A couple of months ago I posted a request for help on feather plucking by
my then 6 month old African Grey (Doug). After my first posting, and
reading your replies, I took Doug to an avian vet for an exam. All tests
revealed no physical problem. The vet said Doug was a little underweight so
I've been giving him more pasta and similar items to gain weight. As to the
plucking, the vet recommended rearranging things in his cage and some new
toys so see if they would help. In fact that did help for a couple of
months and now he has resumed plucking again. I took him to the vet again
and this time he gave Doug a hormone shot (an experimental therapy and can
only be done once). Since then, Doug has begun sitting underneath his cage
and, if anything, is plucking more than ever.
Here are some other miscellaneous facts which may or may not be applicable
to his behavior:
1) The vet recommended that we spray Doug with water daily in order to
reduce his plucking. I haven't sprayed Doug regularly before this and when
he sees the spray bottle, he becomes terrified and tries to fly away
(accompanied by much squawking).
2) When I take Doug outside on the patio, he preens normally but when back
in the house it plucking time again.
3) I do tend to stay up late at night (the AM hours) and Doug's cage is in
The vet says that the next step would be to notch his lower beak but I don't
want to do that since it would require a general anaesthetic and also make
it hard for him to eat. Are there any books on the subject that anyone
could recommend? I'm really frustrated at this point and don't know what
Thanks in advance for any help that you could provide. In case your replies
get off the newsgroup before I get a chance to read them, could you also
please direct your replies to my personal mailbox:
Thanks again for all your past help and I'll be looking forward to hearing
from you soon.