Bird is ripping out feathers and tearing at her own legs & missing feather on top of head

Hello, My Quaker parrot(just got her from somebody who I don't know)is constantly pulling at feathers like she's itchy(not nervous) and she picked at one leg to the point of getting a little cut from her beak. She seems to move her head funny and kind of throw raging fits at the bottom of her cage. She also lays really low and rubs her head at the bottom of her cage, then fluffs feathers alot and then she'll dart around, but it seems kind of odd. I read signs and symptoms of chlamidia in birds and she doesn't seem to have any nasal mucus or anything like that.

I also think it's weird that she's missing feathers at the top of her head and not really the rest of her(?) Also, her stool seems a little more solid and it does have white in it, but when I clean it up I can see a little yellow traces. Is any of this normal? Could her itchiness be mites? Also, How would I go about finding a vet for her in Massachusetts (USA) Thank you.

Comments for Bird is ripping out feathers and tearing at her own legs & missing feather on top of head

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Jan 06, 2013
Bird missing feathers on head
by: The Avian Vet

Missing feathers on the head is relatively uncommon. The behaviors you describe seem to be associated with itching, which may be the cause of the feather loss. Many things can cause this including parasites, nutritional problems, dermatitis, and others. I recommend that you take your bird to be seen by an avian veterinarian.

Dr B
Please use this Find an Avian Vet link to find an avian vet for your bird.

Dec 24, 2012
Quaker ripping out feathers
by: Anonymous

I, too, received a Quaker parrot from people I didn't know very well. They seemed like they took good care of her what with the cage, toys and list of favorite things they provided me but later on I found out the husband didn't like her because she made noise and would yell at her and throw things at the cage to shut her up. When I got her, her chest was plucked bare and she had a scab that she would continuosly pick off and bleed profusely. I took her to an avian vet to rule out any illness or mites and she was given a clean bill of health. I did some research on Quaker parrots and found one of their characteristics is feather plucking and self mutilation. I have had the bird for two years now and am happy to say her scab finally healed and feathers are growing back. I attribute her plucking behavior to fear, nervousness and quite possibly, boredom. Make sure your bird has plenty of bird safe toys and lots of attention. When you're not at home, leave the radio or TV on to keep the bird company. Please take your bird to an avian vet right away to rule out any illnesses and good luck.

Dec 24, 2012
Bird is ripping out feathers and tearing at her own legs & missing feather on top of head
by: Anonymous

If your bird has mites, you will see specs along the shafts of the feathers.

My bird is stil molting, it's possible the feather loss is from molting. Which would explain the itchiness. Dry skin can also cause this as well. A warm mist humidifier would be benefical at this time for both.

You said the bird was also new to your home. Birds stress greatly when change occurs. something simple as moving their cage 5 inches could stress a bird alone, much less being given a whole new home, new ppl, sounds smells. this is a stressful transistion time for your bird. Please give the bird some time to adjust. It's possible the bird is plucking and self mutalating due to the change.

I do however highly recommend you get your bird examined. only an avian vet who can examing the bird can give proper diagnosis of the bird's health and behavioral issues. All we can do is give best guess based on what you've told us.

please seek medical attn. for your feathered friend! Good luck!

Dec 23, 2012
Bird is ripping out feathers and tearing at her own legs & missing feather on top of head
by: D. Singh

Hello there,

Your bird is definitely sick and I'm very sorry for her; she does need a vet right away so don't delay please. Your question about finding a vet for your bird;google Avian Vet and type the area where you live and you should get one that is near to you or a few miles away. I do wish your bird and you good luck. Do have a Merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year.

Dec 23, 2012
Bird is ripping out feathers and tearing at her own legs & missing feather on top of head
by: Linda

You need to get this bird to an Avian Vet ONLY in your driving area right away. The fits as you call them are seizures as is the head movements. The bird is in horrible shape, and the people who had her must have abused and neglected her to some terrible degree for her to be in this bad a condition.

She will die if not examined, diagnosed and treated by an Avian Vet. Do not take her to a dog and cat vet because they are not licensed or trained in the care of birds and will end up killing her. She is in very bad shape, so do not delay on getting her to an avian vet right away.

Though I'm sorry this has happened to you and family, I will assure you there are NO FREE PETS! In this case, instead of killing her and throwing her in the garbage, they decided to give her to you. Do right by this poor sad little bird and please understand that she is no where near normal and is not going to be any kind of pet until she is either diagnosed and treated or put humanely to sleep. Let your heart be your guide on this one and please help her one way or the other. People who think these precious birds are just so much trash will have much to answer for later.

Let us know what avian vet has to say and move quickly because the self mutilation is part of the seizure activity and can cause her massive bleeding and horrible infection.If all you can do is have her humanely put to sleep, you will be giving her the greatest kindness she's ever known, so do not feel bad if that is what happens. Thanks for taking her and follow through with helping her to heal or to go quietly out of this miserable life.

Linda
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.

Dec 23, 2012
QUAKER feedback
by: Anonymous

Oh my, your poor Quaker is a MESS! Did the previous owner explain any of this to you? When you got the Quaker was it bald or already showing missing feathers? You need to get the bird to an AVIAN quickly. There is no advice that would help stop this situation fast enough! I would advise you to get to an AVIAN not a dog or cat hospital, they need to special on PARROTS. It can be a number of things! IN the meantime, I would call the previous owner and ask a lot of questions. Why did they even get rid of the parrot? This is a terrible situation. I have two parrots and I jump with any slight changes. I monitor them all day, lucky I can since I am home. / I watch for changes in all. Please make an appt quickly. It can be anything. Your parrot is SUFFERING!

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