Abnormal feather growth and bald spots on 23 yr old Nanday Conure
I have owned a Nanday conure for 23 years named Larry Bird. His exact age is unknown because he was in my friend's cherry tree before he decided he had enough and flew into a cage she set out for him; she then asked me to care for him because she couldn't take his screaming. His sex has not been determined.
I changed his diet (seed mixture) gradually over a month because the brand I usually use (Sleek and Sassy) was not readily available. However, I noticed that his wing feathers were growing slightly more curved than usual and he was losing feathers on his front chest so I went back to his original diet. It's been about a month and half since he's been back on the original diet and I'm not seeing a lot of improvement. He's now bald on his chest. He's also losing feathers from the top of his wings (shoulders) and his back, which makes me think he's feather plucking when I'm not watching.
His tail feathers, flight wings and head are fine. He's as feisty as ever, eating well, with no obvious change in his feces. He's always had trouble w/pin feathers behind his neck w/the casing around the feather taking a while to disintegrate, but has never had any molting issues; his molts have always been very mild and not even noticeable at times. In addition to his seed, he gets a variety of other foods on a regular basis (fruit, rice, egg, chicken, etc.) and I use Nekton Bio vitamins in his water. When he became bald on his chest, I moved his cage to a sunnier spot and added some new toys hoping to distract him from feather plucking (if that's what he's doing - I see him preening but never plucking). His wing feathers aren't curving as much now but his feather loss is increasing. I'm reluctant to take him to a vet because of the stress and his age. Any ideas of what else I can do or what the problem might be? Thank you!