Excessive fleather plucking

by Olivia
(Sydney, NSW, Australia)

Is there anything that you can do for your bird at home, if he has excessive abnormal feather plucking, before going to the vet??
This bird is a 1 and a half yar old yellow and white cockatiel, it is also male.

There is also another bird living in the same room, but not in the same cage, could this be causeing stress to the bird??

The bird has been sprayed for mites, and is given de-worming solution once a month, he also has lots of toys to play with, and has a good diet. What could be wrong? why could he be plucking his feathers?

please help

Comments for Excessive fleather plucking

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Jul 31, 2008
Cockatiel plucking
by: The Vet

First I would say that it is very uncommon that cockatiels pluck due to behaviors. This is very likely a medical condition that needs to be seen by an avian veterinarian.

Second, you need to stop giving the dewormer. This is not worms, and since you have not seen a veterinarian, that means this is an over-the-counter medication. OTC meds should never be used, and should not even be sold in stores. They are ineffective and will mask the signs of the real problem.

Thirds, stop spraying for mites. Your bird does not have mites, either. I have never seen a cockatiel with mites in my many years of practicing bird medicine. Mite sprays are dangerous and cause more problems than they help.

Finally, Is he plucking to pull out feathers? Are their spots where feathers are missing? Or is he just preening?

A cause for this problem needs to be determined before a treatment can be given. However some things that could help and not hurt: - regular bathing in plain water 2-3 times per week, with one bath being the Avi-x Bird Rain- this will help soothe the skin and make the feathers supple. - feed your bird a good pellet diet; the best is Harrison's; this food has omega fatty acids that will reduce inflammation and it is organic, reducing the chance that this is caused by preservatives and pesticide residues. - teach your bird to forage so that he will spend more time working for his food. - increase the humidity around his cage to 60%. - Most importantly, take him in to see an avian veterinarian.

Dr B

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