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Three parrots plucking feathers

Discussion in 'Birds - all breeds / types' started by DeLaUK, May 17, 2005.

  1. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    At the shelter Im working at we have 3 African Greys, 1 has been there for a while, 2 came in over the weekend. One is not in too bad condition but the other 2 (the original one and one of the new ones) are almost featherless. They are all in seperate cages, plenty of space, toys, fresh supplies of food and water. With it being a shelter funds are limited for veterinary care. I have noticed that there are no 'private areas' in the cages, there may be at night but not during the day and there are dogs around, that said they were featherless when they came in. From what I know this can be caused by a number of things but my knowledge is minimal with birds and their behaviour. Ive heard this can be stress, boredom, diet. Is there anything I can do, any advice I can give to the people running the shelter. There are no vets or techs on staff, its a city shelter but in Germany theyre privately run...with some funding from the city....as far as I know, they are also a no kill shelter unless medical or extreme aggression problems.
    Are there any, not too expensive things we could do to help the birds grow their feathers back?

  2. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

    Hi boredom and stress and mites are the 3 main factors in feather mutilation.

    Things to try is change there diet give them a variety of pellets seeds fruit and vegtables. Boiled egg yolds mashed, wholewheat breads, boiled pastas all these help with feather regrowth.

    The main thing to do is to try and stop this from happening and observation is the best approach try and pin point what causes them to start picking.
    My sister in laws cockatiel plucks her feathers when she is bored and wants interaction with the family so this is out of cage time.

    When you notice them goto pluck there feathers try and distract them with a toy or a piece of fruit or something they like to chew on.

    Give the birds there own bath daily or using a mist spray bottle mist the birds daily this will remove any grease and dust from there feathers which could be aggrivating them.

    If possible daily interaction and handling usually helps with stress and helps form bonds with humans.
    Plenty of toys and things for them to chew on natural branches are an excellent boredom reliever as parrots like to chew things up.

    Aslo if possible see if the shelter can get hold of some anti molt syrup which can be placed in the water this helps the regrowth of feathers.

    Parrots do not like being alone and love music so if possible during the day see how they react to music.

    Also i know this will sound stupid but it works try and get the birds into a routine, Morning feeding and cleaning of the cage same time everyday, Handling and interaction same time everyday, bath time same time, even on a night or when lights go out, 5-10minutes before lights out simply say bed time they soon associate bed time with lights out and will usually go to there favourite perches.

    Birds like other animals and humans like routine.
    Parrots are know for self mutilation and can go as far as mutilating its own limbs.

    hope this helps

  3. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Thanks Mike,
    Ill print out the this info, have to work on translating it to German but I will definitely let them know about all this. I know theyve had aggression problems with the one thats been there a while but I think the other 2 are okay....Ill let you know how they do.
    Thanks again.

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