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Gutted :(

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  • December 13, 2017, 03:12:47 PM
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Author Topic: Gutted :(  (Read 1634 times)

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Angel Feathers

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Gutted :(
« on: August 12, 2015, 02:46:07 PM »

Absolutely gutted, Ozzy is 1.5 years old now, still my little cuddly boy, but he's started to pluck his neck feathers, Ive caught him several times and there is noticeably more downy bitty feathers, not whole ones.  He's been really narky this week, short tempered, nippy (not hard but definately telling me off) and even now he's sat on top of his cage and I can hear him pulling them out.  Nothing has changed, he HATES being caged and therefore spends 90% of the time out but Ive even noticed him doing it on his stand. 

This is about the same age that Floyd started.  He also wont touch anything good for him except his pellets at the moment, scrambled egg he nibbles, sweet potato mash he just picked out a few bits of sweetcorn and thats it, they were both his favourites.  He still loves his grapes and he's having 1 a day at the moment.

Do you think this can be his hormones as he becomes an adult?  Really didn't think I would be going through the plucking thing with him, he's so confident and happy  :cry2:
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FeatherMonkey

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 08:37:22 PM »

Honestly I suspect overbonding I did it with Willow. Destressing and clicker rewarding helped him turn but it was our behaviour that changed more than his.
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Mandi

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2015, 05:46:21 AM »

Awe so sorry
It maybe that he thinks he ain't a bird or over bonding like feather monkey says
I know he cracked it with willow so maybe he can help more
Good luck o know how you feel x x x
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LynnP

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2015, 10:15:22 AM »

Aww am sorry to hear that mandie, I agree with stefan it does sound like overbonding I was guilty of that with Gizmo and she believed she was human which caused a lot of heartache when she destroyed all her wing, it was difficult to turn it around but we got there, again my behaviour more than hers.

Is ozzy dna male? Has he had the same cage all along?
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jules

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2015, 03:46:20 PM »

Is Ozzy molting though too? There might a few new feathers coming through where it looks fluffy x

Is he with you the whole time he is out, and following you around or is he content to sit on his stand while you bustle about doing housework and stuff?

If he concentrates alot on this area, I'd ask your vet if something might be irritating him, bless him :)
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Angel Feathers

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2015, 08:25:21 PM »

Aww thank you all for your replies, I know you all know exactly how Im feeling, this is the third time Ive gone through it and know the signs now.  We had to go away for the day today which meant he had to be caged and of course, there was a fluffy pile on the floor waiting for me.  All the things I had dotted around the cage were still there untouched, as was his food :(  Got him out on his perch and he immediately started eating his seed! Yes seed, I've had to give him seed and pellets as thats pretty much all he'll eat at the moment.  Yep, he's DNA sexed male, he's happy on his perch singing and whistling, he'll track me down sometimes but he gets returned to his perch.

He has molted on and off for months but I think its been over for a few weeks now.

I think you are all right about overbonding, and I feel really bad about it. I wanted him to be super tame and we have our time cuddling etc in the evening, he doesnt get much one on one time with me during the day except when Im passing his perch.

Jules, he's defo concentrating on his neck, I had a good look earlier and nothing visible but it was so hot in that area where he is going at it and scratching at it, ordering some Aloe Vera in a few mins - its almost like he has an irritation maybe.  Im going to make an appointment tomorrow but there are no avian vets down here (cornwall) we only have vets "with an avian interest" - Ive rang all the ones on the register and none are actual avian.

FM - can you enlighten me as much as possible about the clicker training please?  He's really not a stressed birdie, he takes everything in his stride.

Lynn, if its overbonding then I am to blame, how did you manage to overturn Gizzies plucking?

Mandie x
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LynnP

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2015, 12:56:50 PM »

With gizmo is was over bonding to me where she would instinctively grab hold of her wing and chew it if I was to leave a room or go out of the house, sometimes it would be when I wasn't giving her attention, the worse part was when I was in the room and she was locked in her cage she would really go for it then! 
So first we had the damaged flight feathers pulled out under anesthetic because they were that badly chewed she'd gone into the follicles. Then it was a case of teaching her to play in her cage and search for food, she enjoyed foraging so I concentrated on that to keep her busy at the times that I knew would trigger the plucking and chewing. Then I got her much bigger cage and filled it with puzzle toys and foraging opportunities. I ignored any wing holding and chewing and praised and gave lots of attention when she wasn't doing it. The main problem was me getting out of the house without setting her off and it was all down to the foraging to take her mind off me leaving for those few minutes becasue she was fine after I'd gone. Two years down the line and I still set her up foraging every day before I leave for work and she's never gone back to chewing her feathers so I guess we broke the habit, it seemed to take forever though!

