my alexandrine chewing his tail feathers off

by Nistha Bhakti
(sedona, az. USA)

My Alexandrine parakeet is chewing off his tail feathers.
This began about 6 weeks ago. First he had what appeared to be a broken feather in his tail. It was bent in half, about half way down. I figured bent it while playing in his cage or something. I was afraid it might bust open and bleed so I made an appointment to have it checked the next morning. By that time he had remove the hanging part.

Then it happened again. The third time it occured, I was a pretty concerned because it was becoming obvious that he was actually chewing the feathers off. I was not sure if the feathers were first broken and then he simply removed them because they were annoying him by hanging and fopping all over the place. So then I went on a pilgrimage to India for four weeks. I just got home last night and his tail looks terrible, like a dog chewed all over it. Most of what is left is broken and shredded!

I don't know if he did this because I left him, as it seemed to begin shortly before I went away. Is it stress/ boredom/ anger/ diet/ winter weather and missing his beloved bath time? He is a pretty peaceful and happy bird. I work from home. so he is only in his cage when I go to the store or at night time to sleep. I left him in my home, in his cage, with a tone of new destruction toys and a newer foraging type toy. He was with my brother in law ans some friends, as well as guests, so he was certainly not alone, and they let him stay out a lot of the time during the day.

He has a whole play set that I made from tying together wreaths and then hanging from the ceiling and attaching toys. The only big thing that was different is that I was not there and he probably did not get any time outdoors because of the winter weather. I normally bring him out while I do farm chores and then I let him play in the fountain while it is sunny.

He eats organic pellots and raw veggies, greens, some nuts and fruits, he also shares my protein shake of goats milk, nuts, seeds, banana and pea protein. I don't know what to do and I am verry worried. His beautiful tail has always had it's drawbacks, like how to find a travel cage that is not as big as his regular one! But I am seriously concerned that he could have some heath or mental condition that I need to identify in order to treat. Please let me know if you have any experience or advice.

Thank you very much! Namaste, Nistha Bhakti and pet ALexandrine named
Sree Rama, age ten months.