Cockatiel Picking Problem
by Bryce Francis
I have taken my bird to my local avian vet several times for this problem, and each time I walk away with a bill for at least a hundred dollars and no solution. My bird is 17 years old, and in pretty good overall health. His diet consists mostly of seed, (we have tried pellet, and he seems to be allergic... The vet advised to just keep on seed.) and grains.
About 6 months ago, he started picking at a spot on his back. Nothing changed in his environment. There doesn't appear to be anything on the surface of his back, other than a constant scab from where he does the picking. He doesn't pull out any of his feathers, but just sort of "pinches" the spot. When he is on my shoulder, he'll do the same thing with my neck... Just pinch at one spot. It hurts!
The vet has given me a few topical creams, and even some sort of oral aspirin, and said it should stop within a few days. They have kept him overnight, done x-rays, everything comes out clear. It's the same thing every time I take him in there, and now it's going on six months. I just don't have the money to keep taking him in with no solution in sight. It seems as though it's behavioral, almost like a tick. Have you heard of anything like this? Is there a way to train him away from this tick?
Thank you so much for any advice that you might have.