Ask an expert

05 Jan 2005

Why does my bird pull out his feathers?
Answer 363 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Micks

Feather plucking is not a specific disease/problem. It can be a symptom of a whole range of problems including disease (such as chlamydia, giardia etc), chronic toxicities (such as chronic zinc poisoning), dietary imbalances, allergies (such as people smoking cigarettes in the bird's vicinity), sexual frustration, inadequate sunlight, inadequate sleep, separation anxiety, too low humidity in the environment etc etc.

What I would recommend is finding an experienced avian veterinarian in your area and taking the bird in for a feather plucking workup. This may include a radiograph, blood tests etc. The vet will also take a detailed history and discuss the birds diet and daily routine with you in order to try to discover the reason for the feather plucking.

This is a very common problem with parrots and parrot-like birds and can become extremely difficult to control if the bird continues to pluck for a prolongued period, as the bird can then become a compulsive plucker and may continue with the behaviour even when the initial problem is corrected.

Good Luck!
Dr Dorianne Elliott
Bird and Exotic Animal Veterinarian
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.