5 Ways to reduce hormonal bird behavior before you see the avian vet

Read in 9 minutes

Hypothetical – a 21st century genie sits down next you on a park bench. He looks pretty normal and explains that the whole genie thing has evolved along with modern society.

The dapper young lad named Gene (really?) goes on to say;

“The new rules are that you still get three wishes but “me” the genie decides what they are? It’ll be fun.

Wish number one is from this point forward you will have the ability to fly.

It gets better.

Continue reading “5 Ways to reduce hormonal bird behavior before you see the avian vet” »

Bird chop vs commercial bird food blends – what’s best for my bird?

Read in 10 minutes

I talk a lot about avian digestive systems and respiratory systems but it’s been awhile since we talked about feathers. Generally, the birds that we keep as pets have anywhere from 5000 to 7000 feathers. Waterfowl like certain species of ducks can have more than 11,000. Yes, scientists have actually counted them.

From Wikipedia we learn:

Feathers are among the most complex integumentary system appendages found in vertebrates and are formed in tiny follicles in the epidermis, or outer skin layer, that produces keratin proteins.

The β-keratins in feathers, beaks, and the claws, scales, and shells of reptiles — are composed of protein strands hydrogen-bonded into β-pleated sheets, which are then further twisted and crosslinked by disulfide bridges into structures even tougher than the α-keratins of mammalian hair, horns, and hoof.

β-keratin or beta-keratin is a protein in the keratin family. β-keratin is rich in stacked β pleated sheets. Keratin is one of a family of fibrous structural proteins. Keratin is the protein that protects epithelial cells from damage or stress.

Continue reading “Bird chop vs commercial bird food blends – what’s best for my bird?” »

Wondering if you can guide me on care of my umbrella cockatoo.

Read in 8 minutes

Wondering if you can guide me with the care of my umbrella. Her vet is away on sick leave for a few months. I am her third owner.

I live in a two-room 35 ft camper trailer with six dogs and the bird. She likes to be around them – in her cage – and when they get treats she expects ( and gets) her own. They are her flock.

She has been a feather shredder since long before she came to me, about three years ago. She is also very indifferent to food. Her owner before me cared for her well and tried her hardest to get her to fresh fruit and veg. Her primary diet is Zupreem fruit blend, though specific preference is the pink. But she isn’t even very interested in eating.

Continue reading “Wondering if you can guide me on care of my umbrella cockatoo.” »

This manifesto will make you a better caged bird keeper

Read in 3 minutes

My name is mitchr. I am an avian influencer. Full transparency – my day gig is selling products just for pet birds – I spend approximately 20% of my work week scanning about 20 Facebook bird groups and niche (species specific) forums like this. The content I write has one purpose which is to make you a better caged bird keeper.

I think serving dishes filled with any sort of commercial bird food without offering foraging and enrichment opportunities 24/7 in and out of the cage is the single biggest problem with getting our birds to eat properly.

Continue reading “This manifesto will make you a better caged bird keeper” »

10 plucking triggers your vet never talks about

Read in 4 minutes

A woman replying in a Facebook thread about her self-mutilating parrot “my vet said that it’s become a habit that’s it very hard to break”

My response was “Ask your vet why these habits don’t develop in the wild”?

Another woman had spent $4000 between veterinarian bills and behaviorists. Her bird was still plucking. In the thread that evolved it turns out that her cages were filled primarily eucalyptus perches.

Although eucalyptus can be safe it also has a great many toxins that can be lethal to a bird. She also related that her bird got about one hour of daylight – none of this came up in the conversation with her veterinarian or behaviorist.

Continue reading “10 plucking triggers your vet never talks about” »

My M2 has a problem and I thought I’d run it by you

Read in 3 minutes

Hi Guys,

Love your newsletter!

My M2 (Moluccan cockatoo) has a problem and I thought I’d run it by you.

I’ve had birds all of my life, parakeets, cockatiels, amazons and this is my first ‘too. I got him as a baby and have had him for 10 years.

He seems very content as far as I can tell.

About 6 months ago he molted 3 feathers at the same time from his tail. The new ones sprouted, of course. But over the course of this six months he continues to pick his tail skin raw.

I know M2’s are notorious for self-mutiliation. I don’t think that’s the issue.

Continue reading “My M2 has a problem and I thought I’d run it by you” »

Is Winter Stressing Your Bird Out?

