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Old 06-21-2017, 06:02 PM
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feather breaking

Hi everyone,

I'm wondering if anyone else is having problems with Blue Headed Pionus's being extra neurotic hormonal right now causing excessive feather breaking? (not plucking them out, but breaking them bit by bit until just downy left).

My girl is 7 years old, we adopted her last year & with the life change, she had no hormonal behaviour at all.
She is so obsessed with nesting that she mostly ignores her toys & is crazy demanding ( bring me here, put me there, no bring me here, i want this.. no, i want that). She's just a nut case.

Please tell me someone is having issues this year - i don't want this to actually be a serious issue!
(weather region specific to Ontario, Canada).
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:51 PM
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Re: feather breaking

Quote: Originally Posted by wadawas View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm wondering if anyone else is having problems with Blue Headed Pionus's being extra neurotic hormonal right now causing excessive feather breaking? (not plucking them out, but breaking them bit by bit until just downy left).

My girl is 7 years old, we adopted her last year & with the life change, she had no hormonal behaviour at all.
She is so obsessed with nesting that she mostly ignores her toys & is crazy demanding ( bring me here, put me there, no bring me here, i want this.. no, i want that). She's just a nut case.

Please tell me someone is having issues this year - i don't want this to actually be a serious issue!
(weather region specific to Ontario, Canada).
There is no question that Eastern Ontario has had an odd Spring. Cool rainy Spring followed by high temperatures with Sun shine back to rain, back to Sun shine and sometimes in the same day.

First, verify that your Parrot is operating on actual day sleep pattern, up with the Sun and sleeping when night sets in place 'or' more sleep each day. Do not let your Parrots sleep periods fall below 8 hours of real, dark and quiet sleep. To slow hormonal responses, target 10 to 12 hours per night and than over the balance of the Summer, slowly shift to a Sun based sleep pattern.

The type of feather damage you are talking about sounds more like 'Barbering.' With time, chewing of the feather piece by piece. Its a form of Plucking, with like causes and like treatments. Thrashing about tends to cause a diffident type of feather damage and pattern.

I elected not to cover everything regarding Hormonal and Feather loss to provide you a starting point and for others to also fill in more points.

Last edited by SailBoat; 06-21-2017 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 06-23-2017, 12:25 PM
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Re: feather breaking

I have her in bed at 8pm, but the sun rises at 6am right now & there is no room in my house that is dark before sunset or after the sun rises. She's covered with a dark sheet, but it's a huge cage & light will still get it.

Noone else is sharing thoughts, so please feel free to offer more
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:33 PM
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Re: feather breaking

Well, I would had hoped that one of the Pionus or like species owners would have jumped in by now. But it seems that is not happening.

Lets look at the 'Barbering' first: Since its cause can be medical, emotional or both, it is important to have you're Parrot seen by a Certified Avian Vet (CAV) or an Avian Qualified Vet (AQV). At the Vet's office they may have 'Soother' Topical Spray that we find helpful for our Amazon who is a plucker.

Hormonal Parrot: This could be her first Hormonal effect with you and this Spring has not been helpful. As with the discussion above, there are several causes that can also combine to drive the event further. So, as with the above, seeing your Avian Vet is important.

Areas that commonly effect the extent of a Hormonal event are:
- Sleep (lack of)
- Diet, to much salt, sugar, protein, etc...
- Contact, touching or handling lower body, lower back and/or tail area.
- Stressers, finding /using nesting areas and materials (eliminate)
- Etc...

The sad part is that she would be very happy not to be effected by any of this, so everything you do to help relieve the effects and the event itself will be appreciated by both of you.

Lets hope this will get a Pionus's owner interested.
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Old 07-02-2017, 12:47 PM
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Re: feather breaking

I second the check with an avian vet. It needs to be someone who knows what they are doing, because infections can and do get missed.

My white cap girl has barbered, particularly around her legs but also chest, when she has had bacterial infections. Her nesty behavior has never included any plucking or barbering, just a lot of strutting and the 'horny honk'...

For feather health and regrowth, I was turned onto an omega 3 supplement. This helps strengthen their immune system too. Diet-wise this means more green plants and less grains. Walnuts and chia seed (unsprouted) are high in omega 3s and make great treats.

For hormones, I try to wear her out by getting her to fly a lot. Give lots of baths so she's busy drying and doing healthy grooming. Make her food healthy but routine and boring and only what she can eat no extra (make situation seem not-ideal for raising babies). Arrange toys and things in her house so she's not sitting with something resting on her back, or having holes to snuggle in.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:37 PM
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Re: feather breaking

Wadawas,
Have you found out what was causing the feather breaking? I did not respond as this was not an issue before now. Yesterday, I noticed that my 14 yr old blue head female is for the first time breaking/ plucking the feathers above her tail hidden under her wings. She did it again today.I am heart broken. She does not display any other hormonal issues now or in the past.
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