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Thread: Feather plucking

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg Ohheyemily's Avatar
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    Feather plucking

    I noticed today my cockatiel Apollo plucking feathers and eating them... well I had sort of noticed it before but I never saw him holding the feather with his foot and eating it. I more rarely saw him eating something and I thought was a small feather that had fallen off by itself. But just today I saw him holding a feather and eating it so I made him drop it and stop eating it (I didnt know if it was bad). Later when I wasnt looking I turned around and noticed he was eating another feather! I did the same thing as before and not too long after that I heard him make a weird noise and and saw he was eating a slightly bigger feather... so I guess he plucked that feather and made a noise from the pain... I can only guess hes doing it from boredom because I cant interact with him at all because hes afraid of my hands so I cant take him out of the cage and he doesnt play with the toys I put in the cage (balls with bells, a hanging bell, popsicle sticks toy, and a hanging perch with a bell (he used to like bells before he got sick... idk why he ignores them now)) So he basically sits on his perches all day and preens himself and chirps/sings occasionally... i know that's not healthy but that's a whole other thing... anyways I'm worried and dont know how to cure his boredom. Also when I call his name when hes preening he stops and looks at me so I've been doing that more often because I cant tell if hes plucking feathers or preening 😭 I'm worrying myself sick about Apollo

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    Chick Pipers Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Feather plucking

    First, what kind of bird is Apollo?
    Second, are you sure that Apollo is not molting? Sometimes, birds get very stressed during the molt process
    Third, if you think he is sick, have you tried contacting an avian vet?

    You can help boredom by changing out toys and/or switching them around the inside of the cage. Also, try some foraging toys too.
    Tango / White Faced Pied Male: Hatched on October 09, 2011 - Homed on April 28, 2012.

    Tiels:
    Bows / Normal Gray Hen: 1976 - 1984
    Caesar / Normal Gray Male: 1977 - 1994
    Piper / Lutino Hen: 1994 - 2010
    Woodstock / Normal Gray Male: 2004 - 2011

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    Brand New Egg Ohheyemily's Avatar
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    Re: Feather plucking

    Apollo is a cockatiel. I'm not sure if hes molting... hes my first bird. But I'm guessing a sign of molting would be feathers on the bottom of his cage which he doesnt have. Ie dont think he has been showing any signs of sickness.. hes been acting as he usually does other than the feather plucking.
    And thanks for the tip about how to stop boredom Do you have any toys you recommend?

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    Tailfeather
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    Re: Feather plucking

    It sounds to me like he is molting as well as being into his hormones. They tend to do silly stuff at that particular time. Currently, my cockatiel is doing both, and he is making holes with his beak in the paper towel on the floor, pooping, and I caught him eating his poop. I have seen him playing with his molted feathers, but not eating them, at least I do not think so!!!!lolo!

    Do not be surprised if he starts getting aggressive with his toys, and biting them, and you too! This too is hormones. All birds love to preen, especially when they are molting. And I have found that tiels are usually satisfied with one or two favorite toys. You can hang a couple of toys at a time in the cage, and change them out for a couple of different ones now and then.

    Hormone time is all about mating rituals, and building or setting on a nest. Molting time can be stressful for them because their skin gets very dry. Try spritzing Apollo with some tepid warm water. That will help the dry skin, and also he will enjoy preening his body after the spritz.

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    Chick Pipers Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Feather plucking

    I do change my tiels toys frequently (2 weeks) except for one. My tiel loves his mirrored disco ball. I usually by about 8 a year from an online petshop. I do throw them away and replace them about every 2 to 3 months. But moving the toys around the cage does help prevent the bird from becoming bored. My tiel also likes to tear and rip things apart. I foraging toy usually last 2 weeks, if I am lucky! BTW, Chewy has decent prices on foraging toys.
    Tango / White Faced Pied Male: Hatched on October 09, 2011 - Homed on April 28, 2012.

    Tiels:
    Bows / Normal Gray Hen: 1976 - 1984
    Caesar / Normal Gray Male: 1977 - 1994
    Piper / Lutino Hen: 1994 - 2010
    Woodstock / Normal Gray Male: 2004 - 2011

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    Chick Pipers Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Feather plucking

    It sounds to me that your tiel is molting. It usually happens a couple times a year. How old is Apollo?
    Tango / White Faced Pied Male: Hatched on October 09, 2011 - Homed on April 28, 2012.

    Tiels:
    Bows / Normal Gray Hen: 1976 - 1984
    Caesar / Normal Gray Male: 1977 - 1994
    Piper / Lutino Hen: 1994 - 2010
    Woodstock / Normal Gray Male: 2004 - 2011

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    Re: Feather plucking

    I have to add in the most birds love hearing music so have music softly playing in the room to give him something to listen too. Our family birds all love music and will cheep sing with the songs they really like.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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