Read in 4 minutes
Birds have a highly developed sense of light. In humans, we perceive light through our eyes. Our feathered friends have an additional way of interpreting light conditions, a special gland which surrounds the eye. Read more on this
As days get shorter and the temperature falls, we want you to be aware of some issues the changing weather may have on your birds. In the wild, animals rely on the cycling of the sun, and the seasons to adjust their biological clocks and metabolism. It is the sun, and changes in the quality of light and length of the day which set the stage for breeding, migration, molting, and daily behavior patterns.
 
 
I hope this helps you understand why we feel the lighting category on our site is so important to your Bird’s well-being. A full-spectrum light and timer on top or there your birds cage can help address everything from behavioral issues to incessant egg laying.

 

Continue reading “Is Winter Stressing Your Bird Out?” »

Carl’s Severe Macaw – Is it plucking, molting or over-preening?

Read in 7 minutes

Why are those feathers in the cage floor? Is it plucking, molting or over-preening?

We recently received an email from a subscribe of Sunday Brunch that I am sharing with you below:

I recently adopted a 15 year old Severe Macaw whose previous owner had a terminal illness. I could tell the Macaw had been taken care of meticulously from the written records of her care from Hatch Papers to recent complete blood panels however I never had the opportunity to question the previous owner concerning details of ‘Bandit”. I knew the moment I saw her that  I wanted her as I owned a Severe 30+ years ago and have known several over the years but none as sweet as this little girl.

We spend at least an hour each day cuddled up and grooming each other, over the last month I finished

Continue reading “Carl’s Severe Macaw – Is it plucking, molting or over-preening?” »

Why Is My Baby Senegal Parrot Plucking It’s Feathers?

Read in 7 minutes

From: DEBBIE C <dcrxxxxxxx@xxxx.com>

Date: Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 8:14 PM
Subject: Senegal baby plucking feathers
To: mitch@windycityparrot.com

Hello Mitch,

I have a Senegal baby parrot, four months old. It is pulling its feathers out. I have had Senegal parrots before, and I never had a plucking problem with them. This bird has everything.

I don’t understand why it pulls out its own feathers? It is breaking my heart. I would appreciate Any advice, & help that you can give me.

Thank you sincerely. 

Debbie C

Dear Debbie,

Nora here. Mitch is tied up with tweaking the new Windy City Parrot website so he asked me to help you.

editor’s note: we do have a remarkable team 🙂

Plucking feathers is usually caused by stress or boredom. Both of these issues should not already be a problem in the case of such a young bird. Weaning and moving to a new home is, of course somewhat stressful, but life is so new for such a young baby.

Since I don’t have a picture of the parrot to see, I have to ask how you know it is plucking? Have you seen it actually pull feathers out possibly making a soft squeak while plucking?  Please read the Blog post  on determining true plucking from over-grooming or molting by clicking on this link.

senegal parrot on back on human hand

However, there could be some stresses involved in moving into the new home. Do you have young children or other pets that could be causing stress for the baby? Is he eating well? Does he have a pellet or seed and supplement diet? Is he eating people food too? Are you aware of the human food items that should never be giving to a parrot? If not, you want to be sure to read “What is bad for my parrot to smell and eat?

Did the pet shop give you a well parrot certificate indicating the baby had seen an  avian vet and received a clean bill of health? If not, you should locate a qualified AVIAN vet (not just an animal vet who also will see parrots) and explain the problem as well as everything about his diet and home life.

There are two benefits to this: not only will this rule out any health issues but you will also establish a relationship with a qualified avian vet who will have records and knowledge of your parrot in case he ever becomes ill, injured and for yearly well parrot check ups. The vet will likely want to perform some blood testing to be sure everything is in balance. S/he may want to perform a mouth swab culture and tests the baby’s poop to ensure there are no parasites or bacterial/viruses indicated. S/he’ll weigh your bird to be certain it is within normal range at this point in life. Should any problems be identified you’ll receive proper medication and treatment plan. Skin problems or allergic reactions can be identified and treated.

Should any health issues be found, proper medication and treatment can be an important part of stopping the feather plucking.  If no health issues are present, you’ll rest comfortably knowing that the issue is not caused by health.

