Picking out her chest feathers

by Kristin Zoetemelk
(Ontario, CA. USA)

Green Cheek Plucking

Green Cheek Plucking

Hello I have a Green Cheeked Conure and she is picking her breast feathers out. Just the small colored ones. She doesn't appear to be bleeding from this and her habits have not changed. I am not sure if this is part of the molting stage or not as this is our first Conure. She is talking, eating, sleeping and her poop is normal. Should we be concerned?

Kristin and Holly (GCC)

Comments for Picking out her chest feathers

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Mar 09, 2011
Feather Plucking
by: Kristin

Thank you all for you comments. I took her to the vet and she said she is very healthy and that it is due to a bad habit perhaps "bored". We have since then starting taking her more places with us and she has seemed to stop for now.

Jan 14, 2011
Feather plucking may be medical problem
by: The Avian Vet

Most cases of feather plucking that I see are medical related. This bird should see an avian veterinarian. It is not molting; be concerned. I have attached an article that will help, too.

Feather Damaging Behavior article

Dr B

Jan 13, 2011
Picking out her chest feathers
by: Linda

Anytime birds start picking out their chest feathers or any other feathers it is of concern because this is not normal. During a normal molt after summer and right about spring time, they do not pull out their feathers as the old ones come out of their own accord.

If your home is too hot, this can be a contributing factor because hot birds' skin gets itchy, and they may pull out feathers in an effort to reduce the itch. 70-71 degrees F is a good temperature to keep house at during winter, and 76 to 78 during the summer with the air conditioning. Never put birds either over or under heating/air conditioning vents as this causes a draft which in turn causes pneumonia.

If it has been over a year since her last Avian Vet visit, this is the time to take her in for a checkup to make sure she is not suffering from a physical complaint.

Diet is the most important aspect of good skin and feathers, and we recommend Harrison's organic pellets in the correct size for your bird's beak size. Tracie carries several kinds here, so there is a variety to choose from, and we recommend organic to avoid preservatives, pesticide/fertilizer residue and dyes which are all harmful to birds of all kinds.All seed diets are bereft of any high quality nutrition and lead to all kinds of physical problems, so it is cheaper in the long run to feed the organics and save on Avian Vet bills. Here is a link on how to go about changing from seed to pellets written by an Avian Vet:

Switching Birds to Pellets article

Here is one about feather picking and chewing:

Bird Chewing Feathers

Let us know how this goes, and once a bird begins to pull out feathers, it usually escalates until sometimes they are featherless, so you'll need to take proper steps to make sure she is healthy and eating the right kind of food.


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