Concerned my CAG has started plucking :(

MTG

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May 22, 2019
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Congo African Grey
Concerned my CAG has started plucking :( Advice please.

My CAG Zelda is just over 2 years old. Always very happy and active.

I make sure she has lots of out-of-cage time and plenty of interaction, and when she is in her cage she has a variety of toys for chewing and foraging.

I also give her a shower at least once a week. More when she is in moult.

Last night I was at my grandparent's house for a couple of hours, nothing unusual for her (although maybe with the recent quarantines, she had gotten too used to me being home all the time so even a couple of hours is stressful?) When I arrived home I found a good 20 or so feathers all from around her neck on the cage floor. :( and her neck looked scruffy.

The feathers are all fully intact and the shafts are not chewed which is a good sign at least.

I have been monitoring her since, and I have noticed her clung to the side of the cage biting her toes and occasionally pulling her neck feathers (though I haven't seen her pull one out). She seems to do this when she wants out of the cage or wants my attention, so I am trying to just ignore this behaviour and only acknowledge her after she has stopped. This is new a behaviour from her though, I have not seen it before.

As it's only been a short time I will continue to monitor before rushing her to the vets to get checked, as this could be stressful for her.

What should I do?! is it likely just the start of a hard moult or maybe the start of plucking.

I have always done my best to care for my birds to ensure they are happy, so I am very upset at the thought that she might be plucking, and I am wondering if it's something I've done/not done.

Any advice from anyone is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 
Last edited:
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M

MTG

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May 22, 2019
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Cambridgeshire, UK
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Quaker Parrot,
Congo African Grey
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Photos of Zelda and the feathers I found.
3a3f7c885989f18d6f7d59d504e6c308.jpg
7daafed7cbe83853e595a6120cb8e239.jpg


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texsize

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Well I totally understand your reluctance for a vet visit.
My Bella is a feather plucker and barberer and new things make her nervous.
But once started feather plucking behavior is extremely hard to break.

I have no real answer for you but sure wish you the best of luck.
 

wrench13

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I feel for you! I know when my 'zon even sneezes, I am all "What was that about??". I suggest more frequent baths, cuz air conditioning makes the air very dry, and removing any feathers immediately so he doesn't develop a habit of playing with the feathers. Wish you and Zelda luck!
 
OP
M

MTG

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Congo African Grey
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I feel for you! I know when my 'zon even sneezes, I am all "What was that about??". I suggest more frequent baths, cuz air conditioning makes the air very dry, and removing any feathers immediately so he doesn't develop a habit of playing with the feathers. Wish you and Zelda luck!
Yes! I am such a paranoid "parront" haha. Always worried about something. I just love her so much and want her to be happy and healthy.

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Scott

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MTG

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I am trying to just keep positive and not let it stress me too much as she might pick up on that.

But some good news, I went out for a couple of hours today and came back to no feathers having been pulled.

I have reshuffled her cage a bit to try and help keep her more engaged and busy. She seems as happy as ever.

Fingers crossed it stays that way.
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Glad to hear a positive trend, may Zelda retain and cherish her beautiful feathers!!
 

AmyMyBlueFront

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Her clothes (feathers) didn't look chewed or mangled..are you sure all of them came from her in that time you were gone? Maybe a few were already on her house floor and you didnt notice them? Zelda is beautiful! I hope if she did pluck it's a one time thing. My TAG would occasionally pluck from her chest and then just stop.


Jim
 
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MTG

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Her clothes (feathers) didn't look chewed or mangled..are you sure all of them came from her in that time you were gone? Maybe a few were already on her house floor and you didnt notice them? Zelda is beautiful! I hope if she did pluck it's a one time thing. My TAG would occasionally pluck from her chest and then just stop.





Jim
There is a possibility that some of the feathers may have already been there, but majority would have been from that day.

From what I can determine. She seems to do it as an attention seeking thing. She will chew her toes and occasionally tug at her neck feathers while hanging from the side of her cage, when I'm in the room but she isn't out. Or when I leave the room. So I am trying to ignore it completely, while giving her other things to do and hope that it doesn't continue.

Another thing I noticed is that she is no longer pinging the cage bars for attention, so maybe it's part of her terrible twos testing what gets my attention. [emoji2371]

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AmyMyBlueFront

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Amy a Blue Front 'Zon
Jonesy a Goffins 'Too who had to be rehomed :-(

And a Normal Grey Cockatiel named BB who came home with me on 5/20/2016.
African Grey's are in a league of their own! Having been "owned" by different parrots over 35 years now I've never had one that compares remotely close to an AG!
My Smokey would make a very high pitched "chirp" that went right thru you to get attention and when I told her STOP! she would say NAUGHTY GIRL and keep right at it until I paid her attention.
If Zelda is two years old...she's testing her boundries..and YOU!




Jim
 

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