Exotic Birds: Senegal Parrot

Because you got your Senegal from a pet shop, you did not get an opportunity to see the parent parrots. There are unethical breeders out there who over-breed and keep birds that are not good parent candidates in their breeding programs out of greed or lack of knowledge. While to my knowledge there has been no gene identified that passes along feather plucking, it is an accepted fact that parrots that pluck can have babies that pluck. Also, over breeding or poor selection or care of breeder birds result in babies that pluck or have less than the sweet personalities that are traits of babies produced by top quality parents.

Since weaning and joining a new family is stressful and you think the bird is plucking, I suggest you add two supplements to your bird’s diet. The first is Avitech Avicalm Calming Bird Supplement. This can help your baby deal with the stresses he is experiencing and the second product is Avitech Feather In Anti Pick Treatment. It is a mix of ingredients that are to be mixed with water and used in your own clean unused spray bottle, spraying only at times the baby has plenty of time to dry before bedtime. These should be used along with a good avian multivitamin if you are feeding a seed based diet; pellet diets have complete nutrition and a multivitamin isn’t usually necessary unless your vet recommends you use one.

Button_AvitechButton_shop-sups

 

If one of one or both of the parents were pluckers it is possible that the period of time your baby was with the parents, if any, he could have had the tiny down feathers sometimes present at birth plucked. Plucking produces slight pain and therefore releases certain brain chemicals that cause the release of endorphin’s that actually make the bird feel good. This can cause a bird to become an endorphin “junkie”, wanting to cause this slightly euphoric feeling to recur again and again.

Be sure your baby Senegal is not being stressed by children or other pets, yet has its cage located in a central part of the home so he can see what is going on, against a wall. Don’t place the cage directly in front of a large window because he doesn’t understand the protection glass provides and can be stressed by fear, thinking that the predators outdoors such as hawks, cats, dogs, snakes and other common predators found near the home can get in.

Don’t dote on him just because he is so cute and so new. He will be part of our family for many years to come. Since he is already having a desire to pluck and when life goes on and you don’t have time to spend as much time with him, he may feel sad and pluck even more.

Be sure his cage has lots of toys, interesting food items served in interesting ways such as in hanging kabobs and treats hidden in foraging toys, plenty of perches and everything needed to keep him from being bored. Because he is so young he’ll enjoy some foot toys probably as well as a wide spectrum of other types of toys. He is young and play isn’t really an instinct so be sure you teach him how to play and have fun with toys. Have toys of different textures and materials, preening toys, swings, perches of different materials and textures. A busy parrot has little time to pluck. Or be bored.

Playing with a Foot Toy

There are so many reasons a parrot can begin plucking that Mitch developed a wonderful questionnaire to help the Windy City Parrot team help people who have plucking parrots. If your avian vet finds nothing wrong that could cause plucking, the parrot has lots of foraging and preening opportunities to distract it from its own feathers, it isn’t near any large windows but is in the center of family activity, and no ideas presented here help after giving it a bit of time then please fill out the questionnaire, email it to us and we will do our best to help you further.

I do hope this helps your baby Senegal and you.

written by nora caterino
approved by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

Button_AvitechButton_shop-sups

 

 

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We’re bringing home an abused African Grey – Can you help?

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Hi, we’re thinking of bringing home an African Grey, we would be her third home. Her first was abusive, and she was a plucker. She is permanently bald on her belly. We think she is about 15 years old. She has been in her current home for many years, and does not pluck any more. I was wondering if you had any advice for what she might need just in regards to being bald. We do keep our home cool in the winter (about 65) will she need one of those panel heaters? Can I knit her a sweater? 😉 lol

 

Her current cage is 24″ x 36″, which is only marginally bigger than the cage we have for our green cheek. (so in other words, too small for a grey, in OUR opinion) we like to err on the side of bigger is always better. We don’t want to completely stress her out though, and change her cage if she’s comfortable with it. What is your opinion of what we should do… keep her in her current cage temporarily, or permanently? Also, would it be prudent to take photos of her current cage set up and re-assemble everything as closely as possible when we get it home?

 

Green cheek conure in mans hand

 

So that the perch and toy lay out is all the same? Also, we currently have a green cheek conure, and I was looking to buy shower/ window perches for both birds is there one that would work for both, or should I get different ones? Can you recommend which perch for each bird? Thanks! Jessica

 

Dear Jessica

 

How nice that you are planning to bring home a rescued Grey, even plucked ones need love. It is good she is not still plucking, yes they can permanently damage their feather follicles. If your home is that cool with a partially naked bird then you may want to provide a Thermo Panel or a Thermo Perch. I would go with the larger of the two panels or the Medium Thermo Perch. I do not think a sweater will be appreciated if she is not plucking, you really don’t need to put her through the stress of clothes.

