Specific and odd plucking pattern for half unsheathed pinfeathers

HumanPerch

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Jul 13, 2022
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Alexander the Congo African Gray
Hi. My magnificent and otherwise happy CAG Alexander began plucking at age 20. I read through a lot of possibilities and some bathroom work/renovation meant he was no longer on the shower rail to (perhaps?) have the steam soften feathers with the family. We went back to that and tried misting but the plucking continues and more of his neck is visible.

Hope came when we saw pinfeathers come in to the edges of his bare spot and and we might believe he is allowing feathers to grow back but...no. He pulls them out. More specifically we can see that he takes pinfeathers that are halfway unsheathed. He doesn’t pull out whole pins. Although full feathers fall off of him on occasion he does not appear to be plucking those.

This has been going on for more than a year. Just around his neck and chest area where he does pluck he only pulls out those pinfeathers that have the tips open about halfway. Does anyone have a reason this could happen to our boy?
 

wrench13

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While we can never know it feels like to grow and maintain feathers, I liken the feeling to when we get injured, and a scab forms. Some people are scab pickers, who cannot leave that itchy scab in place. Are all people in this sub-set of humanity? No..... Are all parrots in this same sub-set ? No again.

Have you thought about a collar, leaving it in place until all the missing feathers are fully back? That way he does not experience the itchy phase of feather growth. He may not pluck those.
 
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HumanPerch

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Jul 13, 2022
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Alexander the Congo African Gray
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I have been dreading a collar, although I look at them online and my heart breaks for some of the birds in the plucking photos. Knowing how my boy reacted when I accidentally got sauce on the back of his neck while eating and there was drama in the failed attempt to clean up, he may not be cooperative. Are there any recommended sites on applying a collar to an uncooperative parrot?
 

wrench13

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You can try to figure out what the root cause of the plucking was, but at this point thats difficult and by now, this has become a nervous habit.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Can you share a picture?
Did you have a veterinarian exam?
Around neck can be a crop infection, or partially impacted. Or behavior. But best to rule out health issues. And check calcium levels
 

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