There are lots of different causes of feather plucking in parrots. In order to help your bird effectively, you must treat the cause and not just the effect. Products such as feather pecking sprays, which have a bad taste, and feather protectors that cover or stop your bird from reaching his feathers, will put off or hinder plucking, but do not resolve the underlying cause of the problem and are therefore a short-term fix rather than a long-term solution to the problem. Anyone that has a feather plucking parrot needs to determine from the start whether it is a result of physical stress related to health, diet or hygiene; or whether the feather plucking is as a result of emotional stress resulting from boredom, separation anxiety, loneliness, or because of some big change in your birds environment.
Treating your parrot with natural homeopathic remedies is a safe way to tackle feather plucking. Moisturising sprays that have aloe extracts contain natural soothing properties that will help to relieve skin irritations, and dry skin. Stress can also be eased with homeopathic solutions, such as Bach Flower remedies which contain extracts of Passion Flower, Kava Kava or St John’s Wort, which are natural sedatives, and have a calming effect on birds. Other natural ingredients that may be helpful for treating feather plucking, which is caused by skin irritations is Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE), which has natural antiseptic, antibiotic, and anti-parasitic ingredients.
Natural dietary supplements, such as Vitapet Feather Conditioner are specially formulated and contain a range of essential vitamins to maintain a healthy feather condition. They are extremely useful for birds that are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency due to being fed a bad diet, and because they will help with feather regrowth, they are beneficial for any bird that has plucked out its feathers.
Other Things to Consider
Depending on what is triggering the feather plucking behaviour, a pet owner can take a number of steps to both prevent and cure feather pulling in their pet parrot without the use of medication and drugs. These include the following: Ensure that your parrot gets a healthy, balanced diet to maintain healthy plumage. Keep your bird in healthy surroundings, keeping in mind that cigarette smoke and aerosol fumes are extremely toxic and can start feather pulling behaviour. Also make sure that your bird is in an area that gets adequate light, that he does not get too hot or too cold, and that the humidity is not too dry. Parrots originate from tropical rainforests, and heaters can dry the air in the room. When you use heaters, it is advisable that a dehumidifier, or a type of water feature, is provided to prevent the air from becoming too dry and thus drying out your birds skin and feather follicles, resulting in irritation and feather plucking behaviour. Your bird will need eight hours of beauty sleep every night. Keep him in a quite corner with a cover over if you plan to party all night. Stimulation is vital, so provide lots of interesting toys and puzzles to keep him busy and stop boredom. Socialising is very important. Preferably let your bird out of his cage on a daily basis to socialise with you. Provide other stimulations, such as music, when you are not at home so that he doesn’t sit alone in a quite house – very dull for a pet parrot. It may be worth thinking about getting another parrot to keep your pet company if you work all day and he has to stay at home alone.
By following all the above points, your bird should be kept happy and content, and should not resort to feather plucking due to health or psychological stress.
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