Eclectus molting but barbering his feathers

WingDing

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Nanday Conure
Toby the Eclectus seems to be molting due to his scruffiness, but is also chewing his feathers. This is the first time I've seen this and it is a bit disturbing.
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I caught him chewing a few of his feathers to bits. There are two on each side that he has now torn up. No plucking that I can see.
20220313_142618.jpg


Is Toby going down a bad road? He has all his flight feathers but is afraid to fly unless spooked, basically a perch-potato who is only semi-interested in toys. He is going on 4 years old and is a hands-off bird but enjoys shoulder time and face-to-face (nose-to-beak) time.

He eats 90% fresh veggie variety with some lentils, quinoa and chick peas. He eats a little Tops pellets. I've recently pulled all fruits from his diet due to hormonal behavior. He had a little sour breath this morning but I can't detect it this afternoon. Poops are a little watery but he seems to get that after eating breakfast. Our last vet visit was 3 months ago where his poops were the same and came back normal.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
Thanks!!!!!
 
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WingDing

WingDing

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@kme3388 has a similar problem (but more severe) with their ekkie, Nico.
Yes, I follow Nico and kme3388. My heart goes out to them.
Toby is not plucking, but is tearing up a few of his feathers during a molt. I'd like to know if this is typical behavior during a molt, I guess.

We just had a shower. It has been cold and he hasn't wanted a bath in a couple of weeks. He was getting a little stinky. Hopefully, he's not getting a crop infection and it was just food around his face.

We've been together for 4 years, that bird and I, and I swear I have so little knowledge about what makes him tick, mentally and physically. I love him to bits, but he truly is the proverbial "odd bird" to me. Our conure just gels into our family lifestyle, but Toby is a challenge... which I accept unconditionally!
 
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I don't really know how to help, but you should see a CAV if possible. Might just be hormones, but better safe than sorry.
 

kme3388

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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
From what I've gathered from Nico's vet, online reading/searching ekkies are very sensitive (molting, and springtime just adds to this component). There is barbering which is what I think Toby is doing based upon the photos you posted. There is also scissoring, plucking, and self mutilation. Any type of change can trigger these sensitive Ekkie's into feather destruction. The most important thing to do is to address it early as possible so it doesn't become habitual (unfortunately Nico has been doing this for years, which makes it harder to address). Nico is on a medication for inflammation, and his vet is mailing me a pluck no more spray. The medication is a prescription, but the pluck no more I am unsure of.

This is the very first molting that Nico, and I are going through together. He is a different parrot then what I am used to. He is snipper, and he isn't clingy at all. All he wants to do is sit in the window in the sun. His droppings have also changed to more watery. I have also noticed that Nico is eating significantly more. Nico also has made a whiny cry a lot. I'm guessing it's some sort of mating call. This is all day everyday.

Hopefully some of the other Ekkie owners can chime in on this. I've only had Nico for about 9 months now. Spring has been quite the experience for sure!
 

chris-md

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Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Parker is going through the same thing right now, a combination of feather destruction and molting.

Yes to everything above. However, keep in mind we’re heading into spring= hormones! Molting and hormones are often interlinked: molting happens first, followed by breeding season, and they can can cross over. So it’s entirely possible your having hormonal expressions right now with the barbering, if you are seeing any other hormonal signs at all. Some birds will barber, some birds will masturbate, others will bite, and others still some combination of all the above plus more!

We’ve certainly noticed Parker has some separation anxiety recently, which may have always been the case but we’ve undergone a LOT of life changes recently making it more apparent. So I’m certain that’s definitely contributing to the barbering. But his barbering is still very much on annual cycles so still very much hormonal related. Perhaps islets a combination of the two: becomes more needy during breeding season, and anxiety kicks in when that isn’t met. This is the first time, however, that they are occurring concurrently. Usually he’ll finish molting in October, then start destroying feathers around January. Moving to Texas might be throwing his cycles off.


Also, 4 years old is still very much full on puberty going on, which isn’t helping.

So yeah, keep time of year AND in mind that this is happening. Big clue! I wouldn’t panic just yet about β€œgoing down a bad road”. Lots of observation and time still needed to asses that. I’m the meantime, standard hormonal controls apply.

And patience. Don’t panic!
 
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WingDing

WingDing

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This is the very first molting that Nico, and I are going through together. He is a different parrot then what I am used to. He is snipper, and he isn't clingy at all. All he wants to do is sit in the window in the sun. His droppings have also changed to more watery. I have also noticed that Nico is eating significantly more. Nico also has made a whiny cry a lot. I'm guessing it's some sort of mating call. This is all day everyday.

When he's hormonal, Toby looks out the window and makes a "whiny cry" like you said. But, he eats significantly less, mostly because he's busy "begging" looking out the windows and masturbating with his toys. Toby's droppings change constantly, from very watery to normal even in the same day.
I know that the whining can be extremely annoying. It is the most pitiful sound and makes think he is in pain, but he's not.

To me, Toby doesn't play or destroy enough to keep himself busy. He doesn't really like to chew wood. Cardboard boxes stuffed with shredded paper keeps him busy for a while. He loves sola but destroys it in less than a minute. I need to get busy and make a mountain of cardboard toys for him.

My best wishes for Nico and Parker. We're all hanging tough.
 
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WingDing

WingDing

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I should have said when Toby is hormonal he eats less. Almost nothing until the late afternoon. When he's molting, he eats more than normal.
 

kme3388

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Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
I'd also describe Nico like the grimlin movie if anyone recalls it. He's like gizmo to me (I'm his chosen one), and he's like a grimlin to my husband or anyone else. I have tried to have my husband handle him more, and that just made things worse. He refuses to take any food from my husband. He runs away from him. If my husband does try to handle Nico he wares gloves as Nico really will bite him. I am guessing that Nico has picked up on the fact that my husband is afraid of him, and feeds off it. This has intensified because it is spring. Nico screams if my husband try's to go in his room. I can't begin to describe how frustrated my husband is as he really wanted Nico to like him. He misses being able to hold him, and be apart of his life.
 
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WingDing

WingDing

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There might be hope. It was like that for Toby and I. He loved my wife to bits (and still does) and resented me as his rival, I presume. He growled when I walk past his cage. It took me several months to win him over, slowly but surely. At first, he'd strike at the treat that I offered him knocking it out of my hand. Within a couple of weeks, he'd take it but still growl at me. Eventually he'd come to the cage to accept the treat. 3 years later we are best buddies.

I still have to be very careful. If I bring my wife into the mix, he may bite me if I walk away from her with him on my shoulder.

If your husband has the patience, I suggest that he sit just outside the room, ignoring Nico. Then leave without a word. Try this for a few days and move in closer if Nico relaxes. Your husband can hold Nico's favorite treat in his hand without offering it until Nico looks interested. Then offer it on a spoon or something Nico isn't skittish of. Then try offering from finger tips. There are lots of things to try.

Well, that's kind of what worked for us. It took lots of patience, but I found it to be a rewarding challenge. We've still got a long way to go.

Best wishes for your flock. I hope that helps.
 
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