Macaw picking until bleeding

my macaw is picking between his wings and shoulders and is bleeding. What can I do?

Comments for Macaw picking until bleeding

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May 23, 2017
Parrot needs avian vet
by: Tracie

First examine what you are feeding your bird. Is your bird eating JUST high quality parrot food that doesn't have food dye, sugar etc.? If you feed a very small amount of people food, is it parrot safe and organic and lacking salt and other dangerous substances?

If you are feeding a high quality pellet with very few seeds and still have this issue then take your bird to an avian vet for an exam.

Jun 15, 2012
Macaw picking until bleeding
by: Nancy

I believe that the best thing is to take him to an avian vet. I have had birds for many years and they are never left in their cages during the day. Luckily I have a huge screened in porch and have many large branches for them to climb on and also have strung rope from the beams. If your bird is in his cage alone then he or she is feeling very lonely and stressed out. I had a young girl who worked for me many years ago and she bought a big bird. When there was a lot of stress in her house - her bird would pluck out his feathers. I took the bird and within no time at all- he was a happy bird again. Our birds are very social and require a lot of attention and play - with us and toys to stimulate them. I hope that you first take your Macaw to a vet. Good luck..... Nancy

Jun 14, 2012
Macaw picking until bleeding
by: Anonymous

Your bird is mutalating itself. There are a few reasons why your bird is doing this.

Most common reason is that people don't give their birds the proper stimulation it needs. So the bird becomes depressed, bored, agressive, causing behavoir issues, like plucking and mutalation.

First thing to do, would be to take your bird to the vet to make sure the bird is in fact healthly. A sick bird will pick and mutalate itself. Once you rule out illness, then we can assume it's behavior problem is merely psychological. Once a bird starts to pluck and mutalate getting it to stop is hard. So this is important to make sure you stay on top of this.

Buy your bird foraging toys, preening toys. This is a good place to start. My bird, I give her a TP roll, put treats inside of it and plug the ends up with balls of paper. This is a cost effective forging toy alternative. You should provide a few different kids. Also, Socialize with your bird. They are smarter then you think, and need that constant stimulation and interaction with you. Try training your bird to do tricks!
My bird has clipped wings, so I take her outside in a safe area, and let her sun bathe while I hold her, and let her look around and talk to her. This gives her something to think about when she's inside and in her cage.

Key to curbing a plucky bird is to keep it stimulated, interact with it, and give it plenty of toys! If you do not have the time to invest with your bird, it will only keep plucking. In which case you might need to find him a new home with someone who has the time.

Don't keep the bird bc you think it's cool to have, birds are a lot of work, and difficult to keep happy.

Do what's best FOR the bird. Take it to an avian vet for a wellness check, and start spending time with it, or find someone who will!


Jun 14, 2012
Macaw picking until bleeding
by: Linda

Your bird has to be examined by an Avian Vet ONLY right away to make sure this is not a parasite. It could also be an allergic reaction to some kind of food or something in environment, so have him examined and checked for parasites and infections both viral and bacterial.

You will have to take him in sooner or later because self mutilation causes infections of the skin and then the blood, so don't wait until he is too sick to stand up to have him looked at. Tell avian vet everything he eats because this could be a reaction to something he should not be eating.


Jun 14, 2012
Bird picking itself until bleeding
by: Tracie

This could be a bacterial infection or something else internally going on that the bird is trying to get to because it is uncomfortable.

You will need to Find an Avian Vet for your bird so it can be examined to determine what is wrong and what the potential treatment might be.

You may want to also read our Feather Damaging Behavior article that was written by an avian vet.

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