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Old 02-27-2019, 06:46 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Quote: Originally Posted by ChristaNL View Post
I did add something to the diet (one of the forummembers tipped me): it is a keratin-coated oat. Sunny did not have any reserves left in her body to build good quality feathers with after god-knows-how-long being fed a crappy diet.
(Her feathers were stiff and brittle like dead twigs and splintered when you tried to bend them.)


I do not think your bird is that far gone -- she gets good quality food from you, so that is most likely not the problem.


Try to change one thing at the time... first focus on keeping your birdies beak busy when you are there and especially when you are away.
(You are a smart one, having a camera to check up on her!)

If that does not do the trick we can look elsewhere.
Got a link? I noticed some pin feathers in around her head, it looks like she is molting and maybe just can't stand the itching? Which is making her pluck? I do notice her itching a lot lately. Any tips on helping that? I give her baths every other day. I've read molting can be miserable for some birds. I think I may have one on my hands. I think I am going to give it until next weekend and then take her for a complete workup. She is probably just neurotic. LOL

Last edited by Crash_Davis; 02-27-2019 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:36 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

So my bird has been doing a lot better since starting the Nekkon and fleece collar. I see a lot of new pin feathers coming in. She is definitely molting which is obviously uncomfortable to her. I got her some aloe spray and have been misting her at least every other day. She seems to like it.

The other evening I took her out and put her on the stand (after she calmed down from playing furiously with everything in sight) and noticed that she LOVES preening herself. I think she may just be over-preening and not plucking. I saw her bite one of her feathers and it broke. Like she was obsessed with it. After that I started redirecting her when she goes to hard at one feather. She is not pulling/plucking, just kind of biting them... Also when she preens (and this is a noob question) I see a lot of like "clear chute" pieces. Is this this the end of the pin feathers she's clearing off? Sorry if that is a noobie question. Thanks
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:41 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

the clear chute pieces are probably just the shell coming off of the new feathers. when they grow in they are like little pine needles. when they are ready the hard shell around the new feather starts coming off and thats the clear stuff you're seeing. they either pick it off themselves or you can help (just be careful cuz it can be hard to spot a blood feather and they can be in a lot of pain in general from molting).

I'm not sure about the whole biting feathers in half thing though? our boyo's going through his first molt and usually the feathers come out when he shakes after he's done a bit of regular preening.
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:46 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

First and foremost, don't EVER put any type of supplement or medication in her WATER..Sprinkle it on her food, but NEVER in her water, as it contaminates it immediately and starts the growth of both bacteria and fungi/yeast in the water...

Is your Vet either a Certifed Avian Vet or an Avian Specialist? Or is she an "Exotics" Vet?

I'm asking because I highly advise that you get a full Fecal Culture/Microscopy done along with a topical Skin Swab/Culture that they can make a slide of and look at under a Microscope right there in the office...One of the most common causes of over-preening/Plucking/Barbering in birds is a topical Fungal/Yeast infection, and any CAV or Avian Specialist Vet will know that...Fecal bacterial and/or Fungal/Yeast infections would be #2 on the list...And since your bird's been over-preening/plucking all over her body, that's an immediate red-flag for a topical Yeast infection all over her skin, which is easily cleared-up with a prescription Anti-Fungal med, and hopefully she won't have any issues stopping the plucking after the cause of the itching/discomfort is removed...Sometimes they are fine, sometimes they continue to pluck because it's an addiction just like opiate addiction...Every time they pluck a feather it cause the release of Endorphins in the brain, and then even after the infection or other cause of the plucking in the first place is removed/cured, they continue to pluck to release the Endorphins...But hopefully that won't be the case with your bird...

***Yes, she is probably going through her first big molt right now, I'm not denying that...But I've seen hundreds of birds/parrots go through their first big molts, and unfortunately they don't do what your Caique has been doing to herself...So while molting/pin feathers are very itchy and they do tend to be uncomfortable during their molting, what your bird was doing was a form of Feather-Destructive Behavior...[B]And what you need to be concerned about is that even though she seems to be "doing better", that's probably because her molt is ending and the overall itching is less, but if she does in-fact have a topical or GI Yeast or Bacterial infection, it's still there, and she will continue to pluck/barber herself off and on. That's typically what happens, especially if you used a collar, they will get better, almost to the point where they have no bald spots at all, and then one day BAM! they're terrible again when you get home from work...

All pet parrots should have a yearly Wellness-Exam done by either a Certified Avian Vet or Avian Specialist Vet, not an Exotics Vet with no extra education or training in Avian Medicine at all, especially a bird who has displayed Feather-Destructive Behavior in the past or currently. And regardless of the bird's history, all yearly Wellness Exams need to include both a full Fecal Culture and Microscopy to look for both bacterial and/or Fungal infections, as well as to make sure that the bird has enouygh healthy, normal, beneficial bacteriq in their GI Tract (another cause of plucking, as this beneficial bacteria is what keeps yeast/fungi away), and then they should also have complete routine Blood-Work done once yearly too.

