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Old 07-27-2010, 09:05 AM
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Feather plucking

When we were at the breeder on Sunday he had 2 IRNs who plucked their feathers and they were housed together. I've been searching for info about this since then because it really bothers me. He said that it is stress and that he took them over like that but to me it seemed like he did not really do much to change their behavior.

I found this site while I was looking for SA sprouts and I found it very informative.

Parrots - Feather plucking in parrots - Learn causes and remedies for feather plucking and feather chewing.

What stood out the most for me was this:

MATURITY - In reaching maturity, parrots go through a period of hormone imbalance very similar to that of a maturing teenager. This period is very confusing to them because they don't understand what they are feeling. This does not necessarily mean that they are ready for breeding or parenthood any more than a teenager would be. In fact, a pet parrot would be even less prepared for a breeding situation. They don't have other parrots or peers to learn from. Breeding and raising young is not instinctive for parrots. If they live with a flock in the wild, they learn from other parrots. As a pet bird, their flock is a human family. They have not learned to relate to another parrot or to raise young. Very often a pet bird will be abused or even attacked by another parrot. Putting a maturing pet bird into a breeding situation would be even worse than forcing a teenager into a marriage. Not only would it be doomed to certain failure, but it would feel deserted at a time when it most needs support. If a pet bird is to be put into a breeding situation, it should first be allowed to get acquainted with the bird that you have chosen for a mate. Before they are allowed to live together, make sure that one does not bully or abuse the other. Most often, if parrots that do not get along when they meet, they will probably never really become bonded. The best you could hope for is that they will learn to tolerate each other. If you decide to breed your pet, and it becomes bonded to its intended mate, you will have to accept that it will probably no longer be a pet. Most parrots must give up their human bond to become bonded to another parrot. If you decide to help your pet through this difficult period, instead of giving him up for breeding, you will likely have a companion for life.


I dont want to loose Sterretjie....
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:04 PM
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Re: Feather plucking

I adopted a too a couple of mths ago who is a plucker. She has been through a lot from what we can gather and is a very anxious bird. She still plucks her chest and back, sometimes I wonder if it has become a bit of a habit as well as a stress release since she has apparently been this way for so long. We are working on it but I like the idea of the vest, it's a bit like using an elizabethan collar for a dog that obsesively chews itself. Thanks for the link
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:52 AM
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Re: Feather plucking

When I read the article and saw the vest I thought that it was a brilliant idea. I hope something like that can help your girl out of her bad habit, it must be so frustrating and it must definitely make you feel helpless sometimes.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:28 AM
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Re: Feather plucking

Not all birds who bond with another bird stop loving their owners. I have several that did not.
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