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Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!

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Author Topic: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!  (Read 2298 times)

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Kirsty peach

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Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« on: December 09, 2013, 10:57:19 PM »

 :cry2:
Red first started chewing his feathers back in April. I took him to the vets and they checked him over and were quite happy that he was a happy healthy bird. The vet was under the impression it was a maturity moult that was bothering him as he had quite a few new feathers coming through and it was the feathers around them he was chewing. Well he's definitely happy, he loves attention and is great with everyone. But his chewing has continued to the point that he now plucks too. Don't get me wrong he did slow down for a bit and they started to re grow but as soon as they just started looking half open he'd ch or pluck them out. Well now he has no chest or leg feathers and has some bald patches, he's also chewed and pulled what feathers he can reach from his back and half his wing feathers too.

He is now on a pellet diet, hagan lifetime granules and Harrison's organic high potency. He has fruit and veg every day, he's broke his light so new one on order, he's covered at night for between 8 and 12 hrs and comes out nearly everyday. I spray him 3 times a week I also use aloe Vera once a week.

I don't know where I'm going wrong he doesn't do it at any particular time, he even does it when he's out and while we are interacting with him.

I'm seriously thinking of taking him to a different vet to have full tests done on him but I don't want to stress him out as he wasnt much impressed the last time he went and I know that will be expensive as I've already been told he's fine. I. Just worried there is something wrong with him.

I also found out today that the two other siblings of his are also pluckers. Should I be worried that it is something genetic although his parents aren't and neither is his older brother.

I'm now at my wits end worrying about him although I don't show him this I try to ignore the chewing and plucking.  I don't care if he prefers to be featherless he's still my baby and I love him no matter how he looks I'm just worried there may be something wrong.

Has anyone any ideas on what I should do next please
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Mandi

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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 07:25:51 AM »

Hi Kirsty , I know what it feels like to watch your feathered baby pluck and yes it's heartbreaking :bighug:
Can I ask was the vet a avian vet and did you have full blood work done ? No bet can truly say it was a moult just by lookin at him
You also say he gets out almost every day
How many times a week is this ? And for how long ?
How old is he ? And also what kind of toys does he have
Do you spray him or soak him (I like to soak mine at least once week, sprays In between)
Have you seen a pattern to his pluckin ?
My peach is over bonded so plucks more if I leave her too long :(
Have you done and training with him?
Are you just putting his food in a dish ? You could maybe try wrapping bits in paper and putting around the cage or adding shredded paper to his bowl so he has to sort for it
Thread his veg etc on a Kebob and hang in cage instead of a bowl too , will give him something to do
Pluckin is a very hard thing to solve and often it's not but if you at least have him tested and put everything else in place then at least you know he is healthy and as happy as he can be :cheekkiss:
Keep us posted z


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Kirsty peach

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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2013, 10:21:43 AM »

Hi Mandi
My vet isn't an avian vet but has african greys. I didn't have blood work done that's the next step and have been in contact with John Chittys office today. He comes out between 4-6 times a week sometimes for an hour sometimes for five. I totally soak him when I spray him and no there doesn't seem to be a pattern. Yes we have been reaching him things he waves, bobs up and down comes to us on command when he feels fit lol he also says qquite a few words. Yes I put his food in the dish but I do sometimes wrap it up in newspaper as he loves shredding paper. We even hollowed out a coconut and stuffed things in it but he wasnt much impressed with that.
Even though he's on a pellet diet should I add some calcium to his food I've been looking at some threads on this forum and there's also calendula I could try.

I have another house and the tenant in that has a grey. They work full time he never comes out doesn't do nothing is on a seed diet and looks a lovely full feathered bird. I don't get it lol.

He started chewing in April but seemed to stop. I went on holiday for a week and he stayed with my dad. I came back to find his neck feathers nearly gone and its seems to have got worse since then I'm wondering if that triggered it off again.

