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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Plucking

I was wondering if anyone has a plucker. Merlin my bare eyed is eight years old and just started pulling out his feathers. He looks horrible.

Not much has changed we did move but he has been through moves before. The only major change has been adding Paco and Emma to the family.

We have ruled out medical issues so this is psychological.

If anyone has been through this and can offer some advice that helped their bird that would be great.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 10:28 PM


 
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I had a female Galah given to me who had plucked herself after they tried to introduce a mate to her after 10 years of being on her own. She pulled all her feathers from about the neck down. She still had flight feathers and tail but her belly was bare. Unfortunately she had damaged the feather shafts and a patch in her belly never grew back. She was ok if there was no member of the cockatoo family close to her but if you put a galah or a corella near her she would pluck again. It took years for her to cope with a too anywhere near her and she was such a lovely bird.

My thoughts are Merlin is jealous and that is causing his plucking. If he is tame try giving him more attention. Unfortunately about the only way to stop them is to use an Elizabethan Collar and they are not very attractive and do restrict the birds movements. It could be a case of the move and introducting 2 new birds. Unfortunately nothing helped with Billy as she had damaged the feather shafts in the middle of her belly and they were never going to grow back but she did eventually get used to other birds near her and even fell in love with a Corella. Unfortunately she passed away at the age of nearly 30 but she never had another bird in the cage with her but she and Wild One would kiss through their respective cages.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-07-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate View Post
I had a female Galah given to me who had plucked herself after they tried to introduce a mate to her after 10 years of being on her own. She pulled all her feathers from about the neck down. She still had flight feathers and tail but her belly was bare. Unfortunately she had damaged the feather shafts and a patch in her belly never grew back. She was ok if there was no member of the cockatoo family close to her but if you put a galah or a corella near her she would pluck again. It took years for her to cope with a too anywhere near her and she was such a lovely bird.

My thoughts are Merlin is jealous and that is causing his plucking. If he is tame try giving him more attention. Unfortunately about the only way to stop them is to use an Elizabethan Collar and they are not very attractive and do restrict the birds movements. It could be a case of the move and introducting 2 new birds. Unfortunately nothing helped with Billy as she had damaged the feather shafts in the middle of her belly and they were never going to grow back but she did eventually get used to other birds near her and even fell in love with a Corella. Unfortunately she passed away at the age of nearly 30 but she never had another bird in the cage with her but she and Wild One would kiss through their respective cages.
You cant get any more info that what Kate gave, i was going to talk about my friends greys that used to pluck but Kate covered everything.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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I am thinking that Merlin may feel jealous and I just read an article in Bird Talk about birds teasing and picking on other birds.

I think Paco maybe doing this to Merlin. I am going to try and move Paco's cage over and but Rainbow between them. Merlin and Rainbow have been flock mates since 2003.

I wish I could move Merlin away from the other birds but I don't have the room.

Soon we will be moving again. My crooked landlord rented knowing he was going into foreclosure and soon the bank will make us and everyone else move.

What ever new place we get I am going right from the start put Merlin away from the other birds.

Hopefully he has not damaged his shafts to much.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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Our parrotlet, Midge, plucked for quite a while with no changes what so ever in the home. We did some research and believe it was due to breeding season and sexual frustration. We got her a mate, but she hated him for months she finally stopped plucking now that season is over, so I think it's something she'll do annually.

My Severe is chewing up and picking his down feathers and I'm not sure why. He's only been home a week and a half and I think it's due to stress. His mother also picked him bald as a baby, so it could be emotional as well.

It sounds to me that Merlin is picking from the stress of the move and new additions to the flock. Kate explained it rather well. Do what you can for now, but wait on a permanent solution like a collar until you complete your move. Likely, the stress of moving again will set him right back I've heard a LOT of success with King's Cages "Pluck No More" supplement, but it is a little pricey. Here's a link to their site if you're interested in reading a little more about it.

http://www.kingscages.com/pluck-no-more.aspx

Do you have any photos of Merlin you could share? Then we could tell you how much damage he is doing and if it looks permanent



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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 05:30 PM
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My major plucked him self almost bald after his mate was taken away ( before i got him) I found out by accident when i was given a galah hen he stopped plucking , most of the feathers grew back he did a lot of damage to him self but he is happy with his 6 wives lol
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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I don't have any pictures of him plucked but I will take some.

I am going to order some of the product. it has good reviews. I can't order it until the 23 I won't have any free money until then.

Which makes me feel guilty. Right now things are really tough. My sister who I live with lost her job and has not found a new one yet. We have used up our savings getting Merlin checked at the vet and as well as a surprise car repair.

I hate not being able to to get what my pet needs right when they need it.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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I know how you feel - I'm broke right now with student loans and tuition and am scrapping together money to take Goober to the vet for his plucking So I completely understand!



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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 10:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brekke668 View Post
I was wondering if anyone has a plucker. Merlin my bare eyed is eight years old and just started pulling out his feathers. He looks horrible.

Not much has changed we did move but he has been through moves before. The only major change has been adding Paco and Emma to the family.

We have ruled out medical issues so this is psychological.

If anyone has been through this and can offer some advice that helped their bird that would be great.
Adding other animals and a move are HUGE changes, this could definitely contribute. Do you offer a lot of foraging toys? Lots of out of cage time? I would up those a lot.

Vicki
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Adding other animals and a move are HUGE changes, this could definitely contribute. Do you offer a lot of foraging toys? Lots of out of cage time? I would up those a lot.

Vicki
He has been through 4 other moves just fine. But I do think adding the other birds has upset him. Before the move all we had was Rainbow, Pig and him. He can't see any of the breeders because they are smaller than Paco I keep them upstairs for their safety.

He gets the same amount of out times as he always did. But I will try upping that.

I am also thinking getting him some toys made out of peacock feathers maybe he will destroy these instead of his.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 12:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brekke668 View Post
He has been through 4 other moves just fine. But I do think adding the other birds has upset him. Before the move all we had was Rainbow, Pig and him. He can't see any of the breeders because they are smaller than Paco I keep them upstairs for their safety.

He gets the same amount of out times as he always did. But I will try upping that.

I am also thinking getting him some toys made out of peacock feathers maybe he will destroy these instead of his.
Have you checked out www.parrotenrichment.com? It's a great website with tons of great ideas, like putting a phone book in his cage to shred, and lots of toys that you hide food in so that they can work, eat, burn energy

Also, even if the other moves didn't affect, it doesn't mean that this one didn't. It could also be the combination of the move and the other birds.

Vicki
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