toys, feather pluckers, plucking, preening, birds, pets, pet birds, parrots, magazines, ezines

toys, feather pluckers, plucking, preening, birds, pets, pet birds, parrots, magazines ezines

Winged Wisdom Pet Bird Magazine, Pet Bird Ezine
Pet Bird
Magazine, Ezine

March/April 2003 Magazine

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One of the most disheartening things a bird owner can experience is having a bird who plucks his feathers or mutilates himself. The first step is to see a veterinarian to determine if the cause is medical. Having ruled this out, the cause is then most likely behavioral. It may be lonliness, boredom, or lack of attention. But no one knows all the reasons why birds begin to pluck their feathers.

While there is no sure cure, some people have had success in stopping (or reducing) this behavior by providing the bird with lots of toys, some designed to look like feathers or another bird. Here are some ideas which may help.

Paper Toys
Paper is a good source material - plain white paper, packing papers such those used when moving, newspaper or even paper towels (for small birds). Since paper is light and can be torn into strips which flap easily, some birds think of them as a feather substitute. Here are a few ideas:

Mops and Mop-like Toys
Real mops or toys in the shape of mopheads are objects which birds like to preen. The individual strands ressemble feathers and are an invitation to the bird to preen them, taking attention away from their own feathers and keeping the bird busy.

Knot and String Toys feather plucking toys

Another thing that has been tried is a broom. If you can find a broom made of untreated straw or some safe material, hang the broomhead in the cage as a toy. Be sure to wash it first. It may be better to hang it on the outside of the cage, so that the strands peek through between the bars. For small birds, try a whisk broom.

Materials and Sources
One of the hardest things to find is woven or braided cotton rope. Another is good coloring agents at affordable prices.

If you have a bird which plucks its feathers, hopefully some of these suggestions will help. If not, then try a few of these ideas on your birds anyway. They may enjoy them.

Winged Wisdom Note: Melinda Brooks has owned birds for over fifteen years, including finches, tiels, budgies, conures, cockatoos, amazons and macaws.

Copyright © 2003 Melinda Brooks and Winged Wisdom. All rights reserved.

Winged Wisdom Pet Bird Magazine

A pet bird ezine, pet bird e-zine, for pet parrots & exotic birds.
Articles on the care & breeding of pet birds, pet parrots & exotic birds

Copyright © 2003 Birds n Ways All rights reserved.
Last update: July 1, 2003
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