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Old 01-07-2019, 01:22 AM
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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
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Would like some advice

Nico came back yesterday from a 2-week stint at a trusted bird-sitter and has been having feather issues since. When he came home I noticed his head was absolutely covered in pin feathers, most of them still in the blood-feather phase. He is definitely itchy and all he wants to do when heís out of his cage is have me scratch him, he wonít play with toys as much as usual in his cage either. Heís been preening a lot and Iíve noticed that heís pulled out a few healthy looking feathers (minimal stress marks, still looks relatively new, but the shaft is white/translucent all the way through). Otherwise heís acting normal, his poop looks fine, heís eating his veggies for once, and his schedule is much the same as before he went to the bird-sitterís.
My questions:
Is he going through his first molt? He is about 10-11 months old.
Should I be concerned about the healthy-looking feathers that heís dropping/possibly plucking? Is he just stressed out from going to the bird-sitterís?
Should I be expecting puberty soon?
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:27 AM
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Nico - male Turquoise GCC
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Re: Would like some advice

Here are the two feathers I could find that he probably pulled out.
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Would like some advice-0abe982a-ae9c-4e3d-844d-e5d982ccdad3.jpg  
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:19 AM
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Re: Would like some advice

Not being an expert on conures, but those feathers could just as easily have been naturally molted.
The part where the feathers attach in the skin look "old and done" to me.
Hard to explain, but a pulled feather (not ready to leave the bird) usually has a more 'unfinished' look to them.
Less smooth (and if you have real dedicated plucker/mutilator skin and blood sticking to it).

Big molt sounds likely- he is of *that* age; and about "stressed"...if he is demanding you fix his itches with scritches -> the world is allright to him

If he is putting on his "grown-up suit" puberty is not that far away...
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:29 AM
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Sun t̶e̶r̶r̶o̶r̶i̶s̶t̶ C̶o̶n̶u̶r̶e̶ terrorist Cytrynka (F), Peach faced lovebird Fiona (F), Peach faced lovebird Fionek (M)
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Re: Would like some advice

Nothing suspicious to me with these fetathers.. Cytrynka looses few of these over the day now, but she's covered with Pinfeathers so assume it's just normal. She's got no balds spots, her wings are symmetrical and her behaviour is normal so i just take it as a molt phase. If it is so with Nico, just take care to provide him a good bathe as it easies the itchiness caused by the molting.
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:09 AM
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Re: Would like some advice

At 10-11 months old he is going through his first molt, which for Green Cheeks is the huge one where they completely change body colors (depending on their mutation). They molt their entire bodies, with the most molting on their head/face/chest/belly. He's also probably already started puberty or is going to very, very soon, usually by 1 year-old they are going through it, so it's a double-whammy for a lot of birds, as they end-up going through their first puberty and their first huge molt at the same time...

He's no-doubt very, very itchy and distracted by the numerous pin-feathers, so I would try a daily shower/bath for him; I don't know what Nico likes as far as baths, some Green Cheeks like mine will take a bath if you just give them any container of water, others prefer showers, etc. But a daily shower will soften-up the sheaths around the pin feathers and help calm down the itching, and will also help to shed the old feathers...As far as the puberty goes, make sure he's getting a full 12 hours of solid, restful sleep every single night, and more is even better, meaning you get him on a full "Natural Light Schedule", where is goes to bed with the sunset and he wakes-up with the sunrise, making sure that his cage or wherever he sleeps is in a quite room with a window so he can actually see the change in sunlight...This time of year it means that they go to bed pretty early, but it really does keep their hormones under control...

Also, remove any and all small, warm, dark places that he can get inside or under from his cage, such as any "Happy Huts" or "Snuggle Huts" (which are death-traps anyway and no bird should EVER have them), any tents, any type of boxes, any fabric/cloth/material he can get underneath or make a "nest" out of, such as towels, blankets, newspapers, any types of bedding, wood chips, paper towels, etc. And when he's outside of his cage make sure he cannot get underneath any furniture or get into any cabinets or any other small, dark places, as this can instantly cause hormonal rages that can be very aggressive towards you and very stressful to him.

Also, avoid all warm, moist, mushy foods like oatmeal, grits, any types of "formula", mashed potatoes, etc. These also trigger hormonal rages, as they mimic both the hand-feeding formula and the food fed to them by their parent birds.

It will pass, but it's a double-whammy and it's going to be stressful for both you and him...I would wait until you're certain his first molt is completely over and then watch him and make sure that he's not STILL over-preening or plucking/barbering himself...Right now you have no way to tell if he's actively doing any Feather-Destructive Behaviors due to the stress of being at a bird-sitter's and away from you for 2-weeks because it's perfectly normal for them to be constantly preening themselves and for feathers to be falling-out all over the place during this huge molt, but once it's over if he's still constantly preening or actively pulling feathers out, then you'll know he might be doing a little barbering/plucking...I'm assuming it's all due to his first molt, it's the nasty molt and it's really tough on them...
"Dance Like Nobody's Watching".
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