My GCC's mate is over-preening her.

YasiCracker

New member
Sep 12, 2023
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Parrots
Green Cheek Conures
Both are girls, aged 7 and 8, been together since 9 weeks old and a year old. The 7 year old is the one showing skin. The older has over-preened under her wings for ages, I've tried more foraging and stimulating activities, more time outside the cage, I tried separating them (neither of them was happy for the whole week I managed that). The avian vet keeps clearing their health as perfect and telling me not to worry about the preening.

But now there's one naked strip down the left side of her breast bone and I'm finding fresh under-fluff being flicked and stuck on walls from vigorous preening. That's been going on the last eight months, and once again the vet cleared her. She's happy and healthy otherwise, I know she isn't plucking herself. But I'm at my wits end.

I rearrange the cage and try to engage them separately. I even tried redirecting behaviour as soon as the wings were lifted for preening. It's been years of battling and nothing is working. I don't know how to help my girls. Does anyone have any ideas?
 

Greenhouseparrots

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2022
310
432
UK
Parrots
Crimson bellied conure- Tequila
Greencheek conure- Sierra
Pearled cockatiel- Malibu
Cockatiel- Volkan
Yellow budgies- Pina Colada and Houdini
Blue budgie- Lightning
White and blue budgie- Ciroc
What is their diet like and are they clipped?

I find that mine are engaged with eating for a good portion of the day and I make sure they can all fly as it makes them happier. I had a clipped cockatiel for over a year and she was very unhappy until her wings grew back in.

Do they play with toys? My conures aren't big on playing with their toys so I've had to provide more foraging activities for them to keep them occupied. Their cage looks brand new since they haven't touched a single toy in there and there's a good mix too. They only play with foot toys when they have to move them to get to their pellets so I have to make sure they forage for every pellet they get. I also give them puzzle toys which they destroy after a few months but it's worth it if they're engaged.
 
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YasiCracker

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Sep 12, 2023
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Parrots
Green Cheek Conures
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What is their diet like and are they clipped?

I find that mine are engaged with eating for a good portion of the day and I make sure they can all fly as it makes them happier. I had a clipped cockatiel for over a year and she was very unhappy until her wings grew back in.

Do they play with toys? My conures aren't big on playing with their toys so I've had to provide more foraging activities for them to keep them occupied. Their cage looks brand new since they haven't touched a single toy in there and there's a good mix too. They only play with foot toys when they have to move them to get to their pellets so I have to make sure they forage for every pellet they get. I also give them puzzle toys which they destroy after a few months but it's worth it if they're engaged.
Fully flighted and have been for the last three years. They have pellets and fresh chop daily. I mix their pellets in with cardboard kitty litter as a foraging substrate, and they have several other foraging activities for seeds.

My two are also not big on toys. Occasionally one will play with a ball that has a bell in it, but she loses interest pretty quickly. I bought some puzzle toys to try and occupy them, but they have zero interest in them too. They like home made foraging activities, so I try and make them as many as possible and switch them out every few days.
 

Greenhouseparrots

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2022
310
432
UK
Parrots
Crimson bellied conure- Tequila
Greencheek conure- Sierra
Pearled cockatiel- Malibu
Cockatiel- Volkan
Yellow budgies- Pina Colada and Houdini
Blue budgie- Lightning
White and blue budgie- Ciroc
It sounds like you're doing all the right things! Unfortunately I have no experience with plucking as none of mine have ever been pluckers, apart from one of my budgies when she had babies but that was because she was stressed and she stopped after a couple of weeks. I'm sure someone with more experience will comment soon and be able to help you
 
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YasiCracker

New member
Sep 12, 2023
3
0
Parrots
Green Cheek Conures
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  • #5
It sounds like you're doing all the right things! Unfortunately I have no experience with plucking as none of mine have ever been pluckers, apart from one of my budgies when she had babies but that was because she was stressed and she stopped after a couple of weeks. I'm sure someone with more experience will comment soon and be able to help you
Thank you. The older girl typically self mutilates and chews her tail feathers in half when she gets stressed. That hasn't been a problem for several months, but this ongoing over preening has me stumped.
 

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