1. AGPC ™ Home
  2. Parrot Articles
  3. African Grey Forum
  4. Parrots For Sale
  5. Parrot Rescue Centre
  6. AGPC ™ Blog
  7. Parrot Shop
  8. Contact Us

Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed

10% Discount in The Online Shop
  • December 12, 2017, 12:16:29 PM
  • Welcome, Guest
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed  (Read 575 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Angel Feathers

  • Jabbajaws
  • *****
  • Reputation: 10
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 1165
  • Hatch Date: 30.11.2013
  • Parrots Owned: Ozzy. RIP Little Floyd
    • View Profile
    • Firwel Crafts
Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« on: October 04, 2015, 11:15:22 AM »

So Ozzy is now a plucker, it seems that he has lost interest in his toys so Im in the process of looking out for new ones  Please show me what's helped distract your birdies, he has never been intersted in forraging toys and hasn't yet discovered the fun of shredding, he has toys that he can pull whispy bits out of but chooses to ignore those too!
Thanks  :biggrin:
Logged

greenfield10@karoo

  • *Old Cynic*
  • Regular Pro
  • Jabbajaws
  • *****
  • Reputation: 74
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9109
    • View Profile
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2015, 01:44:20 PM »

The two things our love the most Mandie are their babble balls and the rope perches .
They only bother with the rope perches out the cage not in but they really do spend a lot of time ripping em up
Tims a plucker and has been for over twenty years but before we got Fester she was a mutilater too.
Ok we were lucky our two bonded some don't .
We always keep two sprays one for water and one s
got water /aloe Vera which we tend to use on any bare bits a couple of times a week.Ours have always had a lot of out time but now since I've retired not only do they get more of that they also get more sleep time too as I don't have to be up early so they don't get disturbed.We also use proper black out curtaining (Dunhelm Mills)
double thickness to make sure they get a proper nights sleep.
Needless to say more peeps will be along soon to give you a few more ideas.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Logged

greenfield10@karoo

  • *Old Cynic*
  • Regular Pro
  • Jabbajaws
  • *****
  • Reputation: 74
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9109
    • View Profile
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2015, 01:47:57 PM »

Oh and Mandie on a lighter note the pic of your Ozzy on the bottle top keyring is now guarding the remote control in my car for our garage door lol


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Logged

Mandi

  • "whats one more..."
  • Administrator
  • * Head Pecker *
  • *****
  • Reputation: 465
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 28625
    • View Profile
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2015, 02:53:03 PM »

Oh Mandie, I'm so sorry
I know what it's like to live with pluckers
The heartache it brings :(
I take it you've had bloods done etc
Has vet said anything
Peach is overbonded (hand reared too well) that's her reason
Dave had a night fright so now barbers his feathers
Coco it's hormones
Gordon, I think it's now ha bit from a sh1t life he had previous
All 4 still pluck , yes it breaks my heart as there's no fix as its for all different reasons
Though peach does it less now she is uncaged and never left in total darkness (we leave a lamp on for her)
Coco only plucks of a evening too :(
It's so hard
Coco lies a Argos book to shred :) and little boxes too (I don't give ones big enough to nest in )
All the best Mandie , I know it's hurtful X X x
Logged

Whatever your doing today, do it with a smile and remember, there are thousands of people who would want to be in your shoes

i smile cause you have all finally driven me insane!

Angel Feathers

  • Jabbajaws
  • *****
  • Reputation: 10
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 1165
  • Hatch Date: 30.11.2013
  • Parrots Owned: Ozzy. RIP Little Floyd
    • View Profile
    • Firwel Crafts
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 06:29:14 PM »

Heartbreaking it defiantley is!  I feel a real let down, I know its because of me overbonding with him and now he's at it all the time.  Right from day one he was a rubbish preener, he used to just rip little bits of his downies out, literally from the moment I got him, but now, he's stripping his neck feathers but leaving the quills in, really weird.  He's the third grey Ive had over the years and all three have plucked, I said with Ozzy things would be different and he wouldn't but here we are again.  He's also 2 next month so I know he's at the right age for terrible twos, he's nippy but hes so gentle it doesnt hurt. Extremely loud which is fine, if he's shouting hes not plucking  :thumbsup: 

He's been to the vet, as you know we dont have a avian down here, only people with an "interest" in birds, I took him to the vets that take care of Newquay zoo, that was a disaster and I didn't get to see the vet I wanted.  I was told that he was getting too much sleep (8-8!!!) and I needed to put him to bed later and up earlier, needless to say I wont be going back there. I had asked for bloodwork but was told not necessary until we find out what his routines were etc. So Im back on the hunt for someone who actually knows about behaviour as well.

