Plucked chest feathers, swelling above breastbone

by Jen

AG plucked chest feathers

AG plucked chest feathers

Hi, My African Grey Hen is currently sitting on 3 eggs, and overnight she has plucked all of her breast feathers, revealing a swelling above the breast, I'm not sure if this is the way there breast areas are as there normally covered with feathers ? I'm concerned about this, please could you advise or help me in what to do next as I'm not sure wether to take her to the vets as she's sitting on the eggs?

Thankyou

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May 16, 2013
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by: Jen

Hi Dr B & Linda
Thankyou for the advice, her swelling has gone down today only slightly raised now, she is with a mate and is still sitting we will keep an eye on her, many thanks

May 16, 2013
AG parrot plucked chest feathers
by: The Avian Vet

The swelling is her crop and is normal. Most birds pluck some on their chest to make a brood patch. This one is extensive and this is not normal. If she is with a mate and you want the eggs to hatch then do nothing until then. If she is alone and the eggs are infertile, you can remove her from the nest without any problems. If she has been on the eggs for more than 25-30 days, then throw them out. If less, then let her continue to sit after the vet visit. Is your bird eating pellets?

Dr B

May 16, 2013
Plucked chest feathers, swelling above breastbone
by: Linda

I would go ahead and get to the Avian Vet's as soon as is possible. The eggs may or may not be fertile, and you'd have to candle them to see. Candling is holding an egg up to a bright light behind it to see if there is a dark mass in it. The dark mass would be the forming chick. If there is nothing there, the egg is clear or infertile.

Your bird needed to have been examined by an Avian Vet before breeding, both the hen and male because carrying latent infections or other physical problems are passed directly on to the chicks.

In this case, your bird appears to have some kind of problem, and I'm not sure if the swelling is her crop or if it is a growth. Either way, it would be in her best interests to be examined for infections or other physical problems by an Avian Vet only. The feather plucking indicates a problem, so don't let it go without examination any longer. Hopefully, she will grow those feathers back in. It is not normal for a bird to pluck itself to this extreme just because of a few eggs.

Let us know what avian vet has to say and thanks for writing.

Linda

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