African Grey Question

by Casey
(Louisiana)

African Grey

African Grey

My African grey grooms himself a lot, and he is always pulling out 'fluff'. It's tiny white and sometimes grey fluffy feathers. Is this normal? Why is he doing this?

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Sep 28, 2011
white down feather plucking
by: Anonymous

I've also found the central air conditioning in a home dries out the parrots skin and instead of constant scratching, your parrot may start to pluck there feathers to alleviate their itch. It's a good idea to get a squirt bottle of water and mist them at least once a day. She didn't like it at first, but is now comfortable with the daily bath.
My bird stopped plucking her gray feathers after that.

The down feathers (small white)is their way of grooming. You will also see lots of dust fly off of your bird after grooming. I wouldn't be concerned with this.

Sep 09, 2011
African grey grooming
by: Chris in Chicago

African greys can be exceptionally neurotic to the point of chronic feather plucking. The picture of your bird doesn't show anything serious like that though. It seems like just normal grooming. The white fluffy stuff is the "undercoat", the downy feathers. It comes out sometimes. If it's molting season, it'll come out in large amounts. But that's okay. It's normal. It grows back.
However if it's worse than that we should deal with it. Usually when and an african grey grooms obsessively, even plucks feathers, it's a boredom thing (or other emotional situation) but sometimes it's actually a skin condition.
First make sure it's not an emotional issue. Don't forget these are really smart animals. I'm sure you already realize this but they're among the smartest breeds of bird in the world with intelligence rivaling chimps, dolphins and 4 year old humans. So try to keep them occupied with something interesting to do. At least 3 hours out of the cage with at least 45 minutes of direct human contact every day is what I've heard is good. Although, more is better. If you're doing that and the plucking seems serious, maybe it's diet, maybe it's something else. Maybe it's time to see a good avian vet. Could be that your friend is physically uncomfortable and you wouldn't want him/her to continue to feel uncomfortable.
Hope that helps.

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