I got in touch with Greg Glendall who was extremely helpful and we are trying to change a few things, less time with me, more with other half who he doesnt like.

He's now eating better, gulping down his P15 but only when its been soaked in flavoured water, I know thats not brilliant for him but at the moment, he gets his own way until his weight comes up a bit.  Refuses all veggies except sweetcorn, Ive had a breakthrough tonight with puree'd veggies and potato which he had about 5 gulps of, again, I have to spoon feed him or he just wont go near it.  I know this is wrong but again, I just want him to eat a bit more.

Dave/Irene - thanks for your help, I have a babble ball which he has shown no interest in at all, the only time it makes a noise is when I move the cage LOL despite me hitting it myself to show him. I'm Intersted in the rope though, he is a sucker for chewing cloth so that might be good. Is it cotton rope or hessian rope that yours like?  And Im really chuffed you liked the keyring, good job I got that photo when he was young, hes a bit of a mess now  ;)

I've read about feather boa's, apparently they like to pluck them instead - anyone here tried this?

Mandie xx
Logged

FeatherMonkey

  • Adult Grey
  • ****
  • Reputation: 18
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 790
  • Hatch Date: 6/11/02
  • Parrots Owned: Hickory and Willow
    • View Profile
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2015, 07:02:08 PM »

Mandie... I mean no insult, but hope to offer maybe an outside perspective.

My honest opinion is in your posts I detect a subtext of anxiety. Now I honestly know nothing(historical etc..)and for all I know it's just the written word.

The thing is these guys feed of us they are flock animals, we are part of the flock. By extension we are prey and are just as likely to get eaten. As flock birds they look for clues from each other for threats. If the subtext is more than subtext... to these emotionally charged feather balls they feel the anxiety as a threat.

I speak from experience when Willow was plucking the household was stressed. Relationships where struggling, whilst no single thing was the cause. It was a significant factor that pushed Willow over the tolerable imaginary stress line.

I suspect you may find focusing and rewarding behaviour you want, may help more than you realise, you'll give of less anxiety.

I really mean nothing, ignore if it offends not my intention. Just a how I see it, feel free to disagree. No offence given or taken.

Honestly nearly stopped writing this several times.
Stef
Logged
Stef/Stefan

Jon

  • Baby Grey
  • ***
  • Reputation: 1
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 446
  • Hatch Date: 15th December 1997
  • Parrots Owned: Georgie
    • View Profile
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2015, 07:43:28 PM »

For me, Georgie only started plucking when she laid her 1st phantom egg.... which I blame myself and Harrisons High Potency for.

Tried everything, longer time covered, lesser time covered.

When I took her off High Potency and sub'd it for normal Harrison's and changed how I handled her (less strokes in wrong places, no cuddles), and made her work for ALL her food, everything was in a foraging toy of some description, it eased off.

She still has a few here and there around her preen gland (had that checked over too, and no issues there)

She's feathered on her front, under her wings and legs now.

I rotate High Potency in and out of her diet now, and starting to lean towards more of it again (the OWG seems to do alot better on it than normal, another plucker that's habitual)

Logged

greenfield10@karoo

  • *Old Cynic*
  • Regular Pro
  • Jabbajaws
  • *****
  • Reputation: 74
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9109
    • View Profile
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2015, 07:24:40 AM »

Mandie re the rope perches .
It all started when we got em a flossing ring from Scarlett's.
They really went for it they've still got one.now but show little interest in it as they've moved onto the rope perches some time ago !!!
I worked out like most parrots they sit up on the highest point eg the top openers&Tim used to sit up there and pluck,
so we tightly tie wrap rope perches across so there really stiff and now they sit up there hrs ripping hell out of the rope till there right down to the wire.Cant remember if we started the first one off a bit for em by shredding a bit ourselves with a Stanley knife.????Tim will always pluck we know that but Fester was the best thing we ever got for Tim .We were lucky they bonded some never do.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Logged

Angel Feathers

  • Jabbajaws
  • *****
  • Reputation: 10
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 1165
  • Hatch Date: 30.11.2013
  • Parrots Owned: Ozzy. RIP Little Floyd
    • View Profile
    • Firwel Crafts
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2015, 11:35:37 AM »

Mandie... I mean no insult, but hope to offer maybe an outside perspective.

