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pulling feathers out!

Discussion in 'Bird Health and Nutrition' started by GSDlover4ever, Aug 2, 2009.


  1. GSDlover4ever

    GSDlover4ever PetForums VIP

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    at the moment i have got three female cockatiels - buster, tom and jerry (ye is know they have male names lol)
    buster is the mother of tom and jerry - i did have another cockatiel called max - but sadly he passed away last year.

    they were all in a big cage together - max on a few occasions tried to mount all of the females - so obviously I separated them during mating season.

    i have had buster for about 9 years and tom and jerry are about 7 years old.

    ever since max died they have been a bit frustrated - sadly jerry has started to pluck her feathers out under her wings :(

    the other two are fine though.

    they do get to fly about my living room and are sometimes handled - although they would prefer me not to handle them - also since max dies they have been a bit more friendlier towards me - they actually like cuddles and for me to rub their heads. a few months ago for the first time, i got all three so sit on my shoulder together for about an hour!
    which was quite a shock!

    my question - is there a product or something that i could buy to stop her pulling her feathers out?

    i think i male would help stop all three being so frustrated, but i dont really want another one at the moment!

    there is no vets that specialise in birds where i live!
     
  2. sullivan

    sullivan PetForums VIP

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    This is a common problem first you need to rule out mites but i would imagine if that was the case thed all be feather plucking. Trouble is they sometimes get bored easy and then the over clean which can then start the feather plucking once they start its very hard to break the cycle. I had one do it. We had to put a collar from the vets on him for quite a while to give him a chance to gethis feathers back but hed done it so badly that hed make himself bleed. He was 9 when he started doing it and we never did find out what set it off. But you may need to speak to your vet to see if they can help and rule out if theres a problem underlying that may be the cause. It could be frustration as she is still of breeding age. Sorry cant help more.
     
  3. GSDlover4ever

    GSDlover4ever PetForums VIP

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    but if it was mites my other birds would surely be in the same condition!

    by just looking at them in their cage and wehn they are out - they all look perfectly healthy. its only when jerry opens her wings that you see the baldess and the new feathers growing!

    they have got a few toys in their cage - but they dont really bother with them. they never have really - they prefer food!
    i think i'll change the toys about in their cage and swap them over with the other bird toys i have - to try and make their cage a bit more exiting!

    i shall take pics to show you what i mean about jerrys feathers!!

    the thing that is putting me off with going to the vets is the fact that i did work experience their and she stated that she couldn't stand birds - she said "they are horrible things" :eek:ut:


    here is me and my girls - doing what they do best lol
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/30111134@N04/3368346273/in/set-72157614415904294/
     
  4. sullivan

    sullivan PetForums VIP

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    Sorry In my post i did mention a bit further in my post that if it were mites than it would be all your birds with a problem. Yes change of scenery with toys etc may make a change also if your able to move the cage to a different view may help. Are they able to see out side at all. If your not keen on that vet could you not see another at all . You shouldnt have to feel off put by your vets. a animal is there to be treated be it bird rodent cat dog what ever. Its there problem .
     
  5. GSDlover4ever

    GSDlover4ever PetForums VIP

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    they are able to see a bit out of the window where they are now - sadly i live in a flat - so it isn't that exitng. but they do get exited at hearing other birds.

    ona really good day i sometimes put them out onto the varander or i keep them inside next to the open varander door - which they seem to enjoy.


    i think i might put them next to the kitchen window for a little while - hopefully that will be a bit more exiting!
    obvioulsy i will have to watch for drafts though - dont want them catching a cold!

    thanks for your help :)
     
  6. sullivan

    sullivan PetForums VIP

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    Sorry i couldnt help more bIrds can be funny things some times. You may get better advice tomorrow when there may be more bird owners on. LOL . hAVE HAD COCKATEILS MYSELF BUT IT WAS QUITE A WHILE AGO NOW. hE LEFT US AT 16 SO DID FAIRLY WELL. mY HUBS MUM BIRDS STILL GOING HES NEARLLY TWENTY.
     
  7. GSDlover4ever

    GSDlover4ever PetForums VIP

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    oh 20 - thats a great age.

    i didn't actually relise how long they could live for until a few years ago!

    Buster and Max were rescues, so im not sure how old they are!
     
  8. sullivan

    sullivan PetForums VIP

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    I suppose its because there a member of the parrot family they tend to live a bit longer along with budgies they dont do to badly age wise as well my mates is 14 and still going.
     
  9. Freebird

    Freebird PetForums Member

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    Cockatiels live up to and around 30 years of age :)

    Diet can also play a huge factor in feather plucking as well as frustration etc. I would be very suprised if your birds have any kind of mite.

