Parrot Forum Header Left  
Go Back   Parrot Forum - Parrot Owner's Community > Community > Behavioral

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2016, 07:15 AM
SilleIN's Avatar
Senior Member
Parrots:
Sugar & Honey- B&G macaws, Destino & Trudi- Scarlet macaws, Monet- Rainbow lorikeet, Sofus- Eclectus, Jacob- Military macaw, Yin & Yang- Illiger's macaws
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Denmark
Thanks: 92
Thanked 295 Times in 177 Posts
SilleIN is on a distinguished road
Thumbs down A long time plucker

Sponsored Links
I recently got a 22 year male scarlet macaw. He has been living in an outdoor aviary and been a breeder bird all his adult life. I was told that he started plucking, when he lost his mate.

I spoke to the previous owner yesterday and found out, that it was not his most recent loss of mate, but 10 years ago he started plucking.

I have now had him for 2 weeks and he has been SO sweet. He really is clingy and he even wants to sleep under the blanket with me. I have now started to see a pattern in his plucking.

Even if he is with me 24 hours a day, he may pluck if I am not awake. If I am awake and he is with me, he doesn't pluck.

The other day, when I had visitors he went voluntarily in his cage (it is never closed, but it's where his food and water is). After a while we noticed he was licking his bare chest as a form og self comfort.

"Fortunately" he is barbing and not plucking. It seems the folicles are not damaged and small down are starting to grow again.

I am thinking about sowing him a collar a bit like a poncho to make it a bit harder for him to get at his feathers, but I am a bit unsure if it's a good idea. I mean I am dealing with a long time addict and I am not sure what a cold turkey will do to his mental health.

I might need to add he has only barbed less than 1 feather a day, but it still frustrates me and if there is anything I can do to improve his life, I will.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2016, 09:49 AM
Pinkbirdy's Avatar
Senior Member
Parrots:
macaw,LS2,congo grey,2Blk Hd caiques,Hawkhead,yellowstrk lory,Blue frnt amazon,sun conure ,Yellow sided greencheek ,Goffin ,Rosebreasted Cockatoo,Greenwing Macaw,Blue and Gold Macaw,Nanday conure,Ecle
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Clifton Springs Newyork
Thanks: 3,018
Thanked 2,004 Times in 1,138 Posts
Pinkbirdy is on a distinguished road
Re: A long time plucker

I took in a plucking Macaw .The only time I saw a change in her is when we put a new lighting system.She is my best talker with her big personality.She seems happy ,I'm careful with her diet.I don't stress thinking I can change it anymore.I accept it's something she is going to do.
__________________
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Pinkbirdy For This Useful Post:
Terry57  (11-23-2016)
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2016, 10:05 AM
Supporting Member
Parrots:
DYH Amazon
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western, Michigan
Thanks: 5,580
Thanked 5,660 Times in 3,040 Posts
SailBoat is on a distinguished road
Re: A long time plucker

Long time Plucker's represent a confusing mix of reasons why and different methods of helping them. The want: bring them health and comfort, then distraction and always lots of Love. Someplace in this mix maybe the correct combination to reduce the Plucking. If not, long term Loving Acceptance of who they are is always the correct tool.

Regarding distraction, the soft, sewn collars are a help as they provide another option for their attention. Please try it.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2016, 04:29 PM
SilleIN's Avatar
Senior Member
Parrots:
Sugar & Honey- B&G macaws, Destino & Trudi- Scarlet macaws, Monet- Rainbow lorikeet, Sofus- Eclectus, Jacob- Military macaw, Yin & Yang- Illiger's macaws
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Denmark
Thanks: 92
Thanked 295 Times in 177 Posts
SilleIN is on a distinguished road
Re: A long time plucker

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
Long time Plucker's represent a confusing mix of reasons why and different methods of helping them. The want: bring them health and comfort, then distraction and always lots of Love. Someplace in this mix maybe the correct combination to reduce the Plucking. If not, long term Loving Acceptance of who they are is always the correct tool.

Regarding distraction, the soft, sewn collars are a help as they provide another option for their attention. Please try it.
I could sew one with fringes to start with, where he does have another option, but can still lick/bite the feathers for a while and then later change it to a more solid cloth collar?
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2016, 04:34 PM
SilleIN's Avatar
Senior Member
Parrots:
Sugar & Honey- B&G macaws, Destino & Trudi- Scarlet macaws, Monet- Rainbow lorikeet, Sofus- Eclectus, Jacob- Military macaw, Yin & Yang- Illiger's macaws
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Denmark
Thanks: 92
Thanked 295 Times in 177 Posts
SilleIN is on a distinguished road
Re: A long time plucker