My honest opinion is in your posts I detect a subtext of anxiety. Now I honestly know nothing(historical etc..)and for all I know it's just the written word.

The thing is these guys feed of us they are flock animals, we are part of the flock. By extension we are prey and are just as likely to get eaten. As flock birds they look for clues from each other for threats. If the subtext is more than subtext... to these emotionally charged feather balls they feel the anxiety as a threat.

I speak from experience when Willow was plucking the household was stressed. Relationships where struggling, whilst no single thing was the cause. It was a significant factor that pushed Willow over the tolerable imaginary stress line.

I suspect you may find focusing and rewarding behaviour you want, may help more than you realise, you'll give of less anxiety.

I really mean nothing, ignore if it offends not my intention. Just a how I see it, feel free to disagree. No offence given or taken.

Honestly nearly stopped writing this several times.
Stef

Stef, please don't ever be afraid if giving me advice, I would never take offence unless it was meant as an insult and I know you would never do that!  You are of course completely right, I am stressed.  I try and try not show this but fail miserably :cry2:  Right from when he first started to show the plucking pattern, I started stressing and Im watching him all the time, I do try to ignore it, I walk away from him saying nothing, or send him back to his stand but I also find myself saying NO which stops him in his tracks, but five mins later its back. I know this will be a struggle and I know I need to "chill" so any advice on how to react when you see them yank a feather out would be great :)
Logged

Angel Feathers

  • Jabbajaws
  • *****
  • Reputation: 10
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 1165
  • Hatch Date: 30.11.2013
  • Parrots Owned: Ozzy. RIP Little Floyd
    • View Profile
    • Firwel Crafts
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2015, 11:38:58 AM »

For me, Georgie only started plucking when she laid her 1st phantom egg.... which I blame myself and Harrisons High Potency for.

Tried everything, longer time covered, lesser time covered.

When I took her off High Potency and sub'd it for normal Harrison's and changed how I handled her (less strokes in wrong places, no cuddles), and made her work for ALL her food, everything was in a foraging toy of some description, it eased off.

She still has a few here and there around her preen gland (had that checked over too, and no issues there)

She's feathered on her front, under her wings and legs now.

I rotate High Potency in and out of her diet now, and starting to lean towards more of it again (the OWG seems to do alot better on it than normal, another plucker that's habitual)

Hi Jon, thanks for your reply, Ive stopped with the cuddles now too, I still interact with him lots but we don't have cuddles like we used to.  I can't get him to take any pellet except P15 - I love to give the harrisons a go and had a sample pack which he wouldnt touch  :crazy:
xx
Logged

Angel Feathers

  • Jabbajaws
  • *****
  • Reputation: 10
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 1165
  • Hatch Date: 30.11.2013
  • Parrots Owned: Ozzy. RIP Little Floyd
    • View Profile
    • Firwel Crafts
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2015, 11:41:55 AM »

Mandie re the rope perches .
It all started when we got em a flossing ring from Scarlett's.
They really went for it they've still got one.now but show little interest in it as they've moved onto the rope perches some time ago !!!
I worked out like most parrots they sit up on the highest point eg the top openers&Tim used to sit up there and pluck,
so we tightly tie wrap rope perches across so there really stiff and now they sit up there hrs ripping hell out of the rope till there right down to the wire.Cant remember if we started the first one off a bit for em by shredding a bit ourselves with a Stanley knife.????Tim will always pluck we know that but Fester was the best thing we ever got for Tim .We were lucky they bonded some never do.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Oooo like the look of the flossing ring, I thik Ozzy would really enjoy that and if I can get other half to mount it high on his stand somehow, that might just help! Thanks!  Ozzy wont ever have a feathered companion though, you were lucky with your 2 bonding so well.  We just dont have the room for any more and other half really would object I think  :cheekywink:
Logged

FeatherMonkey

  • Adult Grey
  • ****
  • Reputation: 18
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 790
  • Hatch Date: 6/11/02
  • Parrots Owned: Hickory and Willow
    • View Profile
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2015, 12:51:45 PM »

You highlight a lot of things. I did more changing than Willow did.