I'd actually recommend, if Laura didn't already recommend it, that you put your bird on a daily Avian Probiotic supplement that you give once daily by sprinkling it on their pellets/seed-mix. Probiotics replace the healthy, normal bacteria that is supposed to be living throughout their GI Tracts, and is the only thing that keeps yeast and other fungi at-bay. Some birds have a problem with having enough healthy, beneficial bacteria throughout their GI Tracts, and this causes them to develop Yeast infections both throughout their GI Tracts AND on top of their skin, which is one of the #1 causes of the original start of a Feather-Destructive Behavior....Avian Probiotic supplements such as Qwiko Avian Probiotics and Benebac Probiotics given once daily on their food helps to replenish this beneficial bacteria into their GI Tracts and help to limit the Yeast from budding... (AGAIN, NEVER PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR BIRD'S WATER AT ALL, NOT SUPPLEMENTS, VITAMINS, MEDICATION, ETC.)
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:31 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

My Vet is a DVM and is part of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, is that good enough?

She did a tape swab and looked under a microscope in the office, said her skin looked perfect.

I plan to take her for a workup this weekend. She does act itchy...

Thanks for the water tip. I'll make sure that I don't do that. Sprinkle on food only.
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:43 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Hi again, took Newt to the Vet, he saw her itchiness and ran several tests including:

Skin Cytology (yeast/mites) - Negative
Blood profile/Liver profile
Fecal trichrome

She had already had B&F tests which were negative

Gave her Hydroxyzine and it was fairly quick she stopped her itching, preening. So not sure what is going on yet...he said it could be a lot of things, have to narrow down and rule out the worst things first. (Liver issues/Giardia, etc)

Let me know if any other ideas (Ellen/ Laura) thanks!
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:01 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

It nothing helps - you can experiment with https://www.vogelartikelenwebshop.nl...kken-1-kg.html (just oats with some extraas).
But I really do not think that is your birds main problem.

First find out why she itches to molest the feathers, this "fortified-oat-stuf" is just something like adding fertilizer when the natural reserves are depleted and forming feathers is a side-problem.
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:06 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

OK, so it has been a couple weeks and things I thought were improving but my bird continues to pluck herself. No health issues have been found. She is just lonely/bored during the day I guess. Even with a slew of new toys, cartoons on TV, it looks like she is going to be a plucker.

I am thinking it might be best for me to re-home her to someone who is home all day. I feel bad she has to go through separation anxiety. My other bird did really well during the day, destroyed his toys, etc. But every one of them is different I suppose.

I think sometimes it's best to admit you are just not a bird person. I have to go to work and make a living so staying home for her is not an option.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:51 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

I’m very sorry to hear you’re feeling this way Crash. Plenty of “bird people” have birds who pluck, regardless of how much attention and love they may lavish on their birds. I can only imagine how frustrating and worrying it must be to have a plucker, never having had one myself. Newt may have been a plucker no matter who she lived with, you shouldn’t blame yourself for it. You can still work with your vet and there are plenty of forum members who can give you great advice and support too.

If you do choose to go down the track of rehoming please do everything you can to make sure you find Newt a good forever home, I’ve heard too many stories of people who have rehomed a bird only to find they’ve been sold on (and on and on!) or worse. But I’d still urge you to keep Newt with you if you possibly can - unless you can pop her in an envelope and mail her to me
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Old 03-29-2019, 02:57 AM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

I so understand the frustration and disappointment that all the things you are trying do not seem to work out.


(the collar should have stayed on for longer imho- she still had not swapped the feathergnawing for another hobby) but again: I get you are feeling terrible about the situation.

All I can say: if you really feel strongly should should be with someone else: find that someone!
Do not plunk her on ebay/craighlist/help wanted etc. - take your time.


There is a person for every bird- and also lots or wrong persons, so choose well?

My feathered friends also make me quite unhappy sometimes, destroying the beautifull feathers and turning themselves into motheaten ruins despite great food, huge cages, toys, lots of free running around, attention, baths etc.etc.. and it could be anything: hormones, noise outside, a full moon, the wrong TVchannel - it is enough to drive anyone insane.


I want to teel you both: to tell you to keep trying but also when you are done, you are done...
(I wish I had the ultimate solution for your bird and you, I dont)



If you ever want another bird: get a fully mature one that know how to handle itself during absenses. (One that plays with and destroys toys instead of feathers.)
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