 

female eclectus parrot on perch in front of cage panel heater

Warm the bird not the house
Buy heating products for young & sick birds

 

If she is plucking then perhaps a sweater or even a vest made out of a large white sock with holes cut out for the head and wings and shortened may be helpful. The cage. Is the bird going to be out of the cage for a good portion of the day? Or will it be locked up most of the day and perhaps come out in the evening?

 

If your bird will be in its cage much of the time then 30″ wide is the size recommended for a Grey. If the bird is out most of the time, the cage does not have to be as large. A new cage should not be a problem. Setting it up exactly like the old cage is also not necessary, change should be the key here. Often birds get bored with the same day in and out and it can contribute to plucking.

Smooth new cage transition for African grey

Change is what birds need to keep them open to new things, places, toys, etc. Shower perches. They can use the same Shower Perch, but not a small one. You would want the Large Polly’s Shower Perch. Both birds can use it. I hope this helps, please let me know if you need any further information.

 

Thank you Catherine

 

Thank you! *Most* days our green cheek is out for a minimum of 2 hrs a day, usually up to 6-8 hours a day. There is usually one day a week when I’m gone, and he might just come out for breakfast, then a half hour snuggle before bed.

 

Those days we make sure there are new toys and new foraging opportunities in his cage before we leave. (I’m a stay at home/ home-schooling mom) As for the sweater, I was kidding, lol it would certainly be cheaper than a personal heater, but I don’t think the bird would appreciate it lol. As for keeping the cage the same, I only meant as she transitioned to her new home. If she already knows the layout to her cage, would it be good to keep it like that for a few weeks?

 

We routinely take everything out of our greencheek’s cage and move everything except his sleeping perch. Perch arrangement gets changed every 2-3 weeks. Toys get rotated every 3-4 days. Thank you again, I love this store!!!

 

great overview of a green cheek conure

 

Hi Jessica

 

Good that your birds seem very well adjusted. I think the Grey is lucky to have you caring for it. I think the change to your home will be a big enough change that even if you brought the cage in and decorated it exactly as the older smaller cage, it would not be needed. Just go ahead and dress the cage as you want it to be, make sure the bird has enough things in it to not feel exposed, the saying is “If you see the bird first thing there is not enough in the cage”.

 

It is good to hear you make a point to move things around. Keeping it fresh is good for your birds. If the grey was actively picking or much more naked. Then a suit would not be a bad idea. There are sweaters and hoodies and all sorts of things for parrots to wear to help them from picking or to keep them warm. Thank you very much for your business and kind words, we appreciate it all.

 

Catherine

 

Hi Catherine

 

Thank you so much! It’s so reassuring to hear you say that about not seeing your bird first things. I often look into his cage and think “Where’s the bird?!? Did anyone let him out?!?” and then I see him hiding behind some dangly toy LOL I worry that I had TOO MUCH in cage 🙂

 

 

One bird’s opinion of Cozy Corners
Find all Prevue petcorner fleece liners sizes & colors hereShop All Bird Bedding accessories at Windy City Parrot

His previous owner said something about having one of those corner cozies, would those work with the thermo perches? They wouldn’t be a fire hazard to have the fleece on the side and the thermo perch under it? We had a parrot years ago, and remember shopping with you back then, so when we got our Green Cheek this past summer, I was excited to see you still in business, unlike my other favorite online retailer who went out of business. The site looks great, and I look forward to the Sunday brunch newsletter every weekend!

 

Dear Jessica

As long as your bird has a nice big hollow in the middle top of her cage she will be fine, the toys placed around the inside of the walls and not hanging in her sitting space and smacking her in the head. It sounds perfect! A Cozy Corner will be fine with a Thermo perch, the perch does not get too hot, if you put your hand around the perch you would feel warmth, but it does not get hot hot, as it is not supposed to be hot. The panels would get somewhat warmer as they are not meant to be sat on. Birds can move closer or further away as desired.

Thank you Catherine

 

Hi Jessica – mitchr here

 

The thermo perches are factory set to constant 102 degrees Fahrenheit – touchable and provide no fire hazard whatsoever

and properly placed – you can never have too many accessories in the cage

 

written by catherine tobsing

approved by mitch rezman

 

Is tea a magic potion for your bird? Should you be using it?

