Is my parrot over grooming

Samch49

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Hi brief details , my parrot does not live in a cage his choice, since we got rid of the cage last year he been very happy and although Avery raised he now flies to me and takes food from my hands, eats with us at the table. We have had him 3 years and had him since he was 4 months old. So during his last moult I noticed he looks particularly scruffy and his ring came through but the raggedy wings did not change. He’s been moulting again this last month and they are still raggedy, he flies well and I’ve been trying to give him a better diet , tried different seed mixes and some pellets , he has fresh fruit daily and veg, although he is very picky and chucks most of it, he likes to try what we eating so I let him have bit but obviously nothing poisonous. He spends his time on one of his stands perches , has a habit of peeling the wallpaper but is afraid of any toys that I buy him. I’m really worried as I thought new feathers would of replaced the raggedy ones by now, I’ve not noticed any over preening , he baths in his water bowl but is afraid of spray bottle. Is he unhappy , he seems happy and sings, I’ve given cucumber and egg yoke during this moult to help the feathers grow. :green2: please help

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Samch49

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From the front he looks fine 882D7359-8500-4A73-AE21-C929DCCACAC8.jpg

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SailBoat

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We also have a free ranging Parrot. It is not recommended for near everyone as one must extensively adjust one's home to be Parrot safe, which is no easy undertaking.

We choose to not get rid of our Amazon's cage as it serves as a central location, which he visits during the day will nap, eat, drink, and play with his toys. Point being it's His Cage! He will even from time to time close the door when he naps.

You do not provide even a general region in this huge World that you live in. The reason that is important is that molting is specific to area and time of year. In the Northern Hemisphere most Parrot owners noted a much larger molt than normal and the start of Hormonal Season earlier than normal.

The difference between Spraying and Misting! The common error made is the direct spraying of one's Parrot. The correct method is to buy a plant 'misting' bottle and mist up into the air above your Parrot allowing the mist to fall lightly upon your Parrot. You will find that 'with time' your Parrot will 'become' much more excepting of this method of getting wet.

IMHO, your Parrot is not getting anything near an acceptable bath and as a result the feathers are not zippering back together during preening. Or, your Parrot may have a skin irritation and/or possible mites.

When was the last time your Parrot visited his Avian Medical Professional? If it has been more than 15 months, its time for a visit.
 
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Samch49

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Hi , I was misting it above his head and he screams and flys round the room and won’t stop until I put the plant spray thing away, I am in UK so it’s winter here. He has places in my house to sleep that are high up and safe, the cage he would only stay in for a few seconds as he didn’t want the door closed and he was nervous when he was in there. Now he eats relaxed and is more tame and less stressed. He had many perches and a play stand.
 
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Samch49

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Sorry forgot no avian vet nearby.Dont think it’s his skin as when he spreads his wings out to stretch they look perfect apart from the ends that are jagged he’s not doing it near to the skin only the ends. He had pin feathers on his head so he has been moulting even though it’s January, the feathers that fell look normal not jagged and there are no bald patches on him
 
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Laurasea

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hello !
It takes a lot of energy and nutrients to molt out those big flight feathers and tail feathers.
I think you need to add a little protein. Feathers are protein. So some boiled egg, some walnut, or a thumb size piece if boiled chicken, or legume. On the legume use dried that you soak and cook like you would for yourself. You can freeze the left overs to that and serve a different day. Cooked lentils abd quinoa. Keep working on the veggies, there are do many out there . Try hanging leafy greens. Try steaming and mince veggies with fresh cooked rice or a little pasta. Bell pepper are well liked serve seeds abd sll, cooked sweet potatoes ...

Set up some more per h areas fir him to have as his own place. Set up at least one with a visual screen if toys, or bird cargo net that he can retreat and sleep. Most birds prefer to be screened when sleeping.

Shredable stuff stuff has big appeal , yucca chips, shredders told, bird bagel, for parrots, and use millet spray weaved in toys to get him interacting.
 

plumsmum2005

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Sorry forgot no avian vet nearby.Dont think it’s his skin as when he spreads his wings out to stretch they look perfect apart from the ends that are jagged he’s not doing it near to the skin only the ends. He had pin feathers on his head so he has been moulting even though it’s January, the feathers that fell look normal not jagged and there are no bald patches on him


Hi hun, welcome! let me know your location and will do my best to help locate and Avian Vet for you. I am concerned about the wallpaper eating tbh. I think it would be best to seek professional help and possibly nip something in the bud. :)


A cage serves many purposes really even if not used in the usual way. One being a safe place when we are absent from the room and somewhere to leave them with food, water and warmth at night.
 
