Problem with plucking,or rather over preening?
Posted 03 April 2012 - 05:47 PM
My Kaili is now about 3 years old. About several months ago, she went through her first major moult. I noticed she was possibly plucking feathers. It was hard to distinguish because she was moulting. After some effort, I thought I had corrected the problem. I was wrong. She has also been going through nest protection that I have learned to manage.
I dont believe she is actually plucking, rather over-preening. I do not find many feathers in her cage. she has preened her red feathers on her front neck and chest to a fuzzy mess. She has also done this to the tops of her wings at her shoulder blades.
I rarely see her preening this area, so I believe she must be doing it at night. She spends most every day on on my lanai, kind of an screened in poarch that I use as my office/rec room. She is inseperable from my male doberman. They play constantly and she screems when they are separated. She eats everything, fruits, veggys, protiens daily and she is supplamented with Roudybush Maitenance pellets. Her cage is large with many toys that I rotate and move constantly. Several days a week I roll several pieces of newspaper tightly and hang from the iside cage for her to tear up. tehy are constant entertainment for her. I even give her a bath outside in a type of birdmath, always fresh water or in my shower always followed by a mist of aloe vera and water. I was wondering if possibly she has a dry skin problem.
I have exhausted all my ideas on this ... Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:53 PM
Is it safe to assume you started the aloe after the over-preening and not before?
Can you think of anything that may have changed around the time the over-preening started? Has she been to an avian vet for blood work since this started?
I know some things could be as simple as a change in the water (especially if it's tap water), other animals, humans, change of hair color or something else. If it's a medical problem, an avian vet would be able to figure out best whats wrong there. If it's behavioral, the vet may be able to help, or a good behaviorist may be required as they might be able to see something that you may be overlooking.
Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:04 PM
I don't think the rolled newspaper is enough chewing. Is there anyway you can get her some pinecones? Try to find a large tree that has the big cones and pick them up as soon as they fall. Don't take the sappy ones, just the dry ones and only grab cones that are open. Otherwise you need to put them on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil and bake them at 200 for 1/2 hour to dry them out and open them. I've never had trouble with sap, but I only gather fresh, open cones.
Put them in a shoebox in the bottom of her cage, or in a hanging stainless steel bucket. Once she has chewed off the outter part of the seedlets on the cones, replace them.
If she has a flat surface in the lanai where she stays that you can put the pinecones, that would be even better that a in box in her cage where she might feel too protective. The idea is to give her a job. Every single day. Once she's worked on these for a couple hours, she should be able to sit without messing with her feathers. I can't stress enough how important it is to keep a female Eclectus working on some soft wood object as much as possible.
I also use branches, especially thinner tender ones that can have the bark stripped and leafbuds chewed. But if you can only find dry branches, that's better than nothing. Mine won't mess with them if I lay them in their cage, but if I affix them so they can climb on them or perch on them while they are working, they go to town.
BTW, I think it's great that she has your dog for a friend. Everyone needs a companion, IMO.
Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:40 AM
First Monica: I started the Aloe spray after the over-preening started. i am sort of an aloe freek. I have been using it since I was a teen living in Hawaii. I use it for cuts and abrasions. I use it as a shaving gel daily. I believe it to be a great healer. I buy the pure aloe from the local GNC nutrition store here. It is sold for human consumption .... very pure .... some folks mix it with water or juice and drink it as a tonic. I do not, but use it constantly. I started using it with Kaili as I wondered if she may be having a dry skin problem and if not would only be good for her skin.. I hope I am correct in this.
I can not think of any changes in her life. i give her only bottled water. The water in florida has a high mineral content. I use it only for showering, dishwasher etc. We all drink only bottled water. She has a large cage, 3 ft by 4 ft by 6ft, that's 72 sq ft of living area for her. swings, posts, different perches, bells climbing rops etc. I think she is very happy and she spends many hours a day on our lanai on a large perch of my own construction. My home is quiet and peaceful for Kaili, my dog and myself.
I have not taken her to the vet in over a year ... Honestly, I did not find the so called avian vet in my area very convincing. I have found you folks more knowledgeable. Maybe I will search for a better one.
Thank you Monica .....
I recognise your description of new feather growth (pin feathers) .... I have only found three of these in the bottom her cage in months. That is three that she has pulled out, but that is all I have found .. There is some grey down coming through below her neck, but mostly red like down because I believe she has seriously over=preened this area. There are no bald spots. As Moica had asked, i will see if I can take a pic or two. May take a few days, my camera has dissapeared .
You mentioned a tern that I am unfarmilliar with, " Seasonal Obsession" could you explain that ?..
Luckily, Florida is loaded with very large pine cones. After reading your note, I walked outside in my yard and picked up several.
When I first showed one to her, surprisingly, she attacked it several times like a wild animal!!!! Im glad my hand was out of the way!! I removed her from her perched and lashed on on to the main branch and returned her. After a short investigation, She started on it ...... What a mess ..she loved it .... gonna have to keep my shop vac handy!! I also lashed on to an oak branch in her cage. Shortly I will move her from her perch to her cage and see what happens there.
I have two types of perches in her cage. three dowel type of soft pine that I purchased from Home depot and several actual oak branches that I cut myself and cleaned off the bark. They are from thick to thin making a managerie in the top of her cage that she climbs through like a jungle. she has been tearing up the pine dowels, but the oak is very hard. Tomorrow I will find some softwood branches too.
thank you both kindly for your thoughts. I have not been too social lately as this economy has made my life very difficult. I have enjoyed your comradity...
Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:10 PM
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