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Old 11-24-2016, 04:19 PM
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Re: A long time plucker

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I have today made 3 different collars/jackets.

The first one is made with teddy bear fabric and a sturdy nylon rim closed with a velcro. He soon found out to take that one off, so no good. Off to the drawing board.

Then I found an old sweatshirt and I cut the end off the sleeve off and made a small jacket and put fringes on the front to keep him occupied. This went ok until he found out to open the velcro on the lower back. Again off to the drawing board.

Then I made a collar of the other sleeve, where I just cut the fringes off the fabric and let it flap around him. This he was not able to take off. HOWEVER after he has had a collar on most of the day, I noticed he have not eaten at all during the day I then took the collar off and he immediately attacked the food bowl. He has been so stressed about the collar, that that is not a solution for him.

I really hope he does not "shave" off a bunch of feathers tonight as a result of my experiments.

I am not sure I am completely done with the collar idea, but I need to do it better and more gradual than just put it on him.

He is used to get a jacket on, when we go outside and he now doesn't mind it too much as he knows when he gets the jacket on, we go outside or even go flight training, which he enjoys.
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Old 11-27-2016, 04:59 PM
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Re: A long time plucker

Good news!

Destino has now been diarrhea free for about 3 days and not a single feather has been bitten off since
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 11-27-2016, 05:06 PM
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Re: A long time plucker

Fingers, toes, and feathers crossed here!
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:45 PM
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Re: A long time plucker

1 week anniversary for non-plucking

I have also found a way to get Tino to flight train, where he will actually move his wings. Think I need to add some history here;

Tinos left wing has had an injury at some stage. The wing can't extend fully and all my efforts to get him to voluntarily flap his wings have all been in vain. Eventhough he might never fly again I still bring him to the indoor riding arena, when I train the other 2 macaws (my B&G couldn't fly when I got him, but through dedicated work, he now flies very well)

One day as I was going to the arena, there was a head wind. Tino started to lean towards the wind, but as I got behind the arena, the wind disappeared and Tino took a forward tumble. Fortunately I always have them in a secure harness, which has a large loadbearing area on both front and back, so Tino never hit the ground, but was stopped about 20 inches off the ground. Before I could get him up again, he started to flap his wings as if he was flying

I am now trying to make different designs of harnesses, that will be easily put on AND have a soft cloth base to support the entire front of the bird, so I can run with him, while he is flapping his wings. It looks a bit like when you hold a dog over water and they start paddling, just with a bird and flight

Any thoughts and/or recommandations would be greatly appreciated Anything I should be careful about?

PS: I have been told by several plucker specialists, that they rarely see a flighted plucker, so I am hoping flight could help heal Tinos plucking.
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:04 PM
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Re: A long time plucker

No additional ideas here, just congratulations and a lot of admiration for you. Both.
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:28 PM
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Re: A long time plucker

What a great idea. I always assumed Gus would never fly, but maybe he could also flap in a harness. If I can get him to wear a harness. I thought of getting a perch in a swing, for him to hold on to while I run with him, but even that is risky as he doesn't have a lot of strength in his feet yet. I will be watching to see what you come up with! Best of luck to you both.
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:02 PM
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Re: A long time plucker

I have "come up with" this design





It's basically just a kitten harness and I have sewn a pad for the chest out of an old sleeping pad for camping/hiking with just some cloth outside and a strap to keep the pad in place.

I have only used it once, but it seems to be kept in place and as I am not putting a harness over his head, it's not too bad to put on

Kentuckienne; if you can try to put a kitten harness on Gus, this should also be ok. I have bought this harness on aliexpress.com for $1. If you are not comfortable with sewing a pad, I can sew you one. I will obviously need to send it to the US, so don't know what that costs, but I will do it, if it can help Gus
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:38 PM
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Re: A long time plucker

You are so sweet to offer that! I can sew well enough to make one using your excellent photos and descriptions. The first step will be teaching Gus to wear a kitten harness, and that may be quite a step.
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Old 12-06-2016, 03:54 AM
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Re: A long time plucker

Quote: Originally Posted by Kentuckienne View Post
You are so sweet to offer that! I can sew well enough to make one using your excellent photos and descriptions. The first step will be teaching Gus to wear a kitten harness, and that may be quite a step.
A little tip to get him to accept it is to get Mr K to pin it to his clothes for a few days. This way Gus gets to see it and see that it is not dangerous. I usually pin right below my right shoulder with a safety pin as they usually sit on my right arm, so the new object is right in front of them
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Old 12-15-2016, 07:17 AM
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Re: A long time plucker

Update on Tino.

I found an absess in one of the feather folicles on one of his flight feathers on his left wing. I was about to call the vet whether to pull the feather out to get to the absess, but Tino pulled the feather out himself. I have therefore been able to clean and disinfect the folicle. This is about a week ago.

Tino has not been preening his tail feathers, so I have been removing the sheaths for him, when they were ready.

For the past week I noticed, that there doesn't seem to be any sheath ready for preening. I today saw, that he is now preening his tail himself

I really hope that the absess and the inability to preen himself all over is the cause for his plucking and that this is the stop to it.

Only time will tell. It seems now, that I am on top of all his physical issues (except for the "broken" wing). A lot of folicles has growth in them still, but there might be some dead areas.

Is there any thing I can give him to improve feather growth? I know selenium for humans are good for hair growth. Does birds have something like that?
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