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Samch49

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Hi thanks for replying , he is not eating the wall paper he is pulling it off and spitting it out, it is all over the floor, there is no eating, rather he using it to shred as he would a toy, I have various toys for shredding hanging everywhere and he is afraid of them, won’t go near them. He has three hanging perches at different places in the room and a play stand, plus a stand on the table he eats at and he likes to hang from my mirrors and light fittings. He is not tame unless you are giving him food. His beak and eyes are clean and look healthy also his feet are nice with no scaling. I don’t see any excessive preening or itching. I’ve been giving him boiled egg and cucumber during this moult as well as fresh fruit and veggies, he has a suitable seed mix that also contains pellets(which get thrown) the ripping the wallpaper is not my main concern as I’m going to strip it all off at some point and pain the walls instead.my main worry is the feathers problem. I’m in Plymouth Devon and avian vets are not common and it is very hard to get to see one.since the cage went he is like a different bird, he comes and lands on me, calls for me when I leave the room and lets me get very close to him, when he had a cage he didnt want anything to do with us at all.
 
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plumsmum2005

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Hi thanks for replying , he is not eating the wall paper he is pulling it off and spitting it out, it is all over the floor, there is no eating, rather he using it to shred as he would a toy, I have various toys for shredding hanging everywhere and he is afraid of them, won’t go near them. He has three hanging perches at different places in the room and a play stand, plus a stand on the table he eats at and he likes to hang from my mirrors and light fittings. He is not tame unless you are giving him food. His beak and eyes are clean and look healthy also his feet are nice with no scaling. I don’t see any excessive preening or itching. I’ve been giving him boiled egg and cucumber during this moult as well as fresh fruit and veggies, he has a suitable seed mix that also contains pellets(which get thrown) the ripping the wallpaper is not my main concern as I’m going to strip it all off at some point and pain the walls instead.my main worry is the feathers problem. I’m in Plymouth Devon and avian vets are not common and it is very hard to get to see one.since the cage went he is like a different bird, he comes and lands on me, calls for me when I leave the room and lets me get very close to him, when he had a cage he didnt want anything to do with us at all.


Hi hun am wondering if the glue backing is being ingested? I would consider this a tell that something is not right and would seek prof advice/help. I am attaching link to Parrot Society listings. Please do research the "avian vet" for their credentials before making any appointments/registering though.



https://theparrotsocietyuk.org/site/files/resources/avian-vets-2.pdf
 

Laurasea

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old wall paper can contain lead, just mouthing it us enough to cause toxicity.
 

Jottlebot

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I do see what you mean, he is a bit of a scruff at the moment! Valid points raised above, especially about the bathing as this really helps the feathers "zipper back together" (perfect description!). It helps my Alexandrine's tail to stay mostly acceptable until he drops it and grows his lovely fresh one. If he doesn't like being bathed then that probably is part of the problem. Could you try giving a large dish, like a casserole dish of water somewhere he can access and see if he will bath himself? Putting a hoover or hairdryer on often triggers a bathing response! I think it sounds like a rainstorm. Of course, you're in the UK like me, so we're not struggling for rain storms at the moment! Maybe see if he will stay near the shower when you have one.

Also he might just have had a little moult and not have lost his bigger feathers yet.
 

Laurasea

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I still think it would benefit to double his available perch hangout don't from 3 to 6 or more. And you know he likes to shred paper. So cut up dome brown paper bags into to strips and make little fringe bundles to attach at perch areas. Or cut cardboard in to shapes and use. Pages or parts of old paperback books. I have balls with that crinkle shreds for them to pull out. Get creative snd don't give up, you can get him interacting with toys and stuff. I think more hang out spots will increase his confidence. Take a shoelace sbd tie a Dixie cup with a few seeds and dangle from one of his perches . Get a mini box of kleenex and attach so he can pull them out. A lot of birds like to chew those Chinese finger traps. I thread plastic rings on a stick my birds love to pull them off .

You really can get him over the fear and messing with stuff. I had an abused bird thst was a lump and fearful, with zero confidence who didn't play or chew. It took awhile sbd creative, but now she does.

Here is an example of stuff I put at their hanging perches. That wad of blue shredded paper gets lots of action
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Here is another example. I bought these foragers cups, but you could easily make something yourself. You can see they love pulling that crinkle paper from the ball.

If you set up a completely new hanging perch with some stuff, then he can check it out when he feels brave enough, a sprig of millet helps draw them in
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Laurasea

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by Pamela Clark
"My Parrot Won’t Play With Toys!
This is a claim I hear often from parrot owners who are totally frustrated in their efforts to offer enrichment in the form of toys or foraging, only to see their birds ignoring it. Many simply give up, after spending what seems like endless amounts of time and money, having achieved no success at all.

And, after all… isn’t it okay if we have a bird who doesn’t play with toys if he seems happy enough? If he’s not displaying behavior problems and he’s healthy, why keep trying? Keeping parrots seems to be a lot of work at times. Many ask, “Do I really need to keep working on this too?”

I hate to disappoint you…but the answer is yes.photo-1519165209234-0545d0e2c755 You do need to keep working on this. Your parrot does need to interact with enrichment for the very best quality of life. If you want him to enjoy physical, emotional, and intellectual health, you’ve got to keep trying.

Parrots, like all creatures, evolved to act upon their environment in different ways. When they do, the environment gives them feedback. This feedback from the environment offers them the chance to learn. This learning process enriches their lives much of the time in different ways.

