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Thread: Budgie feather plucking

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Essex, United Kingdom
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    Exclamation Budgie feather plucking

    I got a male budgie around last easter from a pet shop and for the first 4/5 months he was happy, he didn't show any problems and was overall a healthy bird. Although shortly after we noticed he started to pull out his tail feathers and some from the bottom of his wings, this was after I went of holiday for a week and some family friends looked after him.I bought him some more toys thinking he was bored but it got worse, a friend who owns budgies suggested getting him a friend so we bought a female budgie. They get along great but he didn't stop plucking his feathers out and now he can't fly anymore! He seems to have stopped pulling them out but they don't seem to be growing back either!
    I have spoken to lots of people about the problem, I have encouraged them to eat a larger variety of food by switching them from just a seed diet (I only discovered recently this is bad for them!!) to a seed and pellet diet and encouraging them to try fruit and veg. I also let them both out as often as I can but he needs supervision so he doesn't hurt himself falling when trying to fly....
    Any suggestions on what to do to stop him from plucking or getting his feathers to grow back??

  2. #2
    Tailfeather boomer girl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Colfax, California
    Thanked 790 Times in 786 Posts

    Re: Budgie feather plucking

    I am sorry this is happening to him and really cannot help you much with helping him stop. I have not ever heard of a bird just picking his tail and wing feathers only before. There is one lovebird here who will pull his tailfeathers and he has to wear a cone or collar to keep him from plucking them.

    It least he is happy and you are there for him to make sure he doesn't hurt himself.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    USA Midwest
    Thanked 1,306 Times in 1,305 Posts

    Re: Budgie feather plucking

    Hi, Georgia, and welcome to the community. I'm sorry to read of your little budgie's feather problems. My opinion would be that he needs to be taken to a Vet and be evaluated. An Avian Vet if possible is best, because they are specifically educated in caring for birds.

    There definitely is something wrong for him to have plucked so much he cannot even fly. I would say it is very important that you seek treatment for him as soon as possible.

    There are feather diseases that happen to birds, and I just don't feel this is just a plucking problem. I would suggest that you get some pure aloe vera oil at a health food store, with no other ingredients or additives in it, and mix a few drops of the oil with some warm water. Sprtz him with this warm water a few times a day. It will help his skin because his little body must be hurting from not having many feathers on it, as well as the skin being so dry. With no covering, the skin will get dry very fast. Also, when you are at the health food store, pick up a small bottle of organic wheat germ oil. About once a week put 2-3 drops of that oil mixed in with the seeds and pellets. The oil will help his body and possibly help regrow the feathers.

    Years ago I had a budgie who had a problem with his feathers and I read to use the wheatgerm oil and aloe. It helped him tremendously. He was not a plucker.

    Is there any chance your budgie picked up some parasites/mites/ when he was living at your friends home while you were on holiday. Parasites and mites can do a real number on a birds feathers. I would think that his new bird friend would also pick those up if he has them.

    When you feed the pellets/seeds I would suggest you feed 20% pellets (max) to 80% seeds. Budgies are very small birds, and they don't get along well with pellets because pellets are man made and very dry, and they tend to make the poops of budgies brown colored as well as very dry. Budgies are birds that don't drink alot of water every day, and since the pellets are so dry they can get easily dehydrated from lack of water. I would suggest you get some leaf lettuce, rinse it in cold water, and don't dry the leaves, but hang the lettuce with the water on it, in the cage or put in a food cup. My budgies love very wet lettuce, and they drink the water off the lettuce. This will also give him some extra water which he needs when eating pellets.

    I am hopeful you will consider taking him to a Vet, because from what you describe, he has other problems besides feather plucking. He also could have a medical condition that needs to be treated.

    I hope to see you often here on the forum, and do keep us posted on how he is doing. Keeping him hydrated and spritzing him will help him alot, even if the feathers keep falling out. The wheatgerm will take awhile to work, but it sure did help my budgie.
    Last edited by maxollie; 04-08-2016 at 07:10 PM.

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