    Questions that would really help assess your problems:-

    What do they eat?
    What size is the cage?
    How much out of cage time do they get?
    How often do they have human company around them?
    Where is the cage normally placed?

    If you are thinking of moving them to a window do be careful not to put them in direct sunlight, or at least a place where they can go for shade, otherwise they could get too hot.

    Cockatiels love to chew, so lots of chewing toys are thoroughly recommended.

    I also wonder is your female might just be going through a heavy moult, have you actually seen her plucking?
     
  10. GSDlover4ever

    GSDlover4ever PetForums VIP

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    What do they eat? - they eat budgie seed and sun flower - it is available at all times!
    I also give them cereal, toast and crackers on the odd occasion!
    they also get fruit and veg.

    What size is the cage? emmm - would have to measure it - thin it is about 3 foot by 2.5 foot!

    How much out of cage time do they get? i try and make sure i am in for the full day - so that they can be out for several hours. so it really depends. usually i have to take them out of the cage though - they would just sit in their cage if i did. also when they are out - they don’t fly about much either - unless i disturb them. again they would just sit their if it didn't disturb them.

    How often do they have human company around them? they don’t really like getting physical human contact, they like me to talk to them though. there cage is either in my living room or kitchen - so they get interaction when i walk past. they aren't locked away in a room or anything.

    they also take bits of food of me.

    every time they are out flying about i handle them as well - they quite like individual attention. they sometimes fly on to my shoulder as well or i put them on my shoulder and they sit their for a little while!

    Where is the cage normally placed?

    usually it is next to the living room window - but their is no direct light shining in, at the moment they are sitting next to my kitchen window - once again their i no direct sun light!

    i haven't seen her full her feathers out - but their is evidence. the new feathers that were coming in where pulled out and actually sticking to my wall! :eek:

    i will take some pictures to show you what i mean - her personality has changed a bit as well, she is grumpy, she use to be quite soft and liked getting cuddles etc... on the odd occasion.
     
  11. Freebird

    Freebird PetForums Member

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    I would avoid given them too much sunflower seeds as they are very high in fat, you would be better to buy them parakeet mix instead.

    Try to avoid any cereal that contains sugar, and be vary careful on the crackers as they may be too high in salt. The fruit and veg is great and I hope they eat lots ;o).

    The cage size sounds great so that shouldn’t be a problem, I am a little worried about the out of cage time you give them though.

    It’s great they have your company for most of the day, but they really should be coming out on there own, taking them out yourself and them disturbing them so they fly could be a little traumatic for them.

    You would be better to have some toys and favourite fruit next to the cage or placed on the outside of the cage to encourage them out on their own. Also try to make sure they have a perch next to the opening so the can easily come out on their own.

    I’m not sure why her feathers would be sticking to your wall when she plucks them? Are they blood feathers?

    They should be sprayed regularly which hopefully they enjoy. It would be great if you can add some Aloe Vera to the water when you spray them. It sounds like the feathers maybe itchy and uncomfortable as they are growing through. The Aloe Vera will help sooth the feathers as they grow through.

    Having Itchy uncomfortable feathers will also make her grumpy too.

    I look forward to seeing some pics soon.

    Good luck
    Vicky
     
  12. GSDlover4ever

    GSDlover4ever PetForums VIP

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    sometimes they get out of the cage on their own - however usually i can wait for a few hours with the door open and they still wont come out!

    also when they are out they wont fly - so if i dont disturb or interact with them when they are out - they wont get any exercise!

    in the past they were blud feathers - but since i actually moved them to the kitchen window i haven't actually seen her mess about with any of her feathers! which is obvioulsy a good sign - although not for the neighbours because their sweets echo lol

    oh didn't know about aloe vera - where could i get this?
    also how much would i give them?

    oh thanks very much for your help - it is really appreciated :)
     
  13. Freebird

    Freebird PetForums Member

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    It can be small things that can cause a bird to pluck so fingers crossed having some extra stimulation by looking out of the window or just even a little more sunlight may be the anwer?

    Its definately worth trying the aloe vera too though, you can get it in health shops, or even on the internet.

    The Aloe Vera get buy to drink would be find to spray her with too, as long as it's pure and not got lots of additives in it ;)

    I'm about to go on the hunt for some myself, for my newly acquired plucked bird :rolleyes:
     
    #13 Freebird, Aug 6, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  14. madiskem

    madiskem PetForums Newbie

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    try getting some spray called kaytee eeze bitter biter
    and it works .you can buy this online in most places
     
  15. GSDlover4ever

    GSDlover4ever PetForums VIP

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    i never gave her any aloe vera - but i am planning on buying some.

    i haven't seen her pluck and their is no feathers at the bottom of her cage -so i think a little sun light and some more attention were very helpfull :)

    i also changed their cage about as well - so that might have made a difference too :)

    thanks for your help :)
     
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