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Old 09-17-2019, 08:46 AM
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Feather Plucking!!!

My 10 month old Green Cheek Conure has started to pluck his feathers. It literally happened out of nowhere, a few days ago he was fine then one morning he woke up and he had pulled out all his chest feathers - and now he's started on his back.

Im not exactly sure what to do - I let him out everyday, he gets enough sleep, has a fairly balanced diet and plenty of toys (although he doesn't play with them).
I should add that he's not completely tame and doesn't let me touch him so it could be that he's lonely? Although I do interact with him as much as i can

I wonder if he'd be better off at an aviary facility because i feel way out of my depth right now and just want him to be happy!!

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Old 09-17-2019, 08:59 AM
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Re: Feather Plucking!!!

Anytime there's a significant change in your bird's behaviour that you can't explain with molting or hormones or a recent change you made in his life, take your bird to an avian vet. Sometimes birds pluck due to internal pain, kidney problems, skin infections, etc. Clear all potential medical reasons out first.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:02 AM
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Re: Feather Plucking!!!

I'm so sorry to hear this!

I would take him to his Vet ASAP. Preferably, a Certified Avian Vet - CAV.
There could be an underlying cause that is not obvious to you.
Have a full work up including blood work. Maybe there is a deficiency and he may need supplements. The Vet can give you more answers.

Can you post some pictures, before and after? Has there been any big changes in the house recently?
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:06 AM
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Re: Feather Plucking!!!

Yes I can't agree more with the avian vet. Sudden changes in behavior aka plucking can mean there are issues you are not seeing inside his body that may be the reason he's plucking. When was his last vet visit? Do you watch him the whole time he is out of the cage so he's not getting into things he isn't?

We can start there and hopefully others can offer some help too.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:30 AM
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Re: Feather Plucking!!!

Sage advice above to discover cause(s) of Yoshi's plucking. Please read this superb narrative and discussion: Plucking: A Search For Answers
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:25 PM
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Re: Feather Plucking!!!

Quote: Originally Posted by nattyd View Post
... Im not exactly sure what to do - I let him out everyday, he gets enough sleep, has a fairly balanced diet and plenty of toys (although he doesn't play with them).
I should add that he's not completely tame and doesn't let me touch him so it could be that he's lonely? Although I do interact with him as much as i can. ...
Even if a good vet visit and food/health advice does stop the feather plucking, read on.

I'm not a bird psychologist but I'd say, feather plucking and showing no interest in toys could be signs of depression, or whatever that would be called in birds.

Conures are highly intelligent and social creatures.
They need lots of interaction with their flock members, and that would be you and possibly others who live in your home.
I think a conure can only be happy if it forms a real relationship with its human(s).

Apparently that's not happening, likely IMO because of natural fear and a lack of trust.
Here's a good thread on Trust Building ...

Tips for Bonding and Building Trust

Dogs have been selectively bred for zillions of generations for characteristics that please humans.
Parrots not so.
They are at most only a few generations removed from the wild.
Even a hand fed baby who is highly tame and socialized will always be part wild.

That's why knowing and meeting the many complex and (to us humans) needs of a parrot is not obvious, even to the smartest among us.
We all could benefit from parrot education.
I'd read several of the other stickies in this forum ...

General Parrot Information - Parrot Forum - Parrot Owner's Community

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Last edited by YSGC; 09-17-2019 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:23 AM
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Re: Feather Plucking!!!

Because it was so sudden, it almost sounds like an internal physiological issue and not mental/emotional. How has Yoshi been the past few days?
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:50 AM
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Re: Feather Plucking!!!

I also say that the vet is going to be key...It could definitely be due to internal irritation.


On top of that, hormones could be kicking in, so make sure you are not sexually frustrating your bird by providing any dark spaces, huts, tents, boxes, cubbies etc...Pet on the head and neck only, make sure your bird gets at 10-12 hours of sleep nightly on a schedule.
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