Lovebird plucking own feathers


New member
Mar 24, 2021
Hi guys/gals, :rainbow1:

I have a lovebird that is about a year old and he's just started plucking his right wing feathers to a point that the bald patch is half of his right wing & part of his lower neck. We've brought him to the vet and they've said that it's definitely not mites & probably a psychological thing a.k.a., behavioural problems.

We've swapped out his food to cut down on sunflower seeds, and giving him more of well-balanced pellets. He doesn't eat any fruits that we do give him as well.

He's very hyperactive and doesn't sleep much too. He's fine when we carry him in our palms, and he does fall asleep when we do that but he'll perk up when there's just a slight movement or a slight bit of sound. Is that normal? My other lovebirds (a pair in a separate cage) seem to be fine with sleeping through the night despite any sounds around them.

We've tried placing a soft transparent cone around him to stop him from plucking but that made him even more anxious, so we removed it. He's only calm when he's in our hands or in our jacket pockets/little bag pouch that we have for him.

It's quite heartbreaking to see such a beautiful bird treating itself this way. :( If you guys have any suggestions on how we can get him to calm his anxiety down and stop his feather plucking, that'll be great!



Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
How many hours of sleep does he get nightly? 10 hours of relatively uninterrupted sleep on a schedules is super important for health, mood and hormones. Without it, you do tend to see more behaviors and anxiety in general. I I know it seems like small-potatoes, but for a photoperiodic animal like a parrot, it matters a lot.

How many hours is he out per day?

How large is his cage? If you can post pictures, that may be helpful too.

What types of toys do you give?

Also, do you allow access to huts/tents/shadowy spaces/boxes etc? If so, remove that access, as nest-like places can impact hormones and behavior.
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New member
Dec 7, 2020
It would be really helpful if you could post a picture of him. As well as his cage like noodles123 mentioned.
I have a few questions too-
1) How many sunflower seeds does he get in day? I give my lovebirds only about 5-6 in a day. (I don't know how many to give but 5-6 works out well for me)
2) Do you give him vegetables every day?
3) Do you use a cage cover at night?

Birds are very sensitive animals. He might be 'disturbed' by anything around your house. Did you recently bring in a new furniture? Or a new decoration? Changed your curtains? That could spook him out, though I don't think enough to cause him to start plucking his own feathers. My first thought after reading your post was that he probably has an infection, but since you got him checked by the vet, I doubt that anymore. Did you change his diet recently? Like his pellets? That could be a problem too, since he might not be interested in eating them and gets bored so he plucks his feathers. If you have tried everything, and nothing works... maybe give him the pellets he was getting before IF you changed his diet.

Try purchasing new toys for him, he might just he bored. And try to keep him entertained/engaged most of the time. Try switching on the television for him or when he's not playing with his toys or eating or sleeping, better than just sitting there and plucking his feathers. If this continues for a while, get him checked by an avian vet again. He would give a better advice than all of us combined (probably) :D

Regarding his sleep, I would say that since birds are prey animals, they get woken up easily at the first sign of trouble. My lovebirds (sometimes) get woken up in the night too if they hear a sound. Also, what exactly does he get woken up by? Like maybe if he hears a conversation or a cupboard opening or...?

I hope your lovebirds gets well soon.

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