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Plucking when in cage.

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Author Topic: Plucking when in cage.  (Read 913 times)

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starling queen

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Plucking when in cage.
« on: March 30, 2014, 09:51:14 PM »

I have a problem with Toby, my African Grey. He is 16 years old and we've had him since he was weaned, by hand. He started plucking at about 4 years old when my son was born. He has started to fly at my 3 older daughters and attack them so when my son was born I could only let him out when my son was in bed. He soon started plucking. My son is now 13 and Toby has been coming out of his cage all day for the past 2 years. I open the cage in the morning and he comes out, plays on his cage and a large play area. He stopped plucking and grew all his feathers back except the ones on his chest and shoulders. He doesn't pluck at all now, but the feathers on those areas have never gown.
When my daughter comes to visit she brings her 2 little dogs and up until a few weeks ago Toby was allowed to stay out of his cage. But he started to fly as he grew all is wing feathers back. On one of my daughters visits, Toby flew and landed on the floor near the dogs. Since then I put Toby in his cage while they are here. The problem with that is he has started to pluck while in the cage. Today he completely stripped on side of his flight feathers.

Now comes the problem. With the summer coming I have to find a way of being able to enjoy the outdoors without Toby tearing out all his feathers. If I am in the garden I will have to shut him in his cage inside so he can't fly out of the door or take him out with me locked in his cage. To take him outside I have to drag his large cage through 2 doors. I can't get him into a smaller cage as he is terrified of anything new, as we all know everything is an African grey eating monster to our babies.
I am so totally stuck for ideas and getting to the point where I am thinking I will just have to stay inside all summer. I can manage to take him outside sometimes but will he pluck because he is in his cage? I don't know which way to turn.
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Mandi

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Re: Plucking when in cage.
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2014, 10:03:45 PM »

Have you ever had Toby DNA tested ?
The pattern of his pluckin (wings n shoulders) say female though it's not always the case
As for not enjoying summer , Toby realy needs natural sunlight too
Half hr a day everyday really is minimum and British weather don't provide that so a uv light would be a good idea
Also what about his diet ?? What's he fed on ?
Does he have some sort of routine
Eg wake up time , bed time etc?
Also what kind of toys does he like ?
If all the above has been addressed properly and maybe blood tests from a vet to rule out any deficiencys the maybe he just has to do what he has to do, just like us biting nails etc
Just remember give no reaction /attention for pluckin :nono: as to him any reaction is attention and it will become a game


Ps can we have a pic ;) x


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starling queen

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Re: Plucking when in cage.
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2014, 10:29:14 PM »

I do suspect Toby is a female, have had my suspicions for a long time. I do try to take all the birds out during summer but I worry that now he has stopped plucking but plucks when in his cage, that he will pluck while in the garden. During the winter I give all the birds supplements with D3 in.
He is fed on a low sunflower diet with fruit, veg and edible garden weeds and flowers.
He does have a routine. He is uncovered at 10 am and his cage is opened, he spends all day out, playing and eating, I then put him to bed and cover his cage a 10pm. The only time he is shut in his cage is if I have to go out. That is very rare as I have an autistic son who is home educated and doesn't leave the house very often due to anxiety disorder.
He mainly has likes toys he can destroy, so I give him cardboard boxes to chew up he has lots of willow branches that he loves to chew to pieces. He has the usual hanging toys with wooden bits. He likes to go down the back and sides of his cage where we have put thick branches that he chews.
I don't react to his plucking at all. I have been so happy that he completely stopped plucking, not something that is easily achieved but to think the only reason he plucked is because his cage door was shut is really saddening.
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starling queen

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Re: Plucking when in cage.
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2014, 10:38:31 PM »

Forgot to add a picture,









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phantomlady

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Re: Plucking when in cage.
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 05:33:22 PM »

Oh what an absolute beauty :)
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starling queen

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Re: Plucking when in cage.
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 05:52:44 PM »

Thank you. He's my little super star. I love him to bits.
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Mandi

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Re: Plucking when in cage.
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 06:02:01 PM »

He is adorable xx


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Re: Plucking when in cage.
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2014, 12:06:58 PM »

Awww he's lovely.
Its a pain in the backside having to drag cages around, last summer it was a case of over 2 thresholds and down 2 steps to get the cage outside, but it was well worth it as it was a really good distraction for mine who was also a plucker. He plucked inside and outside of the cage. 
Is there any way you could keep all his favourite foods and treats for when he goes into his cage? Do you have foraging toys for him - this used to occupy mine for a little while each day.
xx
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