I'm just awaiting John Chittys receptionist to call me back with prices and app times but just to see him on a referral is 84 and then there's the cost of the bloods. It may have to wait Til the beginning of jan.  I don't suppose you know of any local vets to southampton. It'll take me 45 mins to get there and I don't want to stress him out in the car. Plus I'm hopeless at finding new places lol there was a couple listed closer but they seem to have gone. :(

Thanks for you help x
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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2013, 12:03:27 PM »

hi kirsty

sorry to hear reds started plucking. I'd be really supprised if it was anything to do with reds health. but its still worth checking out. sorry i cant really offer any advice. there could be a number of reasons why reds plucking and he could stop at anytime or as your aware he might not. can you leave him out all the time like Mandi does with peach. and maybe don't cover him at night time anything is worth a try . sorry i cant help more xx
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Mandi

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Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 12:10:25 PM »

Kirsty , it most probably is just one of them things
Covering peach made her worse and takin her out a cage has improved her pluckin no end :)
But something that helps one bird might not help another
Anything is worth a try
It only happens in captivity , so we will never truly work out why it happens x


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Kirsty peach

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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 02:37:10 PM »

Hi all
After speaking to the vet today he truly believes that as it really started when I went away on holiday it's a behavioural thing but I'm taking him in January to have full blood tests done just in case. Watching him closely today I've noticed he pulls his down out when hanging from the top of the cage !! He hangs upside down and pulls it out !! That's when he seems to do it the most.
John I've tried both covered and uncovered and to be fair it doesn't make a difference and as to leaving him out all day I have two dogs and two cats, now the lady that hand reared him had both too which didn't bother with her birds so he gets on with them to the point my lab retriever will lick his beak and red seems to like it until he grabs his tongue which buddy is never really impressed with but then walks away (softest dog in the world I think) buddy will also try And play with him and give him his toys so I worry he may accidentally hurt him. Ben on the other hand I don't think I can risk it.  One of my cats is petrified of him where as the other brings in pigeons so I can't trust her either. I shut them in there room which has access to the dog flap when he's out. Now they have plenty of indoor and outdoor space when shut away from red but would it be safe for him to be left out while I was out or do I put him back (which I've always done). My house is a very hectic house but to be fair he seems to come alive when all the kids are about he seems to enjoy the noise and interaction more than the quiet. He's mimicked my 4yr olds scream to a tee lol. Do you think I should try to introduce him out of the cage to my other pets even though none of them other than buddy really take much notice of him.
After reading another very long post earlier I'm going out shortly and buying him some calendula, cyder vinegar, palm nut paste and some flax,hemp seeds and wheat germ and ill give that ago along with sea salt. Something may help lol.
On another note.... Light bulbs.... I've been through 3 already in as many months what with him getting to them and the kids knocking them now these are expensive  is a full spectrum light bulb the same thing. These are less than half the price because I can get them from a wholesaler as opposed to buying from a bird or reptile place.
Thanks again for your help.
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Mandi

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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 07:16:20 PM »

Kirsty , a lick from your dog really shouldn't be alowed it could be fatal with all the bacteria
So on that note I wouldn't allow him out of cage when your not around and neither would I introduce him go the other pets :nono:
Sea salt is another nono too , and as for the bulb I think I answered in your other thread :thumbsup:


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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2013, 11:57:19 AM »

Hi Mandi
Oh okay I'll make sure buddy doesn't do it again. I saw in another topic that sea salt in the water was good but I won't use it. On another note palm nut paste and oil is not available i was told today. Has anyone any ideas where to get it from.
Thanks
Kirsty
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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2013, 12:05:03 PM »

I think you're probably better off putting an order in to Scarlett, we pretty much all shop there, great superfast and friendly service and Scarlett is on here so you can ask any questions directly.

http://scarlettsparrotessentials.co.uk/

be prepared to want lots of things!
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Kirsty peach

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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2013, 12:27:33 PM »

Hi there
Ohhhhh I didn't think of getting it off there and placed my order yesterday just phoned them they so quick it's dispatched already lol oh well I'll place another lol.
Thank you
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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2013, 12:29:55 PM »

yeah they despatch straight away! shame you had to do another order, but at least you'll know to check there first for anything you need, i'm sure they could get an item if they don't have it too.
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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2013, 01:08:14 PM »

Kirsty it certainly could be genetic too, though not enough research has been done to actually confirm it. The biggest cause is captivity though, birds don't pluck in the wild.

If it all comes back that he's perfectly healthy, then it's gonna be something that you will have have to learn to except I'm afraid :flowers:

Quite a lot of us on here have pluckers, and have tried many things to help to no avail.