Let us know how u get on at the vets have u any pics of the plucked area? X

This was giz just over 2 years ago


And this is the other day
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Angel Feathers

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2015, 07:12:01 PM »

Awww Lynn that's absolutely amazing, what a fantastic story and I'm so pleased you broke her habit, she looks fab now.
Haven't seen vet yet as, still trying to find one with some experience! Especially after what happend to my Floyd.

The grey feathers are only slightly showing as marked with his beak, its the white downy bits that he's ripping out, its like a snowstorm when he flies.

He's always been the same in his cage, right from bringing him home, can't stand to be in it so he's out pretty much all the time.  I stuffed some foraging balls with goodies when we went away for the day, when I got back they were untouched, I transferred them to his stand and he stopped them bare.

I'll try and get a short video of his pattern, chewing toes and pulling feathers.

Aloe vera and hopefully the clicker arriving tomorrow
Xx
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LynnP

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2015, 05:47:00 PM »

Mandie have you been able to find exactly what it is that triggers the nail biting and plucking? Gizmo used to do that a lot when I got up to leave the room, if you can work out what triggers it you can work on the solution.

I do think a change of cage was a big turn around for gizzy I don't know why but she just hated being in the old one. She doesnt mind the current one, I've been thinking of getting single cages again but I'm scared to upset her when she's happy in the current one. 
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Angel Feathers

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2015, 06:54:12 PM »

Yeah it would  be a shame if she started again after all that.  Ozzy has a brand new cage, taller and much lighter than the playtop one, but still the same, just hates being in it if I'm anywhere near, when I go he eventually settles down and will talk and whistle along to music, till I appear.
The nail biting is weird, his stand is outside the kitchen in the hallway which he loves, but he starts the "stressy eddy" nails thing if anyone is nearby but especially me so I know its my fault and I'm trying not to be so clingy with him now. He's a happy hour on his own right now, made some nut balls and put them in his foraging ball and he loves them.
thanks Lynn xx
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LynnP

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2015, 02:53:21 PM »

Perhaps you could teach him a trick to divert from the nail biting / stressy situation, my vet told me to try that with gizmo for instance the second you see them put the claw up to their mouth to start nail biting you teach them to do a chosen command instead like a 'wave' then praise them for doing it.
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Angel Feathers

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2015, 11:47:54 AM »

Good idea thanks Lynn, he's really good with picking up new tricks so I'll give it a go. Have my clicker now so need to learn how to use that properly  :biggrin:   Aloe vera being sprayed.
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FeatherMonkey

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2015, 03:51:17 PM »

Soz been on a boat...

I agree you can mistrain things into tricks. Most of ours have been taught that way.

The biggest thing is changing our behaviour. I've posted a few links I find understanding why we want to own/rescue them? Makes getting the zookeepers mentality easier.

It's so easy to molly coddle and baby them. It's so easy to anthropomorphise them into toddlers and forget they are birds.

In regards to clicker I could catch myself even wincing when he plucked. In using the clicker I found everyone started focusing on when he preened correctly and ignored when he didn't. He got drama rewarded for preening correctly. Most people miss drama is/can be exactly the same as a treat.

These birds are very still much wild birds here's a prime example I doubt anyone will find the reason why? My 2 just weren't up for flying today couldn't work out why apx 6 mins searching with hickory I spotted the balloons. The wild told her don't fly predator in the sky.


The best thing is to treat them like birds, get a zookeepers mentality. They aren't quite as fragile as you think. By immersing them in change by making them accept it we give them a better quality of life. A prime example I've had my 2 on a canal boat for a week. Weighing willow today most would be knocking on the vets door. I know exactly where he's at I know his low weight and high. Also he got picked on by hickory only being allowed to eat when she let him. Believe me he better be heavier tomorrow I know he will be though.

To be honest I think your best option is to step back, not further in. I joke but I'm also serious Willow can ignore me and be asking my brother for tickles. I say he's your problem if he starts again. The point is I'm actually really happy he has moved to my brother. I reckon you need to get someone else to work him. You do the nasty they do the good, you withdraw(your so far in the black it's gone wrong)they deposit.

The question isn't how to stop, but why can't he do without me? You need to train him to be happy in his cage without you.
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Angel Feathers

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2015, 07:44:57 AM »

Thank you FM, your posts always interesting and informative, I always appreciate your input.  So would they not fly because of Hot air balloons? Can't see anything in the picture, Ozzy spots the smalles of planes in the sky and is then fixed on them until they disappear.

