Feather Picking

by Robyn

Is it possible that my African Grey picks out her pin feathers, developing in feather loss because she never lets the new ones grow in, because i give her "too much" attention? Is there such thing?

She has been blood tested for any medical conditions and it is purely behavioral. When I adopted her she had completely naked armpits (which she still does) because she had a picking problem at her previous home. The vet said the feather follicles were permanently damaged and will never grow back. I am scared that she will be bald on her chest forever because she keeps picking at the same pin feathers that try to grow in.

I love her to death and yes I smother her with love, and she goes with me everywhere, the vet said that can be a cause, separation anxiety. It seems to make sense to me, I see all these ads on craigslist and such for CAGs up for adoption because the owners "have no time" and the photos of them, the birds are in PERFECT feather, when you would think it would be the opposite! I give her so many foraging toys and opportunities it just never surprises me when I come home and see another pin feather, gone. I dont want to have to cone her, she would go into depression! Please help!

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Sep 30, 2011
Feather picking grey
by: Tracie

Your avian vet would know best about this, since he/she has seen and treated the bird. There are remedies that people try, like Pluck-No-More, they work for some birds and don't for others.

Please read our Feather Damaging Behavior article written by an avian vet for more information on this problem.

I don't believe the bird would pluck because of too much attention. It just so happens that AG's are known for having problems with being scared of things and being nervous. Try to keep a routine, keep the bird in one room it is comfortable in, when adding a toy keep in near the cage for a week and slowly move it toward the cage. Once the bird has seen the new toy for a while near the cage, see if it freaks out when you hang it on the outside of the cage.

I am sorry, I can't be more help.

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