FEATHER-PICKING NOBLE MAC

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FEATHER-PICKING NOBLE MAC

Post by len.zielen.. » Sun, 21 Nov 1993 06:34:10



NE>I have a problem with my 10 year old Noble Macaw (Max). A few months ago
  >he started picking at his feathers. I took him to the vet and found
  >out he has a Vitamin A deficiency. I tried unsuccesfully to switch him to
  >pellets so now put vitamins in his water and feed him cooked yams.
Cathy,

I'd try several things. One, increase the vitamin A rich foods such as
the yams you are offering and other dark yellow vegatables (carrots,
squash etc). If he is not EATING the fresh food, it will do him no good.
You can often "trick" a picky eater by grating carrots and mashing yams
and mixing with Jiffy Cornbread mix and making "bird muffins". You can
also grind pellets and include them! Most birds will eat good foods
offered this way. Second, I'd remove the vitamins from the water. They
just encourage bacteria to grow and loose their potency in a very short
time. Try sprinkling powdered vitamins on his foods instead! Second,
offer "preenable" toys such as braided ropes with knots in them or
pieces of plain cotton mop heads with knots and beads tied in the
strands. Third, mist WELL daily, just keep a wet bird out of drafts.
I've also had some success giving Gatorade instead of water  once a day
(for the iodine and potassium). I would also cover the cage if necessary
to ensure 12 hours of sleep time.

Yes, in all likely hood, he would do that to a mate as well! Outside
stimulation might distract him. Give him a TV to watch and see if it
helps. As a last resort, there are always collars available to
physically prevent him from picking, but I would only resort to this if
he is mutilating the skin or if the problem was seriously compormising
his health. Good luck, let us know what you try and what, if anything,
seems to work. Sometimes something as small as a change of cage location
makes all the difference and ANY result will be of benefit to the next
person with the same problem.
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