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Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story

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Author Topic: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story  (Read 31354 times)

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lovebirds

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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2009, 11:10:29 AM »

It is a good point, Squid. When I just came to England my skin felt extremely dry after showering, because water is so hard here. I suppose filtered water at least would be a better idea for a bird with dry skin.
As for preventative measures - the life of a parrot consists of three major parts (according to Dr Brian Spears). The process of feeding (note the process, not just filling up on available food), social interaction and feather care/preening.
Feeding: birds in nature never have bowls of food hanging around. They spend hours searching for food. We think that poor birds should always have food available,what if they starve? But we are wrong here. To keep bird active and stimulated it should work for its food. Otherwise, the time it saves on feeding, it will use for other activities (like preening which will turn into overpreening and can turn into feather plucking, or excessive need for attention).
Foraging is very important for parrots. Minimal amount of food should be offered in dishes, the rest can be wrapped up in paper and hung up in the cage, placed into foraging toys, on spears, in places hard to reach in the cage, the actual mix can be mixed with some safe materials like cardboard, leather pieces, bark, etc.
Social interaction: the interaction of the owner and the bird should be active and positive, it should involve training, fun games, and bathing is included in this category too.
it is important not to make your parrot too dependent on you. Dependent behavior stems from their natural instincts - bonds between a pair of parrots. So in the beginning of it lies sexual or maternal behavior. By stroking our birds and providing them with all sorts of hideaways we stimulate this behavior.
It is not recommended to stroke your bird anywhere else apart from head and neck. If your bird likes playing with boxes, provide only small ones, to chew on, but never those they can get in. Open top boxes are ok too, just make sure there is enough light in them, and they don't remind nests. Open hideaways are ok too (those which don't have a floor but just a perch to sit on).
Feather care: the bird should be bathed regularly, at least 3-4 times a week, or daily. You can help your bird to preen feathers on its head, because they can't reach there themselves. Care should be taken when touching blood feathers, because it can hurt.

And another thing - Dont be overprotective around your bird. It is good for them to have new impressions, see new people, new objects etc. It is the birds who were raised in "golden cages" sealed from the outside world as much as possible then have plucking problems when something, even small, changes in their lifes. In nature birds fly for miles each day, see so much new stuff, fly away from predators, etc. Mental stimulation is of the utmost importance.
Of course if you already have a grown up bird, or an easily scared bird you must start introducing new things into its life gradually.

Of course you can print it, Squid :biggrin:
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Paula

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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2009, 01:03:23 PM »

 :thumbsup:

Some great information here what can i say but thank you to you all , Mandy and Irina you are stars... I think we need to put this topic in the stickys somewhere so others can benifit from it, maybe add a health section? or do you think that is covered in the parrot and bird chat?

Eric loves me now, trys feeding me and all that stuff Gross but kind of sweet!!  Still asking for a bath so i will give him one in a min, i got some Cydar Vinegar yesterday from Asda look



Its Organic  :thumbsup: So that should be ok shouldn't it better maybe?
Ok how much do i mix with water in the spray bottle? If i put a teaspoon in the drinking water is a teaspoon ok in the pray bottle its about 500ml, and do i chage it daily or is it ok for a while?

Eric is on Milk thistle in his seed i just add it to the top, vitamins on his fruit and has some wholemeal toast with Palm nut extract on it which he loves....

Yes please Irina order me them bits or maybe not the F10 and i will try the Calenula and Chamomile tea... Mai was very minor compaired to Eric as she only just chew her wing feathers off which have almost now all grown back, so this information is a life saver.... we have a great team here  :clap: I think the whole plucking thing should be written into an article for the main website maybe irina you would like to do that ? or a joint one between yourself and Mandy? I know it would help so many people and being an article on the main website it will be in google much quicker we can also mirror it on the blog too....

Thanks again it may be me who has Eric at my house but you are all playing a part  :thumbsup: :cheekkiss:
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lovebirds

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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2009, 01:09:01 PM »

Thank you for your kind words, Paula. I think we can do an article with Mandy :)
That is the cyder vinegar I use. I just add a splash to spray bottle, and maybe 1/4 tsp per bowl of water (around 200-250ml). I just smell it, and if it only has a light apply smell, it is alright for me, if it stinks of vinegar then I add more water :D


Eric is one lucky boy! That is wonderful you are bonding already! He must have been starved for attention!
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Paula

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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2009, 01:15:08 PM »


I will try give him a spray too thanks for the advice on what to use..... Yes i am quite amazed that he is bonding with me already i might get him out today as he has settled really well..

Not seen any feathers from him, just loads of dust! Do you think it's best for me to treat him with something on his feathers like the F10 or Calenula just incase he has some nasty's before i let him mingle with my greys? If so what should i use?