Read in 3 minutes

Hello Mitch:

Love your birdie brunch and have learned much from it.

Do you know whether or not it’s harmful to give a budgie green tea? Don’t know if you heard of the lady with the 26-year old budgie who claimed he was so long-lived because they shared a cup of green tea every day. I don’t know if that is fiction or not. Green tea has been touted as good in preventing cancer. But don’t know if there is scientific evidence.

I do know that budgies are little tumor factories and I’ve searched for a long time for something that may help prevent these illnesses. If green tea is healthy for them, do you know in what form – a few drops of extract in their water? Straight green tea as their drinking water? Decaf?

Budgies are my favorite pet bird, but I’ve lost so many to cancer. Thanks!

Susan Valenti

I heard the story from the veterinarian who did the intake on the Budgie. It’s important to use decaffeinated green tea – served straight, lukewarm in a dish will be fine. She noted that working internships at zoos, it was common practice to mix tea leaves into the food of many of the animals

According to legend, tea was first discovered by the legendary Chinese emperor and herbalist, Shennong, in 2737 BCE. It is said that the emperor liked his drinking water boiled before he drank it so it would be clean, so that is what his servants did. One day, on a trip to a distant region, he and his army stopped to rest. A servant began boiling water for him to drink, and a dead leaf from the wild tea bush fell into the water. It turned a brownish color, but it was unnoticed and presented to the emperor anyway. The emperor drank it and found it very refreshing, and cha (tea) came into being.

Tea is versatile. You can put the tea leaves directly into the bird’s food or you can steep it in water. You want to only use teas that have been decaffeinated but not decaffeinated using ethyl acetate in the decaffeination process. You’ll want to use teas that are decaffeinated using CO2 or water as they keep more of the polyphenels and catechins intact, about 95%.

Feathered factoid: In the wild many substances act like tea, steeping in what normally would be water that is far from sterile. These plant compounds can actually pull the bad things like toxic minerals out of what looks to be muddy undrinkable water.

You can choose from green tea – black tea – white tea – herbal teas – chamomile teas – calendula teas – Rose hip teas – peppermint tea’s – ginger root teas – anise seed tea – raspberry leaf tea -ribooise tea – and there are others that you can explore. The aforementioned teas have different applications.

Chamomile tea for example is the use to help birds that have night frights. Raspberry leaf tea is believed to help with the muscles needed to form contractions in a female’s reproductive tract helping them lay eggs while reducing complications. It’s been widely used for egg bound females and smaller birds with harder than normal labors.

We’ve heard anecdotally that green tea can be helpful in feather plucking. Some birds have been known to instinctively drop the plucked part of their bodies, when presented with a dish of green tea directly into the dish

There’s really not a whole lot of research on this so we would certainly love to hear anybody weigh in on their experiences or hear questions about the use of tea for their birds
written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

Feather plucking parrots – a questionnaire to help work through the problem

Read in 7 minutes

As you can imagine we get a lot of calls and emails about feather plucking problems. Because of this we are the only website on the Internet to have a comprehensive feather plucking category which contains products that we know (based upon feedback from our 70,000 plus customers) are helpful in the reduction and/or the elimination of feather plucking. Many of the emails are quite detailed. Others will ask nothing more than “My bird is plucking what can I do”?

There’s an old joke, a guy walks into the doctor’s office and says “Doc, it hurts everywhere”. The doctor says “show me.” The guy touches his arm and says “It hurts here”. The doctor asked him to touch his head which he did and the man said “it hurts here as well, doc”. “Now touch your leg” said the practitioner. Which the man did and said “It hurts there even more!” To which the doctor replied “Your problem is obvious, your finger is broken”.
 

We take them out of the sky – cut off half their wings – confine them to 10 sq ft restricted areas that noway resemble a tree for endless hours in places where the sun sets at 5 PM. We feed them engineered & manufactured food found nowhere in nature.

So why is it such a mystery that even our veterinarians can’t figure out how to prevent the self-destructive behavior that so many of our feathered companions exhibit?

We can’t begin to diagnose something as complicated as feather plucking without asking questions. Some plucking triggers may be apparent – if you’re looking in the right places. Change a painting on a wall, move a piece of furniture. Maybe the new carpeting in the upstairs bedroom hasn’t fully out gassed? This is why we recommend pulling everything out of your bird’s cage at least once a month and rearranging the aforementioned bird toys & accessories.
 
