don't like having two seperate cages... I've hunted on the internet for divider cages but they are always SO LARGE and made for bigger birds. I could use a suggestion on those as well. Perhaps i could build my own divider? any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    I hope this is not a repeated topic, I will gladly review old topics if you post them here. Thank you for your time!
    Ozzy & Indie

  2. #2
    Administrator Tailfeather Community Administrator
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    Aug 2009
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    Re: Plucking Cage Mate

    You could go with something like :http://www.birdscomfort.com/doubleflight_bird_cage.html for cages - sorry I do not know why he started plucking her sorry your male is being a bit of a bully.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    San Francisco,Ca
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    Re: Plucking Cage Mate

    Seperate the birds in different cages for awhile to stop this.

  4. #4
    Parent clawnz's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Auckland New Zealand
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    Re: Plucking Cage Mate

    Do you think it could be his frustration that she has not produced a family for him?
    It does sound like a frustration thing to me.
    I am sorry I cannot help, except separate them full time.
    I understand this is not what you want, but maybe your best option.
    R.I.P my little ones.

  5. #5
    Tailfeather maxollie's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    USA Midwest
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    Re: Plucking Cage Mate

    I agree with all comments. I also am thinking about the fact that this summer weather has been unusually hot for the USA in most every area, as well as fall is approaching. From what I have read, summer and early fall are times of the year that mating and laying eggs does increase. I agree that most likely the male is frustrated, and is taking it out on the female. Another suggestion would be to give each of them "separate" out of cage time. That way, the male can't get after the little female's feathers!
    [/COLOR] I'm owned by my two sweet budgies, Muffin and Marlee.

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