GCC Plucking Advice!!

dreameater

New member
Feb 8, 2024
1
5
Hi all!!

I have a 3-year-old male GCC who had recently plucked all his feathers around his belly in a matter of days, and I'm looking for advice in narrowing the causes of his plucking. Some background information:

Flock:
Chubbs, 3 years old, GCC
Ozai, 3 years old, IRN
Oscar, 13 years old, Hahn's Macaw
Chloe, 15 years old (estimated), Orange-Winged Amazon
Harvey, 15-30 years old, Yellow-Naped Amazon

Food:
Harrisons Lifetime Pellets
Fresh chop daily

Treats:
Almonds, peanuts

Out of cage time daily: 7-8 hours (I work from home). All birds (aside from Harvey; he's housed separately in the house) interact well with one another.

Vet:
All birds see a vet annually; upon writing this post, I just went to the vet today and got a full work-up of labs done but it'll be a few days before I get results in.

I was out of town for 3 days. My parents take care of my birds whenever I'm gone (I usually have a 3-day business trip every other month) and this has never happened before. All of my birds have a clean bill of health. I came home and my GCC had plucked nearly all of his belly feathers. He seems to be over preening and I would love help in identifying what may be the cause of it. I know in a few days I can see if I'm able to rule out health or not, but I'd like to have some advice in the meantime.

Since the plucking, I've changed the following things:
I give the GCC cage UVB lighting for a few hours each day, though all the birds do hang out by the window, and I adjusted my lighting. I've also increased to 13 hours of sleep right now. I also eliminated sugar (AKA no more fruits as treats) right now.

What I suspect might be the issue:

My GCC has grown extremely attached to my female amazon. They've been nuzzling and preening one another. She is not plucking him (she got pin feathers on his head). I'm not sure if this can cause plucking? I've attached pictures of the plucking, the cage, etc. The GCC and female amazon are NOT housed next to each other. And they don't spend all day together, as my GCC does often sit by my computer and watch.

I am desperate for advice in the mean time, could anyone help?
 

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zERo

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Tony-Green QP(M)
Tom-Pineapple GCC(M)
Milly- Sparrow (F)
Welcome to the forums!

So sorry to hear of your bird doing this! You did the right thing, getting bloodwork done to rule out any medical problems first.

I’d not do the UVB light, I’ve heard they’re more harmful to parrots, especially to their eyes, than helpful.

I’d wait on the blood results to come back first and then go from there to see what environmental things can be changed.
 

Shoegoo

Active member
Nov 3, 2014
187
85
My GCC had the same problem last July. She also opened a bad sore on her neck. Had an infection, blood work and 2 days in the hospital cost me close to a grand. Feathers came back in a hurry like new again in a short period of time.

In November the plucking issue came back, the vet prescribed hormone shots and an anxiety Rx in her water every day. Its February and she seems normal and happy but plucking is still going on. I'm beginning to think this is way its going to be. She'll 8 in April.
 

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