help w/ African Grey feather plucking ?

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help w/ African Grey feather plucking ?

Post by Sleepy » Tue, 28 Nov 1995 04:00:00



I have an 8 year old female African grey : she is on her second major
feather plucking spree.  The first was in 1994.  My wife is a vet, but
doesn't have specialized experience in birds, so we took her (the bird,
not the wife)  to a specialist back then.  He gave us prozac for her.
Eventually, she stopped plucking feathers and they grew back.  I got her a
TV to keep her entertained, and we made a bigger effort to spend time with
her.  We discontinued the prozac.  A year later, she has resumed feather
plucking, and is once again bald ***ed.  Anyone have any ideas ?  Email
me direct or reply to group !  Thanks in advance.  
 
 
 

help w/ African Grey feather plucking ?

Post by Kevin Michael C » Tue, 28 Nov 1995 04:00:00



Quote:

> Eventually, she stopped plucking feathers and they grew back.
> A year later, she has resumed feather plucking, and is once

About once a year, my severe macaw plucks suddenly and ***ly.
He can be completely *** in hours.  He's fine (doesn't pluck)
the rest of the year.  We put a collar on him (it takes one vet
and two helpers) when he starts plucking.  Our vet thinks it may
be some kind of seasonal allergy.  (He just turned two in
August.)

I think I'll buy a humidifier this week.

My Timneh has always been an agressive preener.  When his
baldness levels change, it's always gradual and the change is
usually very small.  It's not sudden and a significant change
like the severe's.

I would be willing to cooperatively experiment on the Timneh, to
try to solve the plucking, but not the severe.  I hope they're
not plucking because of different problems.  I don't want to
uncollar the severe because I've come home too many times to find
a ***ly-plucking half-bald macaw that I have to rush to the
vet.  I don't want to use mental ***, either.  I'll see what
the humidifier does.

I've had the Timneh for ten years so I've tried a few things.  ;)
Examples of things that didn't work:  bitter spray (Ralph laughed
at this, and it made him sticky); mixing non-food items, such as
wood shavings, into his food so he'd have to "forage"; changing
daily routines and attention towards him; changing diets; BIG
assortment of toys; food-dispensing toys.  He stopped plucking (I
call it "plucking" because it's easier to type than "aggressively
preening") for a while when we brought Sidney (the macaw) home,
but started again a few months later.

--
Kevin Chu

 
 
 

help w/ African Grey feather plucking ?

Post by Liz D » Wed, 29 Nov 1995 04:00:00


From everything I hear, feather plucking, especially in very smart
and sensitive birds like greys, is a difficult problem and has
a lot of causes, and can be awfully complicated.  My suggestion is

a) take the bird to the best avian vet you can find for a health
workup, maybe it has some physical problem

b) read the book "My Parrot, My Friend", which talks about this
problem in detail, with case histories

c) see if you can find an avian behavior consultant who can
come to your house and see the bird and the situation.

What I'm trying to say is, there may not be a quick fix.  You
probably knew that already....

Regards,

Liz Day
Indianapolis, Indiana, central USA