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Old 09-30-2012, 11:51 AM
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Unhappy feather plucking

Hi! I am asking this question for a friend that has a grey. She got her and hand fed her, she is now around 7. She has a terriable plucking problem!! She plucks her feathers and puts them in her bowl. My friend has her on a seed diet but also gives veggies. She didn't know that was bad until recently and her hubby wont give her money to buy the expensive pellets. We have noticed sometimes when shes out she will make a little crying sound, we were thinking maybe shes sexually frustrated or something...another prob is that she can't add new toys to cage because it scares the grey into fits!! Please help!! What would you suggest to do to end plucking and what does crying mean???
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:07 AM
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Re: feather plucking

Plucking can be due to several reasons, vet check is definitely in order to see if there are any underlying issues. Although if husband is opposed to paying for pellets I highly doubt he will pay for a vet visit. I strongly recommend her reading the Guide to a Well-Behaved Parrot. It deals with plucking and other issues. Another good one is the African Grey Parrot Handbook.
There are some very affordable pellets-a grey doesn't eat that much in a day! The Zupreem bags last a long time and are very affordable on Amazon. Our bag was $11 and it will last us months because Pepper eats a lot of fresh foods, rice, etc. At My Safe Bird Store you can order 1 pound of Roudybush for $4, just to try.

As for introduction of toys, you need to do it in stages. Greys are prey animals. Any new thing in a cautious bird's environment could be a threat. So when we want something to be a part of Pepper's life we introduce it very, very gradually-first in the same room, let her see us interacting with it. Then we introduce it to her outside her cage. When she is comfortable with it we tie it to the outside of the cage. Still play with it in front of her. Then bring it into the cage. Also the type of toy can be important-birds have toy preferences! Pepper loves shredding paper and piecing cloth. She likes foot toys. She prefers to play with a person with a toy rather than by herself.
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