Unhealthy sun conure in bird specialty store

by Kristin
(Davie, FL)

Hi I'm a new owner of a lovebird and stopped into a local bird store (Florida) to find most birds looking healthy and friendly except for two sun conures, one whose feathers were completely plucked off of his chest, head and the middle of his back. The other was missing off his chest.

When I approached the cage the one missing the most feathers started shaking and tried to cuddle up to the other. The other birds reaction to this was to push that bird away first with its body the its foot. It reminded me of an older sibling pushing a younger in the backseat of a car, not aggresive.

When I asked the salesperson what was wrong with the little guy she said very nonchalantly that its feathers are plucked. Well this was this morning and I am still thinking about this little bird. Should I be concerned? Is there some way to report the store? Should I just rescue (aka purchase) the bird?

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Sep 12, 2011
Reporting bad pet stores
by: The Avian Vet

Unfortunately there are no regulations that control this ? YET. USDA is writing legislation as we speak. I am part of the group at the Association of Avian Veterinarians who are helping with this project. Birds are being added to the Animal Welfare Act and stores will be regulated soon. In the mean time, you can contact the USDA and the local animal control department and report your findings.

Dr B

Sep 07, 2011
Unhealthy sun conure in bird specialty store
by: Linda

I'm not the Avian Vet and would like to address this question anyway. The damage done to the back has been done by the bird in same cage with this one. If the Sun is the female, breeders sometimes overbreed them to the point of death and the result is a hen that has been plucked and has also plucked herself in those places she can reach like the chest and on down.

I had a Gold Capped conure that had been paired with a male Sun, and they had bred her non-stop for a couple of years before she came to store where I worked. Actually, she never came into store as store owner said she wss too ugly and the nice looking Sun male was the one in store. Store owner abandoned the Gold Capped(Goldie) at the vet's. She had an infection they had to treat, so had stayed there for a two weeks, and he decided he did not want her, snd refused to pay her bill or pick her up. I called them and asked if I could come and take her home, and they said since I didn't owe the money, that yes I could have her. I closed his store up for a few hours and drove across a couple of counties, got her and took her home and put her into a clean cage.

Long story short, I'd had her over a year, and her feathers were coming back in from eating a healthy organic pelleted diet, frequent spray baths with a plant sprayer and tender loving care. She did start mutilating herself at one point and we had to take her to Avian Vet for a collar. This was in the beginning though, and she stopped it later on.

You can take her in, and understand that this will be a long haul as for her rehab. Make sure she goes to Avian Vet BEFORE you bring her home to your other birds. If vet finds infection,have avian vet give her meds and come and pick her up once she's done with them and no longer contageous. She may NOT have an infection, and the avian vet can tell you either way.

As for animal welfare groups, they may or may not intervene. If she has shelter, food and water, probably not, so this could be an opportunity for you to rehab, tame and train a beautiful bird and then place her in a good home--one you have seen with people who know how to take care of birds.I hope you choose to rescue her as she needs an advocate right here and right now.


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