I always say once a plucker always a plucker. That way I don't get my hopes up, though it's easier said than done.

Red's also probably picking up on the fact that it's worrying or stressing you, which will just make him do it even more... :flowers:
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Kirsty peach

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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2013, 01:31:05 PM »

Hi soo
I realise I probably have a little plucker and it doesn't bother me he's an angel and I love him for what he is. My main concern is that he's lacking in something or there's something wrong. I'm taking him in January for the tests getting an appointment that suited me and the vet was fun what with Christmas so close and I'm so busy at the moment with ill relatives and the vet isn't just round the corner. I have spoken to them and because he started it when I went away and the fact that he's happy and healthy according to my vet he believes it probably is behavioural but I'm doing it for my peace of mind.
I have been reading another post and have ordered some calcivet. He's on a pellet diet along with his fruit and veg am I okay to give him this supplement. I'm also putting in another order for the palm nut oil should I add a probiotic to that order ??
Thanks
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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2013, 01:36:49 PM »

You're doing the right thing by ruling out any health problems, as you say for your own peace of mind :thumbsup:

To be honest I don't give supplements, and my vet is not a fan either so I can't really advise on that, but I'm sure the others will be able to help  :thumbsup:
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Kirsty peach

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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2013, 01:40:58 PM »

Okay thanks soo ill wait to see if anyone else replies x
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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2013, 02:58:49 PM »

Going on some of your earlier posts I suspect he's over bonded I had this.

I agree with Soo
Quote
Red's also probably picking up on the fact that it's worrying or stressing you, which will just make him do it even more...
It may also not only be you stressing.

My suggestion and this worked for me is to clicker train him to preen properly start small so what if one day he has too many treats.

He now looks like this(Well a year ago)

Also not every parrot likes being sprayed I find being in the steamy bathroom every morning, then allowing them to take a bath in the sink when Hickory lets me know or Willow works. Which seems to be about every 8 days, now I know this contradictory to what a lot will tell you but its what my 2 want. Vet agrees he says feather condition is perfect.(I do mist Willow when he won't bath)

I honestly believe you have the same as I did. I let him become over bonded, then by withdrawing it he became stressed, misting stressed him then it became habit. Then it was reinforced by the flocks body language/reaction to him plucking.

So I addressed the stress factors and made the flock concentrate on when he was doing it right by clicking and rewarding him for not doing it to himself. Stress is subtle one we miss it a lot of the time. Then they pick up on the stress on their own, they don't know the reasons why we're stressed they react to it.

So also with reducing his stress I also I gave him palm oil, but my believe is I trained people around him to ignore the plucking and concentrate on the preening. They stop wincing(Was it more stress he picked up on or rewarding the behaviour, I don't know!) at the plucking(We all do I'm sure, I know I did and I tried my hardest not to) and reward the correct behaviour.

My tuppence and my Vet also said they don't often turn around. I honestly believe it's not changing their behaviour so much but changing our(the flock) reaction and stress levels(theirs and ours) to the plucking.

But please do rule out all medical reasons first, they where very thorough with my boy, endoscope, xrays and blood work...
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Kirsty peach

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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2013, 03:22:53 PM »

Hi there
This is him today!!!!

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Kirsty peach

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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2013, 03:26:27 PM »


So ignore the plucking and chewing totally. I'll google some videos of greys correctly preening and use the clicker every time I see him doing it correctly. Red hated being sprayed to start with but now seems to tolerate it even sometimes enjoying it. I have noticed lately that when my 15yr old goes to him he drops his wings and pants at her is this normal ??
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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2013, 03:37:05 PM »

thats mating behaviour kirsty, and should not be encouraged. That will be a point of frustration for him, he has no outcome for the mating stance.

has he bonded with your daughter?

he is gorgeous by the way!
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Kirsty peach

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Re: Reds chewing/plucking has got ten times worse !!!
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2013, 03:44:20 PM »

I thought that's what is was and when I told her she was like ewwwwwwww lol she doesn't let him do it she pulls away. No he hasn't bonded with her but just lately he seems to pay alot of interest in her. He originally bonded with me then turned his favour to my 17yr old but she's started college now and is at home a lot less than she was in fact she's out of the house from about 7am until 6pm..... Ohhhhhhh could this be it ???
And thank you he's a stunner to me feathers or not :)
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