feather plucking at 4 mths

by dan
(westbury, ny)

I have a 4month old congo african grey parrot, who plucks her feathers mostly around the crop area. We brought her to the vet, and he felt it might be a crop infection, and we just placed her on anti-biotics. Has anyone out there had a bird that is so young, plucking feathers? She seems like a very loving, easy-going bird, much calmer than our healthy 2.5 year old timneh grey. Has anyone had a scenario like this, and the bird was cured after the infection was eradicated.

Comments for feather plucking at 4 mths

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Jan 05, 2010
by: Anonymous

Unfortunately no medical reasons for Karma's feather plucking have been found, despite what seemed like significant progress in less plucking after she was started on medicine. Their was no pathology in the culture, as well as negative x-ray, and nothing showed up on extensive bloodwork. I am somewhat confused at this point because it seems that it is exceedingly rare for a 4mth old congo to pluck, and because of the seeming success after medicine was administered. Karma is plucking much less but it still persists. we are starting another round of medicine, just in case something is going on that hasn't shown up. Please if anyone has any ideas, respond

Dec 19, 2009
4mth old congo
by: DAN

I just want to report great news. After a couple weeks of anti-fungal treatment my baby female congo, Karma has stopped plucking. It looks like it was a crop infection. We are so relieved. Thank you for your support. I will keep you posted

Dec 08, 2009
by: Anonymous

My Green Cheek Conure went through something similar. When he was about 1 years old, he started plucking his primary, then other, feathers on his wings. We took him to the avian vet, who told us it's most likely due to boredom etc. He sold us over 150$ worth of videos and toys, omega 3 diet enhancements etc. After this, he proceeded to recommend 800$ worth of tests. That Dr. was a jerk.

Anyway, we only decided to go with what he recommended, which was the videos and toys etc. In the end, the bird stopped plucking, and now he is 2 years old and has beautiful flight feathers! Which we later clipped.

Not sure what the problem was, but it hasn't returned. Annual check up with the new avian specialist will hopefully confirm his good health.

Nov 30, 2009
Young CAG plucking
by: The Vet

It is very unusual for a bird so young to pluck. I am sure this is not a behavior but more likely a health problem. I have seen this with crop burns, infections, and foreign bodies among other causes. Sometimes it takes only antibiotics, but infection may not be the cause, especially if the plucking continues after the antibiotics are finished.

Dr B

Nov 29, 2009
feather plucking at 4 mths
by: Linda

I've never heard of a bird so young feather plucking. Wait until you have given all the antibiotics and then see how it goes. Work with your Avian Vet every step of the way and have blood work done as well to see if there is a problem there.

Crop infections normally come from baby parrots being fed either inferior handfeeding formula or formula that is not warm enough. Cold formula tends to just sit in the crop undigested causing infections and if not treated, bird either dies or is sick until seen by an Avian vet. If this is the case, and your bird was improperly fed, the medicine should take care of the problem. Vet may suggest a collar for a while if the plucking starts up again, and you'll need to follow their direction here. Hopefully all will be well once infection is cleared up, and I'd get some bloodwork done after the infection is cleared up to see what kind of condition organs are in.

Hopefully, you're feeding your baby a high quality, organic pelleted diet as seeds are not very good nutrition with or without vitamin supplements.

Tracie has several kinds out here, and you need to wait to start the change until your bird is well from infection. To change anything now will do more harm than good as stress is to be kept at nothing while bird is recovering.That includes bloodwork unless vet says it is worth the risk.

Let us know how this goes and what vet has to say about the causes. I've fed baby parrots, and the formula has to be hot, not so hot it burns their crops, but warm enough so the crop can digest it. Mother birds regurgitate for their babies, and the food is body temperature when fed.

Keep us posted as your information can mean life or death for someone else's bird. Thank you for writing and I wish for your bird to come back healthy and strong.


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