feather loss

by Mandy Field
(Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England)

hi, my 4yr old African Grey (m) is always bald at the back of his neck, you cant see his skin , but his long feathers are gone leaving like soft down underneath. when he is playing with his toys i have seen him pulling them out with his claws, almost seems like its when he's excited, because he loves his toys and plays frantically with them. is this normal?I have never seen him peck at himself.

Comments for feather loss

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Apr 03, 2010
AG feather damage
by: The Avian Vet

This is not normal. Feather Damaging Behaviors can be caused by many things. This may or may not be a behavioral problem, and easily could be a medical issue. I recommend that you have your bird seen by an avian veterinarian as soon as possible; preferably a specialist.

Causes include but are not limited to infrequent bathing, low humidity, poor diet, boredom (birds need to forage and remain active more than just playing with toys), inadequate lighting, separating anxiety, skin disease, internal disease, and more.

Please read the Feather Damaging Behavior article on this site for more information.

Dr B

Apr 03, 2010
feather loss
by: Linda

Unless bird is molting, this is not normal to have just the down feathers on neck. If the feathers are coming out with just his feet scratching at them, then he is either molting or needs a trip to the Avian Vet.

I recommend you go ahead and take him into the Avian Vet to make sure he does not have any infections or parasites either inside or outside.

Diet is the most important aspect of good skin and feather quality. Your bird needs to be eating high quality, organic pelletes as 80-90% of his diet. If he is eating an all seed diet, this is bad nutrition, and his skin, feathers and general health is suffering. Tracie carries several kinds of ORGANIC pellets out here, and our Amazons have been eating the Harrison's for many years and are very healthy with good skin and feathering. The changeover takes time, and here is an article written by Avian Vet to help you:
Switching Birds to Pellets article.

Just copy and paste that into your browser window. DO NOT START A NEW DIET UNTIL YOUR BIRD HAS BEEN SEEN BY AN AVIAN VET BECAUSE A SICK BIRD OR ONE GETTING SICK WILL NOT BE INTERESTED IN LEARNING ABOUT NEW FOOD OR ANYTHING ELSE.

Thanks for writing,
Linda

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