Tail Plucking

by Tina

I just took my 6 month old GCC to the vet and he was given a clean bill of health. My concern is that he insists on chewing and plucking at this tail feathers! He gets plenty of attention and has lots of toys to play with in his cage! He will break them off or pluck a feather and chew on it instead. How can I break him of this habit?

Comments for Tail Plucking

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Mar 10, 2012
Bird plucking tail feathers
by: The Avian Vet

First you need to determine the cause of this “behavior”. It may be a medical problem. But it could also be caused by the cage being too small, or the bird may feel isolated if the cage is not in a high-traffic area. He could have a problem with his preen gland, or an allergy to food. His skin may be dry, he could have a GI problem like diarrhea. You need a more thorough work up like blood work, x-rays, and thorough physical exam.

Find an Avian Vet

Also do a good assessment of his environment and cage size. You also can teach him how to forage which is an excellent distraction from behavior problems.

Captive Foraging DVD

foraging toys

Dr B

Mar 10, 2012
tail plucking
by: Anonymous

Birds have oil glands above thier tails. This is where they gather oils onto thier beaks, and spread out during normal preening.

Your bird could be plucking bc those oil glands are swollen, or are not working properly, or could have an infection. Which iscausing your bird to pull them out.

Only and avian vet can assess if those are swollen or not, by giving them a feel. You not being a vet most likely wont be able to tell if they are swollen should you try to feel them. Find an Avian Vet

Please take him to a proper bird (avian) vet for a wellness checkup. Possibly blood work to help rule out infection.

Not sure how thorough of an exam he got when you did take him, but I would suggest bloodwork with it. Since a bird cant tell you whats wrong... the blood work can!

Good luck, and hope he get well!

Mar 09, 2012
Tail Plucking
by: Linda

Hopefully you took him to an Avian Vet because dog and cat vets are not licensed or trained in the care of birds and will say he is fine even if he is not. So, if he has not been thoroughly examined for infections both bacterial and viral by an Avian Vet, you need to do that.

This behavior indicates there is something wrong here, and he can bleed out from a broken and bleeding tail feather. I mean, he will die from blood loss if this continues. Broken blood feathers do not stop bleeding, so make sure you keep a very close eye on him.

Make sure he has plenty of wooden toys to chew on. Birds do not really play with the brightly colored acrylic junk people buy for them. What all parrots love is wooden toy pieces they can chew on and destroy if possible.


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