Preening or Plucking?!

ktjewell81

New member
Dec 14, 2021
4
31
Parrots
Green Cheek Conure
Please help! Our little Dez has now started to bite on the little tips of her tail feathers. She grabs ahold of one with her foot and bends it around until she can get it in her beak and just picks and plucks. She belonged to my brother who recently passed away and she didnโ€™t do this at first, it seemed to start a few months later. Any advice? What exactly is going on? Iโ€™ve tried everything from changing her toys in her cage to keep from getting bored, she has several perches throughout the house, some with half sunlight half shade, we give her as much attention as possible and sheโ€™s always in the same room with us out of her cage during the day. What other reason could be causing this besides boredom? I tried to get a video of what sheโ€™s doing but Iโ€™m not able to upload it so I hope the pictures I included help to get an idea. You can see in the 2nd photo how sheโ€™s holding her tail feather, thatโ€™s how she grabs it to chew on it.
 

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Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Full house
Last edited:

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
12,456
10,149
USA
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Full house
And because Dez has a pretty sever wing clip...you might consider a lesser clip when feathers grow back. As self choice issues can effect behavior. Tho barbering and feather picking is a very complex issue, and answers once health issues have been ruled out aren't easy to find . I keep my birds flighted. But if you haven't ever thought about it , and decided what's best for you and yours. This is a very good article.
( I share article, because others have done a much better job with many common topics, it's a lot of reading I know )
 
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ktjewell81

ktjewell81

New member
Dec 14, 2021
4
31
Parrots
Green Cheek Conure
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And because Dez has a pretty sever wing clip...you might consider a lesser clip when feathers grow back. As self choice issues can effect behavior. Tho barbering and feather picking is a very complex issue, and answers once health issues have been ruled out aren't easy to find . I keep my birds flighted. But if you haven't ever thought about it , and decided what's best for you and yours. This is a very good article.
( I share article, because others have done a much better job with many common topics, it's a lot of reading I know )
Thank you! I wasnโ€™t set on clipping her wings but with the loss of my brother and her moving to a new strange environment/home I was afraid she could get out of the house and be gone for good. Our local pet store owner clipped her wings and if you feel theyโ€™re too short I appreciate being told so as Iโ€™ve never owned a bird to know. Also thank you for the link, Iโ€™ll definitely be reading up on everything
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
12,456
10,149
USA
Parrots
Full house
Thank you! I wasnโ€™t set on clipping her wings but with the loss of my brother and her moving to a new strange environment/home I was afraid she could get out of the house and be gone for good. Our local pet store owner clipped her wings and if you feel theyโ€™re too short I appreciate being told so as Iโ€™ve never owned a bird to know. Also thank you for the link, Iโ€™ll definitely be reading up on everything
Understandable reason. You csn look for guidance on proper wing trim online, or those who do trimm might offer info. I can find a link if you need.
Yes I think it looks like a sever trim.

Parrots are sensitive to stress, and even sensitive to our stress snd unhappiness. Here is another link on that .
 

kme3388

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Sep 17, 2021
650
1,979
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
I'm so sorry to hear about your conure starting to chew off tail feathers. My conure also grabs her tail feathers, and cleans them. I however haven't seen any tail feathers missing, barbered, or scissored. My ekkie does severely scissor his feathers when he gets stressed, or has pain. He doesn't deal well with change, and is very sensitive. I would recommend connecting with a vet to rule out any health issues to start. If it's behavioral it can be very frustrating, and hard to figure out. I've spent hours reading on feather destruction, and have spent a lot of time trying to prevent my ekkie from doing so. At this point I contact his vet if it's really bad, and my Ekkie is just scissoring countless feathers at once, and won't stop (this has only happened once in the 10 months I've had him). His vet increased his meds, and then the feather scissoring significantly slowed down. Then his meds were decreased. I hope something in here helps you. Feather destruction can be a long term issue. There is a lot of support, and help on this forum.
 

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