The Disconnect Between Avian Vets & Birds

Mitch,

I have a question and thought perhaps you might know the answer. I am also a strong proponent of flighted birds. I was wondering if there is any scientific data on whether flighted birds are less likely to pluck?
 
It would seem to me that being able to fly produces a more confident, content bird, so it stands to reason that it would reduce feather plucking.
Our vet said birds in multi-bird households are less likely to pluck as well (but I am not so sure I’d recommend that publicly as it takes a LOT of sacrifices to care for a whole flock!).
He said that there is something they get from each other that they don’t seem to be able to get from us.

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How Do I Care For My 2 Eclectus Parrot Pluckers?

Hi Randall

 

I’m looking at the pictures you sent, thank you.

 

Obviously, the birds have feather self-destruction issues.

 

Typically these need to be addressed holistically.

 

Before we get granular on the issue let’s do some housekeeping and talk about this particular species.

 

 About 20% of parrots are sexually dimorphic meaning you can determine the sex of the bird by its color or markings.

 

Eclectus parrots are either red and blue (female) or green (male).

 

Male ringnecks have the ring,  females have none.

 

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Did a 6 Week Absence Cause My Budgie’s Negative Behavior?

Hi Mitch,

 

My name is Barbara T, and you and I just spoke re my parakeet, Ricky, who has been treated by an Avian specialist, Gloria Goodman, VMD (website: avianexoticvetpa.com), for mites since July 2nd, 2020.  

 

As I told you, I had surgery and my sister took care of the bird from May 12th through June 28th. 

 

I noticed immediately that his face looked like it had rot on it and he seemed “antsy”—pecking on his feathers and rubbing his head, especially around the eye area, on the cage. 

 

I called the vet and she saw him on July 2nd. 

 

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Should I Be Worried About the Bald Spot on My Older Conure?

Barbara G. has a concern

 

Tootsie is a forty-two-year-old green-cheek conure who has lived with me for forty-one years.

 

The top of her head is completely bald, with front red feathers remaining.

 

She sleeps a lot but is otherwise active.

 

She enjoys her regular food along with a handout from her person.

 

She does not pluck her feathers, loves annoying me, and is a first-class cuddler.

 

Could this be age-related?

 

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How Much Do You Understand About the Molt?

We’ve talked about the differences between molting, preening, and plucking in a post found here.

 

Molting is misunderstood and usually viewed as nothing more than a nuisance.

 

We have 10 birds in our home.

That means they’re going to shed between 50,000 and 70,000 feathers combined, annually!

 

Feathered factoid: Ducks have 10,000 or more feathers and swans have upwards of 12,000+.

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Is the Corona Virus Making Your Bird Hormonal?

Editors note: In the featured image above, Barney was obsessing with the other bird in the mirror as Catherine observed.

 

We have since blocked access to that part of the mirror and Barney has become far more social (less hormonal). Endnote

 

One of the reasons we are able to stay in business going up against the likes of Amazon and Chewy is that we answer the phone and can provide useful advice.

 

And although PetSmart and Petco will answer the phone on a national or store level, good luck with getting information about proper care for your white-capped Pionus.

 

There is been a definite uptick of calls and emails seeking advice for birds exhibiting bad hormonal behavior.

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