Plucked or molted feather?

ginaekkie

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Mar 10, 2022
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I have a new girl in my house. She’s 4 years old and has had what seems to be visuals of the previous plucking (or not? I'm not a pro here). This is what she looks like now and her chest it’s soft feathers and without much of the normal color. I just saw this feather fall off her when she shook how can you tell if it’s normal feather loss or from plucking? Is this normal or something to worry about?
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saxguy64

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Awww, she's beautiful! Looks to be pretty classic barbering/plucking from what I see there. How long have you had her? Has she been seen by a vet for a wellness check and possibly baseline blood work? Also, do you have any info about her past, like previous diet, cage, socialization, etc? Plucking is such a complex thing to figure out because there's so many things that can lead to it. Here's a thread that may help: https://www.parrotforums.com/threads/plucking-a-search-for-answers.52217/

So glad you found us! Looking forward to updates, and more pictures if you'd like to share them :)
 
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ginaekkie

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We've had her (Rima) and a male (Roma) for about a week now. We are planning a vet visit and bloodwork but were trying to settle them a little first. They were both on a terrible diet (but the owners loved them like family) - mostly seed and occasional fruit/veg. We're working on converting them and they are eating more veg now mixed with seed for the first week. Will wean them off as quick as we can though.

They are hugely different personalities. Female is skiddish and timid, just wants to sit on preferrably a male's (sadface haha) shoulder for hours. The boy, Roma is insane. Constantly talking in 3 languages and screaming and rarely sits still and is a bit terrifying with his beak haha. Yeah we dont trust each other yet.

I knwo they also ate table food, just in general a horrible diet. I have a photo of the male with mostly black feathers and him now, showing the improvement afte rthe previous owner took him to the vet and tried to get his diet fixed. I'll share it here it's pretty obviolus example of what the wrong diet does to this species. I'm not sure how long ago the black photo was but now he's mostly green with a few black parts left over. i hope they all go green after a while and his food is better.
 

saxguy64

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Fantastic! You're on the right track. Keep it up, and hopefully you'll see improvements. It's not an overnight process though. Growing new feathers that have been plucked may start fairly quickly, but black, chewed, barbered ones will wait until they're molted out to be replaced. Don't get discouraged though. Sometimes it's a difficult habit to break, if it can be at all.

Yeah, the girl ekkies... They're... different. Not better or worse, just different. They really do have the diva mentality, and it's by design. In the wild, they will find a nesting site, and because there's such competition for them, they mostly won't leave, so they are fed and serviced by multiple males. Yup, the males also spend their day tending to the ladies, any lady that will have them. :) So, the behaviors you're seeing as far as who does what are absolutely normal for them.
 
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ginaekkie

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THank you! The boy has already improved since he had his vet visit with his last owner (again, I'm not sure how long ago this was) but here's what I mean his before ... black.. and now how he looks in my home when he came to me . I'm trying so hard on their diet but it's week 1 in and I know will be gradual - he just wants seeds and pistachios or anything that's human food that I'm eating hah. He has no manners and I don't trust him to not bite my face off yet.
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I don't see the female "plucking`' per say but she does preen a lot and apparently, the owner says she was looking much worse when they got her a few years ago - but she looks like the photo with me in the first post now.

Boy they are smart parrots though! She REFUSES to step up or move unless she wants to. He only does ANYTHING for something super yummy. Neither of them are trained to step up and it's a challenge sometimes one week in. He gets really jealous of her being with a human and they start little bickering fights all day with each other over that and over food bowls (its always more yummy whatever exact same food is in the other parrots bowl lol).

Is that also normal for boy/girl to bicker fight sometimes like that?
 
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ginaekkie

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I also see from that before after photo that the female looks worse there too, so her plucking or whatever she is doing seems to be improving? Am I seeing that right?
 

saxguy64

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I think she's looking better as well. Fingers crossed for the trend to continue with better diet and proper care. Thank you for adopting these two gorgeous babies!
 

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