Over Preening????

by Michael P
(Kyle, TX)

Lola on her perch

Lola on her perch

I have a Green-Wing Macaw that is about 2 years old. A couple of moths ago I noticed alot of down feathers at the bottom of the cage. At first I thought since this is the first molt maybe it is normal. Well she has not grown back any down feathers and the normal feathers that she has she is "chewing" them away. She is not plucking them or chewing the shaft.

Now she is not doing this on her wings, just the body and some of the older tail feathers. She has lots of toys and plays with them all day plus she has a huge cage. This is new to me since neither my African Grey or Cockatoo have ever done this. Is there something I should be doing or is this just a phase? Please help

Comments for Over Preening????

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Sep 02, 2008
GW Macaw feather chewing
by: The Vet

Your bird needs to be seen by an avian veterinarian. The two of you (you and the Dr) need to have a conversation to get to the bottom of why this may have begun. You should also allow some testing to be done, specifically some blood work, cultures, and x-rays to get a diagnosis.

Often times this problem is environmental - low humidity, not enough baths, tobacco smoke, allergies are common in macaws, bad cage liner (do not use corn cob, litters, or shavings); other times it is nutritional and if your birds are not on pellets, they should be, to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

This only scratches the surface for causes of feather damaging behaviors. A good avian veterinarian can help you get to the bottom of this problem.

Dr B

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