by Ben
(Willmar, MN)

my mother in law has a quaker that keeps picking its shoulders bare to the skin. why?

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Jun 25, 2009
Bird plucking feathers
by: Tracie

First, you need to get the bird to an avian vet to make sure that there is not a health issue causing this.

We also have some articles about birds that pluck you can read on our Parrot Training page. Hopefully something in those will help.

Jun 25, 2009
Feather Plucking
by: Linda

There are many reasons for feather plucking. You need to have your mother in law take her bird to an Avian vet for a checkup to see if he has an infection or other illness. Parasites can cause itching and such as well.

So, take him to vet first and rule out possible infections, parasites internal and external. Then, look at his diet. Is he eating a high quality pelleted food along with some quality fruits and veggies? If not, he will need to be changed over from seeds to a quality pellet like Harrison's. They also have a Birdy Bread mix that is readily accepted. Use the organic Red Palm Oil with it and use egg whites only for the eggs it calls for.Tracie sells the Harrisons pellets and birdy bread mix out here plus the organic red palm oil, Sunshine Factor.

There could also be issues like boredom in play here. Does he have toys to play with and chew on. Parrots love wooden toys they can chew on and cotton rope knots they can work on and preen. Always use cotton rope and Nickel plated or stainless steel chain and hangers for his toys as zinc is poison. Toy labels usually say what the chain is made from. Make sure all toys are safe and "size appropriate" for the bird.

Does he have some outside his cage time, and is she spending time with him in play each day? All of the things I mentioned can cause a bird to pluck itself, so it may take some time to find out what is the problem. I've listed some of the major things, and you can start with them. Analyze bird's environment after you take him to vet for a checkup to make sure he's not sick or suffering from parasites. If he is lonely, that will need to be remedied. Another bird in another cage might help or more attention from his mistress will go a long way in helping. He needs to feel he is part of the family as birds are very sensitive, experience all the emotions we do, and need attention.


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