Friday, January 27, 2012

parrot feathers

How to Prevent Plucking of Your Parrots Feathers

Parrots are fun and enjoyable pets to keep and train. They are very smart and intelligent creatures with the ability to learn many new tricks as well as the ability to talk and converse with their owners. Birds such as parrots, which are very smart animals, also have the ability to do damage to their surroundings or themselves when they aren't stimulated mentally or physically enough. One issue with parrots is plucking of the parrots feathers.

Plucking of parrots feathers is a condition or behavior where your parrot chews or plucks their feathers in an obsessive manner. Sometimes parrots pluck feathers from just one part of their body, such as their leg, while others compulsively pluck their feathers from all over their body.
Many believe this is a mental disease of parrots, but it is more a symptom of a need of the parrot that is not being met or out of balance. This issue of plucking of parrots feathers is also exclusively an issue with parrots held in captivity as pets. In nature, a parrot who resorts to feather plucking would not survive, as they would get too cold and be unable to fly.
Plucking of parrots feathers could happen for several reasons, including medical or behavioral reasons. In order to stop this from happening, the external cause needs to be identified and ceased.
More times than not, this behavior associated with parrots feathers is medical in nature, so a prescribed medicine will help your parrot heal quickly and stop this destructive habit. There are however, behavioral issues with external factors that lead to plucking of feathers.
If your parrot is bored and is not stimulated with a variety of perches and branches in their cage, or they don't see their owner too often, this can create an anxiety which can lead to this behavioral issue. If there are too many family members living at home, or small children present, the parrot can become both nervous and anxious in a manner similar to claustrophobia. Parrots can also become insecure, demonstrate excessive mating behavior, have a breed disposition, or feel that their current living facilities are inadequate to bathe.
In a behavior known as "Itchy Bird Syndrome," your parrot will act a bit differently outside of their normal preening and plucking. Some signs of this is when your bird is constantly rubbing against the branches, perches, or bars in the cage while acting agitated. To stop plucking of your parrots feathers, be sure to identify and then isolate the cause of the agitation. This obsessive compulsion can begin very small but then grow to a damaging behavior to your parrot.
Make sure your parrot has a large variety of toys and branches to play with, as they need to be mentally and physically stimulated all the time. Such toys can help prevent plucking of your parrots feathers and lead them into better behavioral habits.
Jessica Peloski is a parrot enthusiast and author of pet parrot care books. For more information on parrots feathers, visit

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