A parrot who doesn’t know how to keep himself busy is a lot more likely to develop behavior problems such as screaming or chewing off feathers. “Captive settings may limit the expression of normal behaviours and, as a consequence, abnormal behaviours may develop.” (Rodriguez-Lopez, 2016)

Glove StufferYour parrot can work on a foraging project for 30 minutes, finally accessing his treat. Or he can scream for 30 minutes until you finally react. The treat and your reaction are both “feedback” from the environment. Both types of feedback enrich his life because he acted on the environment in order to get a certain result.

His existence is enriched by your social attention when you react, even if you sound angry or use a swear word or two. It can be quite enjoyable for a bored parrot to figure out what he can do to get a reaction out of you. He is hard-wired to act upon his environment. He will do so independently of you and your desires.

I have always thought of a parrot’s day as similar to a “pie chart of activity.” In other words, they operate in our homes within an “activity budget.” I want my parrots’ activity budget to look something like this pie graph. Granted, the time spent in each activity likely would not be the same, but you get the idea. Foraging

If your parrot doesn’t fly or interact with wood or other enrichment, there’s a much greater chance that some of those pie wedges may read “screaming” or “biting” or “feather destruction.”

There is a second reason why we can’t give up on trying to get our parrots to interact with physical enrichment. Life in captivity is stressful for our companion parrots, no matter how good a job we do with them. “Captive animals are susceptible to chronic stress due to restricted space, lack of hiding places, presence of visitors, or the lack of resources that promote physical and mental stimuli. In birds, chronic stress can promote stereotypes, self-mutilation, feather picking, chewing on cage bars and walls, fearfulness and excessive aggression. Environmental enrichment (EE) becomes an important management tool to decrease chronic stress in captive animals.” (de Almeida, Palme, and Moreira 2018)

Thus, it is a real problem when a parrot doesn’t interact with enrichment or know how to forage. It’s enough of a problem that it deserves dissection. If we can come to a better understanding of the problem, we can both prevent it AND solve it.

The problem begins with our own expectations. Everyone talks about parrots “playing,” so we expect our parrots to play. This expectation is not a reasonable one, if applied to all parrots.

Mylas+and+Severe+2+7-20-2009+6-02-44+PM[1] (2)Baby parrots play. One of the happiest periods of my life was when I was breeding a small number of African Greys each year. There is nothing more fun that watching the development of baby parrots. They are learning machines. They are eager to investigate anything you give them. Like all baby animals, they are playful. That is their job – it’s how they learn about the world.

Once mature, however, most adult parrots don’t play. It’s not their nature to be playful. Granted, there are exceptions. Some individuals are more playful than others. Some species tend to be more playful than others – caiques, lorikeets, small macaws and some conures, to name a few. Some individuals within those species could play for hours with a simple object. If you need cheering up, check this video out.

However, if you expect an African Grey, one of the Poicephalus species, or an Eclectus to be playful, you could wait a very long time. Thus, the first problem is thinking there is something wrong with your parrot if he doesn’t play.

An adult parrot has a different job – to stay safe with the knowledge he’s learned to date. They are often suspicious, if not downright afraid, of new things. If you expect your adult parrot to immediately interact with a new toy or project, you may be sadly disappointed. It could very well take a week or longer before your bird decides that object is safe enough for exploration. So, that’s the second problem – expecting your parrot to interact with new enrichment items without a proper period of introduction.

If your older parrot was raised by a breeder who didn’t offer enrichment to the babies and then went into a first home or two where this need was also neglected, he may have temporarily lost that once-important desire to investigate, even once an item does become familiar. Both situations can lead to that diagnosis – My parrot doesn’t play with toys!

The third problem we create for ourselves with this issue has to do with perception. Dr. Susan Friedman has made enormous contributions to our understanding of behavior. In many of her articles, she discusses the problems that result when we label parrot behavior. For example, if I think of my parrot as aggressive, this leads me nowhere, in terms of arriving at a solution to that problem. However, if I look at the circumstances surrounding the bites, I see that there are some things I can change. Changing the right circumstances in an effective way does lead to a solution to the problem.

When you tell yourself …My parrot doesn’t play with toys!…it’s the same thing as imposing a label on your parrot. photo-1538440694107-8448c848ad97That statement in itself will prevent you from solving this problem because you will believe it. To move toward a solution, you must look at what the parrot does do and build from there. Every parrot interacts with some objects, even if you don’t think of them as toys."

https://blogpamelaclarkonline.com/?s=Toys
 
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Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Sometimes birds have neurotic personalities and compulsively over-groom. This is Abby, one of my 5 Goffins. He is middle of three hand-fed siblings, each born within 4 years, raised identically, eat identical foods, live in the same environment since birth. Each personality is different, Abby is prone to feather-barbering despite perfect health. He goes through phases, attached pic from a year ago; recently molted and nearly perfect. Enlarge the pic and look closely - "Christmas Tree" effect but absolutely no feathers "plucked" out of body.

VMfGiOo.jpg
 
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