My Lovebird has plucked out all its feathers

About a year back, my lovebird started nibbling (not plucking) off its flight feathers due to which it could not fly anymore. I took it to a vet who took the blood tests and checked for parasites but found nothing and said it would probably be a behavioral problem. The vet recommended that i feed my bird pelleted/organic diet and not seeds (which are its favorite) I now feed my bird both seeds and the pelleted food.

I got my living room painted recently and therefore kept my bird in a separate room all by itself for 2 days. My bird has plucked out all its feathers (which I'm guessing is due to it being all alone & bored or depressed)It still keeps on plucking out any new feathers.

I gave it a shower today and hoped that would put it at ease. Is it even safe to shower your bird who does not have any feathers left. Should I also shower my bird regularly, which I have not been doing. Can you please advice me on this matter. Thanks in advance!

Comments for My Lovebird has plucked out all its feathers

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Oct 12, 2009
Lovebird without feathers bathing
by: The Vet

Regular bathing is very important. You can bath a naked bird, but you must be careful that she does not become chilled. Keep her warm during and after the bath. You can put a heating pad on her cage or one of those infrared heat panels from AviTech.

You should have x-rays done to see if this is related to her ovaries. If so, hormone therapy is very effective in these case. You need to know your bird?s sex for sure, too. So have a DNA test done, too.

Please read the Feather Damaging Behavior article on Tracie's parrot training page.

Dr B

Oct 10, 2009
by: Linda

Hi and sorry to hear about your little bird. One of the problems here is that when ANY painting is done in the home, all birds, cats and dogs have to be removed for at least a week. In the case of cats, it is longer, and in the case of birds, it is up to a month before paint is fully gassed out so as to not be toxic to them. If you have central heat/air, the paint gas has permeated your entire house, including room your bird was/is in.

My advice is to take her back to vet and have a collar put on her until her feathers are back in. This is uncomfortable for them, but your bird will start mutilating her body next. I feel part of it is being put in a room all alone, and part is possible poisoning from paint fumes. We had a room or two painted some years' ago, and our vet said keep the birds at the bird sitter's place for 3 weeks to a month before bringing them home. So we followed the advice. We forgot about how it may affect our inside dog, though, and she had mild poisoning from the fumes. The latex is only non-toxic when fully dry and gassed out which takes a week or more depending on how many walls have been done. Time for gassing out goes up from there.

So, please take her back to vet, have her examined again and get an Elizabethan collar or a soft rolled collar if they have one as they are much more comfortable and leave it on until the feathers are back in and stable. Self-mutilation starts once all feathers are gone, and your bird will be staring that shortlly.Make sure food and water dishes are where she can bend over and be able to eat and drink. You may have to make some kind of arrangements for that while she is wearing the collar. The soft rolled ones don't interfere with eating and drinking as usual.

Tracie has some information on her Parrot Training page about feather plucking, so take a look at the information.

I wish you the very best with your sweet little bird, and send many Blessings your way,

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