One conure plucking the other conure

by Worried and Scared
(Texas, USA)

I saw your answer regarding a conure plucking itself, but what are your recommendations for a conure plucking its "brother?"

I have two green cheek conures and I treat them as if they are brothers. When they were a couple of months old and could not fly one conure would chew at the other's tail feathers. Once they both could fly the chewing stopped.

Now, they are about 2 years old. I do not know why, but the same conure is aggresively chewing off the feathers off of its brother's head and neck. A breeder told me to separate them. One month's separation caused both conures to pluck themselves. I have since brought them back together to end that stressful experience. (All I did was put them in separate cages where they could still touch and talk during the day and when they slept at night.)

The self plucking has stopped, but not the brother attacking its brother. The worse part is that the "victim" is not stopping his brother and actually enjoys the extreme preening.

I do not know what to do. Please help.

-Worried and Scared for my conures

Comments for One conure plucking the other conure

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Jun 13, 2009
Feather plucking
by: Linda

This is a tricky one for sure. I would have thought that separating them would have worked. I have an older Amazon pair, caged together until one day Stella decided she was going to start pulling out Eli's neck feathers up to pulling out blood feathers where the spot bled some before coagulating. These two have been a mated pair for many, many years and have raised babies together. We had to buy them a large parrot cage that has a divider in the middle where they can still preen each other, but Stella cannot get such a good hold on poor Eli anymore. They make cages like this and usually they are for larger birds, so you'd have to look around for a smaller one with a "slip in" divider(they are closer than another cage, but not too close). We will try later to see if they get along without the divider, but life is so pleasant now, I really hate to "rock the boat".

The other thing you need do as quickly as you can is to take both of them into Avian vet in your area so they can be checked for infections or parasites. Also talk with vet about this problem especially if they are found to be infection/parasite-free. They make the "collars" for birds though most of them HATE them. If worse comes to worse, you may have to try them. I think birds should be separated until you can get them to vet which should be next week as soon as you can get an appointment. The problem with plucking is once all the feathers are gone, they start biting their own or brother's flesh (it happened with our Amazons). Eli has wide area around neck that will no longer grow feathers because of the constant plucking, so you need to get to vet quickly and ask their help with problem.

Keep us posted on how this goes too as we are interested in how this works out. Lots of us have had to deal with this type of thing, so we will be wanting to see how you all do!

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