I will give him some feathers from my other greys also Reggie has just dropped a massive one  :thumbsup:
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2009, 01:19:38 PM »

I think you should just keep him away from your Greys for at least 3 to 4 weeks really. You never know, he can be a carrier of some disease which lies dormant, but because of the stress of moving, it could come up (I hope not! just a precaution). Inside things are the dangerous ones, outside stuff is much easier to treat, and because he lived inside and without other birds it is unlikely he has mites or anything like that. I think it is good to use calendula just to treat his dry skin. I used cream with calendula, and a few other herbs on Blaze's bumblefeet, and they look lovely now, no sign of black patched he used to have.
My Grey has a lot of dust too, because he has lots of new feathers growing and they are all incased in shells (not sure what they are called correctly!) and when he scratches himself they break up, revealing new feathers but also creating dust :)
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2009, 01:32:46 PM »

Thanks Irina you are our resident Health nurse  :thumbsup:

I will order some and sray him with that for his skin, i know what you mean He is really flaky because he has loads of new feathers and the shells all crumble same with our chicks they get feathers and there is dust everywhere!!!
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2009, 01:57:39 PM »

No problem  :biggrin:
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Squid

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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2009, 02:27:46 PM »

Thank you Irina  :rose: really appreciate your knowledge  :thumbsup:
Yes, spring or filtered water is very cheap in large supermarkets, so i just buy it in bulk. I think it could make a big difference when you have a severe skin condition.
Your foraging ideas are great, dependancy is my main concern at the moment, so i am trying to deal with this, i left her yesterday & she was fine, but i do have a routine going which shoulds help.
I didnt know about the stroking, she lets me do it now, should i stop that? I was trying to do it so i could get her used to her harness?
Ohhh such a good read, i will have a read again, and maybe comment more later.
Thanks again  :rose:
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2009, 02:36:57 PM »

I think it is ok to just teach her to let you touch her body everywhere, like under the wings, for example. It is ok to touch, it is just not good to stroke for prolonged periods of times. :)
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2009, 02:58:47 PM »

Eric just had his first bath with Cydar Vinegar!!!

He LOVED it  :biggrin: :biggrin: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2009, 03:00:17 PM »

Wonderful! Just bathe him as much as he will enjoy it then! Emotional happiness is just as important for their health as physical :)
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2009, 03:05:38 PM »

 :clap: :clap:  Yea Yea way to go Eric and Paula :yahoo: :yahoo: he will be in fine feather in no time :yahoo:
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2009, 04:34:52 PM »

 :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: ohhh so pleased for you & eric xxx
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story
« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2009, 07:16:20 AM »

Awww bless him...I'm glad they've got the organic vinegar in Asda Paula its got to be better...well done Eric!!! And you Paula..yes I'd love to contribute to an article with irina it was something I wanted to suggest..I will pm Irina later try and sort out how best to go about it...

Irina I want to try the chamomile. Also are you able to get me the palm nut paste at all hun? I know you have the palm nuts.

Squid thats a fab point about the spring water and one that never occured to me. I shall try using that from now on.

Can I add to that Eric looks better in himself than Poppy did she was an absolute mess and after the burglary she chewed herself to rawness..she has gone from this

to this
and this

In 5 weeks....where 6 months of veterinary treatment couldn't fix her..now I'm not saying vets don't know there stuff... I'm just saying that in my case the natural treatment worked better. I used F10 because of the infection in her skin it was quite severe..in Eric's case not so bad so maybe one of the gentler alternatives will work better..just a thought Paula.. I'd use the vinegar but swap the F10 for Calenula or chamomile?
Well done Eric I'm glad he enjoyed his bath  :cheekkiss: :cheekkiss:
Can we see piccies hun please?
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2009, 08:54:55 AM »

 :clap: :clap: :yahoo: :yahoo: Ohh well done Mandy & Poppy  :cheekkiss:
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2009, 09:09:16 PM »

Hi All

Sorry i have not been updating you all i have been so busy and ill and still am, :grumble:

Eric has settled in a bit i think, he seems to have plucked all his fluffy white down off his chest now and it seems to be early in the morning he does it.... i guess the move might of made him do it more? Little gutting to see him getting even more bald... he is having his daily baths which he loves and his milk thistle in his seed mix and his fruit and veg with vitamins on.... will feed the G. Angel when i get it.... he has his palm nut oil on toast each day too... anyone else think of anything else?

He keeps trying to feed me and has taken to me it seems and bites Rick, but today while i was bathing him he lunged at me and grabbed my finger!! :nono: A proper bite it still hurts naughty Eric!!

I will add some photos tomorrow as i feel like poo and need to sleep!
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story
« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2009, 08:18:13 AM »

Thanks for the update Paula, sorry to hear you are still suffering. Yeah i guess if he is highly strung as he is the move would unsettle him, but i'm sure he will settle down, uugghh and thats all you needed a nasty bite, yes naughty Eric.
Hope he improves real soon, i am confident he will.  :thumbsup:
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story
« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2009, 03:13:47 PM »

Thanks hun...i hope he will it's sad to come down to a load of feathers and fluff at the bottom of the cage  :cry2:

Just hoping i haven't taken on to much what with everything going on!!

Will add photos in a bit  :biggrin:
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story
« Reply #38 on: June 17, 2009, 03:34:42 PM »

I am so sorry to hear about Eric plucking again, but it is normal, it is a habit and it won't go away that easily. I know how much it hurts to see feathers on the floor  :cry2: :cry2: :cry2:
Blaze plucks in the mornings too, that is why I get up at 5-15 to uncover him, open the curtains and give him some fresh food. It distracts him and he doesn't pluck. he does a bit during the day, but not as much as he does in the early mornings, if I wake up too late (it almost never happens)
I can't imagine you getting up so early Paula, now you are so ill, but maybe when you get better, try to catch the time when he wakes up, before he plucks himself and maybe have someone give him some fresh food or a toy or even better a bath at that time to distract him from plucking
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Re: Meet Eric - A Feather Plucker's Story
« Reply #39 on: June 17, 2009, 04:02:15 PM »

ohh paula  :cry2: it must be terrible, try and concentrate on your big day only 4 weeks to go  :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo: he will be fine, if you get in that much bother then i can look after him when you are away(honest), anything is possible, dont worry  :cheekkiss:
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