Bird plucking tail with constant bleeding and scabbing

by Monnie Sames
(Hamilton, Ohio)

Our female African Grey, 9 years old, will not stop pulling out her tail feathers. She has none. As soon as they start to grow back, she pulls them out. Her whole tail is one big scab. We have spent over a thousand dollars having her cauterized, but she keeps doing it. We now rinse her in cold water and apply blood stop. It's awful.

We are so frustrated with her. We tried a bird collar. She laid in the bottom of her cage and screamed. She worked on it till she tore it off. Her tail looks like someone tortured her. It's also a mess, as the blood goes everywhere.

Is there any hope for her, this has been going on for years and it causing so much stress in our home. We also have 3 dogs and they try to get into the blood when she is stirred up and bleeding. Please help, we are desperate.

Comments for Bird plucking tail with constant bleeding and scabbing

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Oct 15, 2011
Bird with bleeding tail
by: Tracie

You need to have this bird examined by an avian specialist. There is a cause that has not been diagnosed. It maybe cancer, it may be an infected preen gland, it could be environmental, maybe nutritional, or one of thousands of other causes for self mutilation. I am happy to do a phone consult and help to figure this out. 919-490-3001

Dr B

Oct 13, 2011
bird plucking tail
by: Anonymous

Was it an avian vet you took her to? She could have problems with her preening gland and is picking because of that.

I would ask the vet to do more testing and see if he has some type of anti depressant for her. or some type of anxiety medicine.

Try showering her more often. Make sure there's enough humidity in the air and be sure she has plenty of toys.

Does she have an infection? What has the vet said? I would take her to a different vet.
Good luck.

Oct 13, 2011
Bird plucking tail with constant bleeding and scabbing
by: Linda

Please take her to an Avian Vet only and have some bloodwork done to see if there is an internal problem causing this. It's odd that she is only pulling out the tail feathers and not the rest of her feathers.

An Avian Vet will try and help you get to the bottom of this because, she will die without finding out what this is and treating it. I'm surprised she has not already died from infection from all of this, and so have her tested for that. Maybe there is something in that area causing her pain.

Let us know what Avian Vet has to say, and I hope you can get this fixed as this must be miserable for the bird and her human family.
Find an Avian Vet


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