A couple of bits first I've never had much joy stopping anything it has been a side effect, probably predictable. I always train the behaviour I want. Problem is as humans we castigate, we say no it means stop. I do have no semi trained, yet I find it hard to use. It means stop what you're doing and I'll reward you(it doesn't when said to a child). Now the real problem is I call them drama junkies for a reason. It is just as easy to drama reward by shouting no, picking them up etc...

The other aspect is as a flock partner who's spurning, you're probably inadvertently looking like a predator staring at prey anticipating the next feather. A viscious circle.

For me it is absolutely about reducing environmental stress. Now this can be from a multitude of factors. Identifying what you can affect will help. Which raises the vets suggestion I've seen that before and can show you an American behaviourist/breeder who agrees(Greys have been reported flying in the dark, I've witnessed). Honestly my 2 get 9.5-10hrs, they reckon some plucking might be waiting plucking. I also no longer spray, stopped to reduce stress. I found humidity is around 60%(Manchester what can I say) which is pretty optimum they tend to want a bath ever 7/10 days(shower steamed every day). Vet is more than happy with their feather condition. Water dries skin I suspect sometimes people are adding to the problem inadvertently, whilst trying to help. My honest opinion is spraying every day has come from America where the humidity is a lot lower.

I also find we can quite often inadvertently force our birds, I find this a big stress factor. We may even not realise we're doing it. Could be as simple as lifting before the second foot is on our hand. Taking tickles even though they didn't want to give them. Spraying them when they don't want it, grabbing/poking them etc..

Though the above is my thoughts, I think you're right but wrong. I actually think you may see a response if you actually start focusing on the correct behaviour, the preening without a cloud of feathers.  So yes we need to help your reaction but not when plucking but when preening properly. I suspect after a while you'll find yourself ignoring the plucking better. Therefore drama rewarding the correct behaviour.

I'd also work on just training anything recall, waving, colours, phrase finishing anything. It's mainly about getting you to give the drama/reward correctly. I'd use a clicker, timing is what it's about. Better to ignore a successful one with bad timing than inadvertently rewarding something else. Also getting someone else involved will allow another relationship to evolve. Willow quite often chills out with my mum or brother even though I'm about. I'm still the only one he wants though. I actually inadvertently trained this by getting others a lot more involved with his training.

I did use a clicker on Willow actually clicking and rewarding preening, I'm sure it helped break the habit. Yet just as importantly was reducing environmental stress factors, and building a trust account with training and generally allowing him control. They can say no I'm not getting on your hand, the aim is they want to get on a hand.
Logged
Stef/Stefan

Angel Feathers

  • Jabbajaws
  • *****
  • Reputation: 10
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Female
  • Posts: 1165
  • Hatch Date: 30.11.2013
  • Parrots Owned: Ozzy. RIP Little Floyd
    • View Profile
    • Firwel Crafts
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2015, 06:25:58 PM »

Thank you again Steph, you've pointed out some things that I haven't been doing.  I do try to reward the good preening, just by saying good boy, so I will focus more on that.  I have a clicker but found I wasn't quick enough rewarding but I will persevere with that also.
 
I love your phrase "Drama Junkies" thats so true. 

We're both trying with the stress free environment, other half is so laid back he's horizontal so its pretty much all down to me to chill out a bit. 
 
Right now, he's decided that its more fun to pluck my hair though, one at a time  :biggrin:

Logged

FeatherMonkey

  • Adult Grey
  • ****
  • Reputation: 18
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 790
  • Hatch Date: 6/11/02
  • Parrots Owned: Hickory and Willow
    • View Profile
Re: Plucker Moms & Dads, help needed
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2015, 07:30:06 PM »

You don't need to worry how long between the click (primary enforcer) and the reward(secondary). As long as the clicker is loaded it won't matter. The biggest thing is never never click and don't reward or you could end up having to reload(teach 1 click=reward) the clicker.

I really wouldn't focus on the preening. I'd try something else. Along the way occasionally reward the preening but don't make it the focus.

Training I always do, presently sitting with something Willow wants. Teaching him my turn meaning he can't have it now and ta meaning I want it. Training helps so much for the birds and us. They provide opportunities all the time. Sometimes it takes some lateral thinking to find the trick that gives the results you want though.

My biggest insight was thinking like a bird handler at a zoo trying to enrich there lives and make them manageable by gaining trust. A trick is only done for there gain, yet we can use that every where. Even have the odd funny one my latest is asking Willow what does the dog do? To which he answers woof. Or ringing the bell for a treat....
Logged
Stef/Stefan
Pages: [1]   Go Up