I should probably mention, that he plucked the first 2 days, then not one feather for little more than a week. I have started getting him used to pellets, but due to him getting a diarrhea I was advised by the vet to go back to a seed diet until the stool normalized again. It has been since he got diarrhea he has started plucking again and have plucked about 1 feather a day.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2016, 04:44 PM
Supporting Member
Parrots:
DYH Amazon
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western, Michigan
Thanks: 5,580
Thanked 5,660 Times in 3,040 Posts
SailBoat is on a distinguished road
Re: A long time plucker

Quote: Originally Posted by SilleIN View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
Long time Plucker's represent a confusing mix of reasons why and different methods of helping them. The want: bring them health and comfort, then distraction and always lots of Love. Someplace in this mix maybe the correct combination to reduce the Plucking. If not, long term Loving Acceptance of who they are is always the correct tool.

Regarding distraction, the soft, sewn collars are a help as they provide another option for their attention. Please try it.
I could sew one with fringes to start with, where he does have another option, but can still lick/bite the feathers for a while and then later change it to a more solid cloth collar?
The fringes have merit! The goal of a soft collar is to act as a distraction, something else to attend to other then the feathers. The fringes should be long enough to limit eating and heavy enough to be noticed.

I dislike the harder /solid types of collars since it tends to only build-up the want to pluck. Where the soft cloth allow them something to distract them and with lots of hope and time wean them a way from their feathers.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2016, 04:57 PM
Supporting Member
Parrots:
DYH Amazon
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western, Michigan
Thanks: 5,580
Thanked 5,660 Times in 3,040 Posts
SailBoat is on a distinguished road
Re: A long time plucker

Quote: Originally Posted by SilleIN View Post
I should probably mention, that he plucked the first 2 days, then not one feather for little more than a week. I have started getting him used to pellets, but due to him getting a diarrhea I was advised by the vet to go back to a seed diet until the stool normalized again. It has been since he got diarrhea he has started plucking again and have plucked about 1 feather a day.

Once normalized, consider adding a few pellets at a time. Over time, slowly switch to more and more pellets.

Our Amazons commonly come to us on all sun flower seed diet. We first switch them to a wide cross-section of seeds, grains, nuts, and freeze dried fruits and veggies and add Pellets to it over time. Once our Amazons stop eating just the sun flower seed, we reduce their amounts to a point that he gets no sun flower seed at all.

I believe in and provide a wide cross-section of seeds, grains and nuts common to what our Amazon would have found in its natural range. We add Pellets as an enrichment to the diet. We feed a fresh natural 'chop' first thing in the morning that varies during the year. After that is all over the place, we provide and maintain the dry mix all day long.

I have noticed that with an all or nearly all Pellet diet, Parrots tend to either dunk them in water or drink lots of water to off set the dryness of the Pellets. As a result, it is 'possible' for them to drink more!
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2016, 06:04 PM
Supporting Member
Parrots:
Goofy (YNA), Charlotte (Scarlet Macaw), Oscar (Goffin 'too). RIP Cookie, 1991-2016 ('tiel), Leo (Sengal). Grand-birds: Liam (budgie), Donovan (lovebird), RIP Angelo (budgie)
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: San Diego, CA
Thanks: 394
Thanked 1,642 Times in 754 Posts
BeatriceC is on a distinguished road
Re: A long time plucker

One of the things my vet explained to me with Charlotte is they don't always pluck during the time or activities that cause them anxiety. Often times they wait until they are alone and it's quiet and then they pluck to self sooth. He likened it to cutting in humans. A person who's cutting isn't going to whip a knife out in front of others when he or she is feeling the stressor. They will wait until they have privacy. He advised me to watch for other cues that Charlotte is feeling stressed and do what I can to reduce those moments in order to help the night time plucking.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 11-23-2016, 09:14 PM
Kentuckienne's Avatar
Supporting Vendor
Parrots:
Gus, Blue and gold macaw rescue
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Middle of nowhere (kentuckianna)
Thanks: 1,016
Thanked 2,456 Times in 1,219 Posts
Kentuckienne is on a distinguished road
Re: A long time plucker

