African grey's wing feathers in poor shape

I've had my African grey for 7 and a half years already, and I have no idea how old he actually is. We love each other and he trusts me a lot... He has a gigantic cage, the whole house to destroy and I feed him seeds, fruits, veggies and grains (with occasionally a piece of egg or meat or cheese).
However a few months ago I noticed a problem with his wings. The tip of the tallest feather (left wing) was broken and twisted. I thought he might have hurt himself while trying to fly (he's not clipped but he lived for a long time in an extremely small cage with his previous owners, and doesn't know how to fly). But every day it was a new feather looking twisted and now, both wings have feathers cut in half and twisted, or even completely missing... They don't look good at all...

I also noticed a tiny red feather on the back of his neck, and now I'm extremely worried. My other parrot is perfectly all right, though (and they live in separate cages so he can't have hurt him...)

What's wrong with him?? Should I take him to a vet? Could he be plucking himself? He hasn't done that in years... Only his wings are like this, the rest of his body is perfect. Could it be a disease? Malnutrition?
He's not comfortable around strangers and I'm very reluctant at the idea of taking him to a vet, it'll stress him a lot.

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Jun 11, 2018
Damaged wing feathers
by: rolo

My African grey has a large cage with toys I change 1 toy a month so he doesn’t get bored. He eats 3 scoops of pellets & 1 tropical food. I believe when he falls he often used his wings to break his fall which has damaged his flight feathers. I have taken some toys out to see if this was a problem.I believe some quill are broken & still in his wing. He has been mean since he can’t fly too. Please advise

Mar 22, 2015
good one
by: Jeromme

The problem with birds is that once they have injuries it takes a lot more time for it to heal. Which actually is due to the poor immune rate of these delicate creatures? This is the reason why most people do walk out from treating birds.

Feb 14, 2013
African Grey feathers in bad shape
by: Tracie

Yes, you need to take the bird to an avian vet. There is no way of knowing if it is a nutritional problem, behavior problem or a disease.

You did not mention pellets, and high quality pellets like Harrison's or Roudybush should make up 80% of it's diet with only 20% healthy treats. The bird could be seriously lacking the proper nutrition and this would weaken it's immune system.

If the bird has "the whole house" at it's disposal, then it could have chewed something toxic.

Feather Damaging Behavior article

Switching Birds To Pellets article

Please use this Find an Avian Vet link to find an avian vet for your bird so it can be examined to determine what is wrong and what the potential treatment might be.

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