Yes we want to freak your bird out. Yes we want him or her to be highly inquisitive and suspicious of the new cage feng shui (you added new stuff too right?) We want a skeptical psittacine. While focused on the new digs, it may distract them, even for a short period of time and keep the from plucking their freakin’ feathers. How often do you rearrange your bird cage?
 
That little thing that you plug in the wall in the powder room to make it smell nice, ditch it whether your bird is plucking or not, it’s dangerous (respiratory reasons). Scented candles are a big safety hazard for birds. Actually even if the candle is not scented, it’s important to note that birds in particular are very sensitive to the smoke and soot produced by petroleum-based paraffin candles. Birds are also not afraid of a candle’s flame.
 
So if you are interested in having a dialogue with us about feather plucking simply cut and paste the list of questions below into an email. Answer the questions the best you can and send them back to Simply_Everything@WindyCityparrot.com.
 
Chances are we won’t be able to answer everyone individually. We will do our best or include you in any “we see a pattern responses”. By sending us your retort you are agreeing to allow us to post the information (your first name only – no email) on our blog which will also appear on many social media sites. I know some of you will say this list reminds me of the lyrics to the David Crosby song, Immigration Man. “Here I am with my immigration form, it’s big enough to keep me warm”.
 
There’s probably a couple of dozen more questions we can ask. Keep in mind this is a problem that makes many board-certified avian vet’s scratch their head. The reason that we’ve had moderate success (“overwhelming success” would in fact be an overstatement) is because we look at the bird’s environment as a “captive”, look at the bird holistically and ask that you see yourself as a caged bird keeper.
 
First name:
 
Email address:
 
How long has your bird been plucking?
 
Species (please be specific, there are 24 species of Macaw):
 
Your bird’s sex if (known) by DNA or feather color (dimophic bird)?
 
Your bird’s age?
 
How long have you had your bird?
 

Is this the bird’s first home?

If not, do you have any information on its last home?

In winter do you have forced air or passive (radiator) heat?
 
In winter is a humidifier in use?
 
What human foods are being offered?
 
Is any citrus being fed to your bird?
 
Has the human pecking order changed (divorce – child goes to college)?
 
Has something changed in household furniture-drapes-carpet-paint?
 
Are there other animals in the home?
 
What manufactured bird food(s) are being served?
 
Do you purchase your bird seed from a bulk container like a barrel or plastic drop-chute?
 
Is there ever any poop in your bird’s drinking water?
 
Bird toys, what types and how many?
 
How many bird toys are in the top 1/3 of your bird’s cage?
 
Any other birds in the home?
 
In summer do you have central air or use a fan(s) to cool your bird?
 

Is your home teflon free (including waffle irons & hair dryers)?

Is the bird cage placed against any walls or in the “middle of a room?
 
Do you cover the bird cage at night?
 
Does the bird get silence at birdie bed time?
 
Do you offer full spectrum lighting to your bird?
 
Is the lighting on a timer?
 
What is the size of the cage living area only?
 
On average how many hours is your bird out of the cage daily?
 
When you are out of the do you leave on “white noise” TV-radio?
 
How many perches are in the cage?
 
Are there any “flat” perches in the cage?
 
Any soft rope perches?
 
Manicure perches-if so where is it placed?
 
What type of perch does your bird sleep on?
 
Do you employ clicker training in your bird’s routine?
 
Do you regularly exercise your bird?
 
Is your bird fully flighted?
 
If you clip your birds wings and is the clip modest or severe?
 
Date of your birds last visit to an avian vet?
 
How often do you weigh your bird?
 
Have you tried any “anti plucking” supplements/sprays?
 
Has anything worked?
 
List the foraging opportunities in and our of your bird’s cage.
 
Is the bird cage placed near any picture windows or sliding glass doors?
 
Does your bird ever chew on its cage?
 
What is the style of the cage dome top/play top/flat top?
 
When out of the cage does your bird have a place to “hang out”?
 
Is your bird a one person bird?
 
Is your household on a regular schedule?
 
Have feathers been plucked little by little or overnight?
 
How often do you bathe or mist your bird?
 
Is there a tobacco user in the home?
 
Are there any use of air fresheners or scented candles in the home?
 
Is your bird exposed to fresh “outside” air when possible?
 
If you have a female could she be “utilitarian” plucking (feathers used for lining the nest)?
 
written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing