Why Birds Pluck Their Feathers?

Why Birds Pluck Their Feathers
Written by Arlene S. Lane

Why birds pluck their feathers is one of the major concerns among pet bird owners. Birds are one of the cutest kinds of pets that no one can resist owning. Usually, domestic birds like canaries, parrots, doves, and many others are known for being fun-loving, companionship, and very good learners. However, for new pet bird owners, there will be a surprise when they will notice parrot feather plucking.

They will wonder why is my bird plucking his feathers and they may get paranoid at a point if they see birds doing it more than expected. While there isn’t a concrete time stamp about the duration of birds plucking their feathers but this doesn’t go longer.  You can search for the best pet bird care tips if you aren’t sure about them. Here is more to know about.

Why Is My Bird Plucking His Feathers?

When birds are kept in cages then they can be seen showing behavior change by plucking their feathers this could be a sign of environmental change and stress. You may notice that your pet bird isnt just chewing its feathers but it is also damaging its skin as well. Not only that, if there are other companion birds such as parrots then they may even pluck their feathers as well.

The easiest target for parrot feather plucking will be the breast and neck area. Though sometimes it will just take a day or two for parrots to release their stress and they will stop doing this. But then you may notice that they have been doing it for quite some time then you should consult your avian vet quickly.

If you are told that your parrot doesn’t have any problems such as psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) then you shouldn’t worry about why parrots pull their feathers out because it is likely to be an environmental issue.

The Possibles Causes

Another reason why do parrots pull their feathers out is stress. When birds feel stressed then they will pluck their feathers as a method of claiming or pacifying themselves. However, it is even possible that they are doing it out of their boredom. Another reason could be medical issues such as a change of diet or lack of a good diet, exposure to toxic elements, and infection. 

If your birds do not have any activities then they can also pluck their feathers as well. Visit your vet as soon as possible if you see them doing it constantly. They will perform a physical exam and ask you any questions to reach the root cause whether it is a behavior issue or infarction.

Things to know Regarding Parrot Feather Plucking:

To determine if your pet bird is acting normal or not, here are the things you should ask yourself.

Attention And Mental Stimulation

One of the major problems with caged pets is the mental and physical stimulation that often outdoor birds have. This is one of those major issues why parrots pull their feathers out because they do not have enough attention and mental stimulation. Parrots are known to be social and highly intelligent birds.

They will look for interactions with their flocks and if they lack interaction then they will pluck their feathers. So what you need to do is to assess the time you are spending with your pet birds and provide them enough interaction and socialization time and play with them. A useful tip would be getting some toys that can be customized so birds will remain busy with them for quite some time every day.

Clean And Comfortable Environment

If you are wondering why does my parrot pull his feathers out then you should consider taking a thorough look at the bird’s cage if it is clean and comfortable. Birds stay clean most of the time and will take care of their hygiene. Because of their hygienic nature, if they are in a dirty, unkempt cage, it will affect their mental health. So what you need to do is to take a look at your bird’s cage. See if they need better housekeeping or not.

A Healthy Diet

Another cause of parrot feather plucking is the lack of a healthy diet. Do you know if they are having the right type of healthy diet or not? If they are having a nutritional deficiency then they might show signs of stress. And they will come to the point where they will be plucking their feathers. For a better diet, you should provide them with a mix of fresh fruits, vegetables, and seeds on daily basis. Just giving them seeds then they may be lacking in nutrition.

Changes in Household

While thinking about the parrot feather plucking problem, you may haven’t thought about the changes in your household. Just think about any recent household changes. Sometimes, they start to feel stressed if there are some major changes in the household. From a move to household changes, routine changes to even the addition of new pets can cause them stress. 

How to Treat Feather Plucking?

If you realize that the area of the bird’s environment isn’t good enough, then you should take quick action. Make your birds feel more comfortable. Feather plucking problems in birds can become serious if they didn’t stop doing it. Because they have been doing it for a long time. If you didn’t take a look for a longer time then would be even more difficult.

Talk to your vet and speak thoroughly about your pet bird’s condition. Don’t stress about why does my parrot pull his feathers out instead take steps. They may be able to provide you with behavior-modifying drugs. However, for environmental factors, you will need to discuss how can you improve the environment for them. There you have it “why do parrots pull their feathers out” we discussed all of the important factors that one may look for “why is my bird plucking his feathers” Make sure your pet’s feathers stay beautiful and look great that is only possible if they are the most caring and attentive bird owner that you should be. Keep browsing our blog for more pet care tips.

About the author

Arlene S. Lane

Arlene S. Lane is a veterinary technician and hospital manager with over 12 years of experience. Arlene has been contributed expert content to The Pet's Rise for over 10 years.
Arlene has worked in veterinary medicine since 2017. Arlene's veterinary experience ranges from routine wellness care and preventive medicine to emergency and specialty care, where she has performed duties ranging from specialized nursing to clinical administration.

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