So, to start with I should click when he preens correctly and just ignore the pluck is that right?
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FeatherMonkey

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2015, 09:47:21 AM »

Not even hot air balloons just a couple of helium even zoomed in I struggle and I know where they are(not helped by tapatalk shrinking image). Mine are less bothered by planes they've seen that many as I'm a stones throw from Manchesters flight path.

I did start that way but really did loads not just one thing. Sleeping pattern changed, food changed, I'd get less involved, I'd get my brother to move him, if he was getting too excited so withdrew my time with him. The clicker is for you more than him. Plus the household became a happy place, I also stopped spraying him. I was back home also so missed me less then whatever else I've forgotten.

I'd be looking at rewarding when he's content on his own more than anything else. When you do walk past him and he doesn't look anxious wanting to be picked up.

I really would try to get someone else do most of the rewarding, you'll be inadvertently rewarding with drama most of the time. You'll find it tricky to reward without giving Ozzie attention which is what he's after. Your aim is too get him to stop needing your attention,  the challenge will be you not giving it.

Edit
It's not the problem you solve but the cause. It will take time 2-3 years later I don't see snips but he always seems to have spikeys under his chin, but each year it's less and less. More gutted he's losing his random pink ones, only kidding.

1 thing think you said night time also, I used millet and a night light, millet gave him something to concentrate on, never did work out whether the night light did help, also stopped covering.

So not just 1 thing but a multitude of things.
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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2015, 11:27:02 AM »

http://www.clifton-villa.co.uk/branch/newquay being Newquay zoo vets I suspect they'll not have too much problem. Pretty sure Michael King is still attached certainly registered as director at company house.

As you can I'd have a good look in his neck. Just to make sure it's not a feather cyst, Willow had one which I think had an impact.
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Angel Feathers

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2015, 01:37:00 PM »

Thanks again FM, I know Clifton vale and I  do think they are the best bet down here.
Today had been heartbreaking for me... He's been on his boing and playstand all day, his fav. Place so I've been clicking and praising all the time he is not plucking, but its much worse today.  He had a spray earlier and  since then on and off just ripping out his downies and now bits of his greys.  He's had new toys today which he got stuck into for a few mins between plucking,  we had 15 mins recall flying which tired him out, went on his stand and started again.   I've now put him back in his cage (which he hates)  with a few treats but as I left the room I heard him ripping some more out.   

Nothing at all on his neck, I concentrated the spraying there hoping it might help but it didn't seem too.
Such a horrible feeling and I feel like I've failed him 😿
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LynnP

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2015, 02:19:22 PM »

Aww Mandie, you haven't failed him its not something you can fix instantly it will take time.
Try the vets as mentioned so you can at least rule out whether it's health realted or not.
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Angel Feathers

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2015, 02:21:10 PM »

I will Lynn, thanks x
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FeatherMonkey

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Re: Gutted :(
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2015, 02:33:36 PM »

I really think you'll find this a good read. I also suspect like my first time of reading it will be uncomfortable, it will take a proper honest look at yourself to get it.

Next I blamed myself and for me that was the driving force, this is why I've found most of the links. It drove me to want to be the best bird keeper, to remove the emotion and do what's best for him not what I wanted(yours is a cuddle tame parrot). I'm a great believer our parrots reflect the flock better than we realise. If we're uptight so are they etc etc...

Undoing... as you know trick training has no rhyme or reason. You work with what they give you, at their pace, with none of our expectations. I've been trying for mths to teach hickory to say "I'm a funny looking little grey chicken" yet 3 days I had her ringing the bell.

Always look at what you want to achieve not stop. You want him to be content left alone, so train it. If he's happy sat on someone get him rewarded, if he's happy even for secs, try to teach him a way to call you back. Mine long time ago got taught let me out please, they've since learnt it doesn't always work so have given it up.

Just start with baby steps, but biggest you need to replace yourself, you need to unbond you need to be a close flock friend not a spurning mate. Easiest is by getting him to establish other relationships, then the closeness will change. Flock freinds still preen each other. My brother, mum(visitor) and I work them I've even had a work colleague on recall. So what if you reward for 30 secs of abandonment to start with and it takes weeks to move onto a minute it's the destination not the journey. Here you'd also have the opportunity to get someone else building a relationship they click and reward when you're not there.

I just knew the end result I wanted and changed everything till it happened. By accepting Willow's problems were mine it became easier.
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