Plucking until she bleeds

by Irene
(Indiana)

My 16 1/2 year old halfmoon conure has been plucking her feathers for about 5 years.Seems like it started after she laid her first eggs. She lets the feathers grow in at times and then plucks them all out again.

Tonight is the first time I saw blood on her neck. I am hoping she plucked a feather (only down left on her chest now) and that it is nothing more than that. She does not like new toys put into her cage, so even if shes bored, she is afraid of new things in her cage. I now have an eclectus parrot a cage next to hers. I don't know if this has anything to do with her now bleeding. The other parrot has only been here about two months.
Any ideas? I am so afraid of losing her to her plucking.

Comments for Plucking until she bleeds

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Nov 27, 2009
Feather Plucking
by: Vickie

Hi there,
If her behaviour had changed or gotten worse since the new bird came along you may want to move its cage a bit farther away.
As for the feather plucking it sometimes does start when they lay eggs and once they start they don't seem to stop. If she is picking at her skin now I would take her to the vet. Taking her to an avian vet might be a good idea any way if you have never had her checked to find out if there is a medical reason for the plucking. Don't wait too long if you think there is something not right. Watch for signs like eating less ( you would actually have to measure the food and remeasure later to know if any has been eaten) and if she is less volcal or sleeping more and puffing up the feathers. All of these signs together are often and indication that she is not feeling well. Hope this helps. From my experience if you think for a moment that something might be wrong its worth the money and effort to see the vet if it ends up being for your peace of mind only. Better than having regrets. Good luck.

Nov 26, 2009
Plucking until she bleeds
by: Linda

What bothers me about your story is you did not mention taking her to a Avian Vet anywhere in it. You will certainly lose her if you do not have her checked out to see if this problem has a physical base.

The other thing here is that once the feathers have been pulled out so many times, they will never come back.

My strong suggestion is that you take her to an Avian vet so she can be checked out for physical reasons for the plucking. Vet will fit her with an Elizabethan collar or possibly a soft collar that is not such a bother. You HAVE to do something, and start with a trip to the vet.

As for being afraid of toys, they get used to new toys. This has gone on so long that she now needs intervention to get her out of the habit. If she continues to be allowed to mutilate herself, she will develop a blood infection that will kill her. That is, if she hasn't already. When birds are sick or are mutilating themselves on a regular basis, the first thing we do is to take bird to an Avian Vet for a check for infection, parasites or something else that will show in the bloodwork.

If you do not take care of your bird, she will die, and it will be on you as you have neglected her medical needs.

Let us know what vet had to say, and if he puts her in a collar, leave it on her until some of her feathers start coming back in and/or her physical problems have been cleared up.Talk with vet about where you go from here, and do it soon as this is a long-term problem that has not been addressed, and it will be a long-term solution that saves her life.

Linda

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