I will confess something only to help...I have a habit very much like feather plucking. It's not obvious to others and doesn't cause any health problems, but it's embarrassing and so I try to conceal it. I've tried for many years to stop it, and sometimes I do stop for years only to start up again in a stressful situation. I have noticed that it is somewhat automatic, a habit .. If I am watching a movie, or TV, I might start doing it. But if I am occupied doing something with my hands, I don't. I think it is the same way with birds. The plucking is a habit, something that is comforting to the bird, an outlet for a stress that the bird might not even be aware of. That's why a bird that's chewing a toy doesn't pluck, because if the beak is busy doing something else, it can't pluck. That's why we have trouble with Gus, he barbers his feathers when he's being petted because it starts him preening. If he's shredding paper or bopping his toys he doesn't barber. I hope that if he stays distracted for long enough, the habit will weaken. It may be the same with your baby ... He learned the habit over a long time, for whatever reason, maybe it just soothed him when he was alone or gave an outlet for stress. Oh, I hope your baby is the same way, and will begin to let go of this habit now that he has you, and has so much to do.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2016, 03:56 AM
SilleIN's Avatar
Senior Member
Parrots:
Sugar & Honey- B&G macaws, Destino & Trudi- Scarlet macaws, Monet- Rainbow lorikeet, Sofus- Eclectus, Jacob- Military macaw, Yin & Yang- Illiger's macaws
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Denmark
Thanks: 92
Thanked 295 Times in 177 Posts
SilleIN is on a distinguished road
Re: A long time plucker

Quote: Originally Posted by Kentuckienne View Post
I will confess something only to help...I have a habit very much like feather plucking. It's not obvious to others and doesn't cause any health problems, but it's embarrassing and so I try to conceal it. I've tried for many years to stop it, and sometimes I do stop for years only to start up again in a stressful situation. I have noticed that it is somewhat automatic, a habit .. If I am watching a movie, or TV, I might start doing it. But if I am occupied doing something with my hands, I don't. I think it is the same way with birds. The plucking is a habit, something that is comforting to the bird, an outlet for a stress that the bird might not even be aware of. That's why a bird that's chewing a toy doesn't pluck, because if the beak is busy doing something else, it can't pluck. That's why we have trouble with Gus, he barbers his feathers when he's being petted because it starts him preening. If he's shredding paper or bopping his toys he doesn't barber. I hope that if he stays distracted for long enough, the habit will weaken. It may be the same with your baby ... He learned the habit over a long time, for whatever reason, maybe it just soothed him when he was alone or gave an outlet for stress. Oh, I hope your baby is the same way, and will begin to let go of this habit now that he has you, and has so much to do.
Me too. It looked so good to start with as he had stopped for little over a week. He is now interested in toys and is active.

Come to think of it, his diarrhea started when the new baby arrived There could be a link as Trudi really likes to fly to Tinos cage and sit on it. I always take her away, but maybe he feels he doesn't get his "safe place" to himself. Maybe I should find a solution, where Trudi can't fly to his cage.

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by SilleIN View Post
I should probably mention, that he plucked the first 2 days, then not one feather for little more than a week. I have started getting him used to pellets, but due to him getting a diarrhea I was advised by the vet to go back to a seed diet until the stool normalized again. It has been since he got diarrhea he has started plucking again and have plucked about 1 feather a day.

Once normalized, consider adding a few pellets at a time. Over time, slowly switch to more and more pellets.

Our Amazons commonly come to us on all sun flower seed diet. We first switch them to a wide cross-section of seeds, grains, nuts, and freeze dried fruits and veggies and add Pellets to it over time. Once our Amazons stop eating just the sun flower seed, we reduce their amounts to a point that he gets no sun flower seed at all.

I believe in and provide a wide cross-section of seeds, grains and nuts common to what our Amazon would have found in its natural range. We add Pellets as an enrichment to the diet. We feed a fresh natural 'chop' first thing in the morning that varies during the year. After that is all over the place, we provide and maintain the dry mix all day long.

I have noticed that with an all or nearly all Pellet diet, Parrots tend to either dunk them in water or drink lots of water to off set the dryness of the Pellets. As a result, it is 'possible' for them to drink more!
The poop is quite normal again and I added a few pellets to his food bowl last night. I had only added about 30% pellets to his regular diet, but he is also getting fruit (being withheld for a week now) which could have set his stomach off.

At the same time I got a new macaw baby, who really wants to get close to him (still trying to have them seperated for a little while eventhough they have all been to the vet for a check up) so that could also be the stressor.

At any rate I will sew a collar with cloth fringes to see if that can replace his barbering.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to SilleIN For This Useful Post:
SailBoat Supporting Member (11-24-2016)
Reply

Lower Navigation
Go Back   Parrot Forum - Parrot Owner's Community > Community > Behavioral
Remove Ads

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help and advice on long term Eclectus plucker swifty Eclectus 7 03-25-2016 10:54 PM
Suggestions for adopting a severe plucker (long) Pengle Behavioral 5 03-07-2013 07:58 PM
Long time no see!!! Atwee921 Conures 3 09-19-2011 07:36 PM
Long time no see leomacaw Congo & Timneh Greys 3 05-22-2011 09:36 AM
Long time, no see! :) GreenCheek Conures 6 04-03-2011 09:33 PM




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2005 - 2009, Parrot Forums.com