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My Bella <3

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ellenmargret

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My Bella <3
« on: January 10, 2016, 10:11:22 PM »

Hi there!
My name is Ellen and I'm from Iceland. I have had a 15 y.o. timneh african gray called Bella for a bit over a year now. She plucks her chest and a bit on her legs and on top of the wings. She started that before I got her but I don't know for how long though. I'd like to tell her story(or the parts that I know) and hopefully get some tips and ideas on how to make her stop plucking.

So, in november 2014 we got Bella from people who had only had her for three months. They had allergies. I don't want to be judgemental but they were a bit dubious people and had no clue about what they were doing with her. First they said she was 12y.o. and then the day after they said she was 16y.o. They had her on food for cockatiels.

They had even lost the silver ring from her leg with her id number on so it was very hard for me to find out her history since they didn't know any of it. But since the bird community here in Iceland is quite small I managed to find out a bit about her previous owners(which are WAY TO MANY). She was bred here in Iceland and will turn 16y.o. in july 2016. From then to 2012 I don't know where she was but most likely with the breeder. Then her sad story began.
1. September 2012 she came for a few weeks to a pet store.
2. A young man bought her in october. He had allergies so he gave her back.
3. A woman then bought her in november 2012.
4. She didn't like her and let another guy take her for a bit until she sold her.
5. Then she was for almost two years with a lady that was quite good I think until the lady got pregnant and Bella started to bite everyone that got close to her.
6. So she sold her to the people that I bought her from.
7. Then I bought her in november 2014. SO THAT WAS 7 TIMES SHE HAD TO MOVE FROM 2012-2014 !!! i'm not surprised she's a plucker :'(

Now we have had her for about 14 months and she still plucks. At first we sprayed her with "pluck no more" about 4 times a day and put it in her water. Nothing changed. But sometimes she let a few feathers grow for a while and then suddenly she just took them all of again. We stopped spraying her because it was expensive and we didn't see any markable change. And she still is the same. Sometimes leaves them alone for a while and gets better and then suddenly just takes them off again :( I don't know if its a habit or what. I hope she is feeling good her with us though. She trusts me quite well I think, she tries to feed me sometimes or mate with me which I think is a sign of some sort of love or trust :) I can get her to my finger and make her lie in on her back even though its not her favourite thing. Sometimes she really relaxes when i do it though and wants me to scratch her all over and she just closes her eyes meanwhile.
So my guesses about why she still plucks are these:
1. Its become a habit(if thats true what can I do about it?)
2. She doesn't bath very often and when she does its in her drinking water inside the cage. Should I try different ways of bathing her more often? Spraying her, check if she wants to come to the shower with me etc?
3. I have her on harrison's and give her stuff with that. She loves banana and pecan nuts and always wants those two things but other stuff I have to make for her tiny mouth bites and give them to her. I guess I could try to get her to eat more vegetables and stuff but it just seems like she doesn't like them.
4. Me and my boyfriend don't have very normal jobs so it can be a bit irregular when we are home, not always the same parts of the day.
5. She doesn't play much with stuff in her cage. I want to make her new playing stuff to try out but it would mean I have to take something out of her cage if I don't want to overcrowd it and i'm scared that will upset her if I change to much inside her cage.

So i realise this is a very long post, i'm very thankful if anyone has read it through and can give me any tips or ideas. I would also like ideas of games i can play with her since most often she just wants to stand next to me and not do much lol :)
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kazky

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My Bella <3
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2016, 10:55:11 PM »

Welcome to the forum and well done for looking after her. Now she's with you she'll have a much happier life.
Do you have an avian lamp? If not get one as soon as you can, it's essential for their wellbeing.

Try misting her, she probably won't like it much but you can put some aloe Vera in the water which might help. Harrison's is a good food so well done on that, try making veggies differently, finely chopped, cooked, raw etc you might find a way she likes them.
It may well just be habit & we have a few members on here with pluckers, you may not be able to stop it, but as long as she's happy & healthy it'll be ok.
I know you've had her a year, but that's quite a short time so you never know, she may stop when she knows she's not moving on again.

Do you have a babble ball? Don't know if you can get them over there but greys tend to love them. Try training games, it might stimulate her mind & may help with the plucking, look on YouTube for ideas.

Poor thing, people don't realise how badly being sold on affects them.
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Mandi

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Re: My Bella &lt;3
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2016, 11:00:55 PM »

Hi and welcome, and well done on givin this little girl a home
Sounds like she needed you guys :cheekkiss:
As for the pluckin it could be a habit, but can I ask if any illness has been ruled out (avian vet will take bloods to check) once anything has been out ruled you can only try your best to improve ,
Do you have a avian uv lamp? A must for any indoor bird
They need the viyD for feather health, well being, to see in full spectrum as well as convert the calcium for good bones etc :)
Harrison's is a good diet. But she also,needs the veg and a little fruit
Try givin it in different ways, eg steamed, mashed, chunky
Threaded on a kebob
Also if you remove her dry feed of a evening when she settles for bed she will be more willing to,try in the morning as she be hungry :)
As for the bath, you can spray her with warm water
And maybe a couple times a week aloe Vera spray , it will help smooth the skin from pluckin :)
Anything Iv missed give a shout up :)
And ps please post some pics, we would love to see Bella xx
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ellenmargret

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Re: My Bella <3
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2016, 01:04:33 AM »

Thanks for the tips! No I don't have an avian lamp :O Could I just buy this bulb in the link and a lamp for it and shine it on my babyboo?

http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/FULL_SPECTRUM_LIGHTING-Vital-Lamp_Full_Spectrum_Light_for_Birds.html

And yes pics will come in the next few days :)
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Mandi

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Re: My Bella &lt;3
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2016, 08:14:20 AM »

Them bulbs are said to be unsafe so I wouldn't risk it, I had one for my tortoise and it exploded :(
We all use scarletts but most of us are uk
Though I know she does ship abroad
www.scarlettsparrotessentials.co.uk
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ellenmargret

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Re: My Bella <3
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2016, 08:38:31 AM »

Ok, well scarlett's doesn't ship to iceland:( do most of you guys have the special avian sun deluxe floor lamp or do some of you just have a full spectrum uv bulb in a different lamp? My question is, how important is it to have the special lamp? Isnt it just as good if i already have a lamp that goes over the cage and just find a good safe uv bulb in it?
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ellenmargret

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Re: My Bella <3
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2016, 08:41:13 AM »

And... What is it about the bulb i had found that is considered unsafe? Is it the brand or the fact its full spectrum or some other fact about it?
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Mandi

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Re: My Bella &lt;3
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2016, 09:15:29 AM »

Most of us have the avian floor lamps , or the ones that fasten to the cage top
I now can't remember what the problem was with the bulbs you found (sorry)
I know each bulb had to be specific for the animal and some website  were selling them as a general uv bulb meaning they would be ideal for reptiles as well as birds and this is totaly wrong
Do you have a avian vet that could maybe source you one ?
I know my vet would help me x
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Whatever your doing today, do it with a smile and remember, there are thousands of people who would want to be in your shoes

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