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Success! [Feb. 26th, 2008|06:11 am]

[Current Location |On the couch in my blanket an not budging!]
[Current Mood |ecstaticecstatic]
[Current Music |Watching bb9]

I have a rescued macaw who is hand shy. He just let me scritch his head sitting on my sholder for an hour!

WOOOOOHOOOOO time for a snack!

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hi [Feb. 2nd, 2008|06:56 pm]


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Hello Everyone [Oct. 12th, 2007|05:18 am]

[Current Location |home]
[Current Mood |contentcontent]

 My name is Melissa and I just adopted my first African Grey. I do have some bird experience, but it has been with Cockatiels and Quakers. I have spent time with a Grey, but this is the first one I have owned.

I have a soft spot for needy creatures and a situation presented itself that I just could not turn down. I have always wanted an African Grey and this boy desperately needed a new home. So desperately in fact that his adoption fee was unbelievably low. Yes, he is a plucker and will take lots of TLC, but he is such a sweet, gentle boy and I have done lots of research over the past few years so I'm confident that I can help him and things will go well. He has had a vet check and got a clean bill of health so the plucking is behavioral. I'm hoping that in a new home where he will get lots of attention he will stop. This all started when his last owner had a baby and the baby became scared of him so he has spent a lot of the past year in his cage.

Here's Max!

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Plucking other birds? [Jul. 23rd, 2007|06:17 am]

[Current Mood |frustratedfrustrated]

I have a cockatiel I adopted somewhat recently, about six months ago. When I adopted him and his mate her crest and neck were completely bald. I figured it was because he was bored, and possibly because she was weak and sick. Blood work ruled out the possibility of iron, sodium, or protein deficiency in him. A bit of bitter apple on her head as soon as they got home stopped him immediately and he was introduced to a variety of toys, allowed to fly, and forage for his food. Her feathers grew back in and he showed no interest in even trying to pluck her until after she was healthy again, at which point he did try to pluck her neck but she pushed him away. They got along very well with my other cockatiels so they are caged with them.

I thought the problem was gone and just kept watching her head until I saw him trying to pluck the heads of my two other hens. One pushed him away but the other would let him preen her and then not move away when he plucked her. I feel horrible because by the time I noticed a spot the size of a nickel right behind her crest was completely bald. I put some aloe on the bald spot and feathers are already growing back in, and I put Apollo (the trouble maker) in an extra cage. I didn't want him to be alone so I put my other hyper boy, Jesse, in there as well. Two days later Jesse was missing several feathers on his neck.

So now Apollo is caged by himself. I wanted to let him out with the other birds while I can supervise but he would fly out of his cage the second I opened the door, fly into the main cage, pluck a crest feather out of the first bird he came to, and fly away again.

The extra cage is lower then the main cage and lower then my eye level because he is a bit too confident. They forage for about half of their food, they are encouraged to fly as much as possible, they are showered daily, they get handled daily, they get to watch about a half hour of TV most days, the radio is on whenever I leave the room, and they have a huge variety of toys that are switched out once a month. Perhaps I overstimulated him?

Clipping his wings is out of the question because he only has one foot and uses his wings to balance himself.

I can find tons of information about birds plucking themselves, but plucking other birds doesn't bring up much information other then boredom or a deficiency in sodium, iron, or protein.

Crossposted to parrot_lovers and cockatiels
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(no subject) [Jul. 18th, 2007|05:09 pm]

i have a six year old blue and gold macaw.
he came to us over a year ago now from a crappy home where he wasn't taken care of well. his name is Skylor, and he's clumsy as hell.

normally i keep his wings clipped, but lately, i've admitedly slacked on this. last night when i was at work, my boyfriend ian accidently scared bird man as he walked into the room. skylor was sitting on top of his cage and tried to fly. my guess is that he aimed himself to the fishtank, but flew too high, hit the wall, and landed-tail first-on the tank. not wanting to scare skylor more, ian had deb pic him up and put him back in the cage.

i called ian about half an hour after this happened and he was worried. he told me about what happened and that there were some spots of blood on the bed where deb had walked him, and on the floor. sure enough, there were. when i came home, i checked the ends of his wings for broken feathers, but found none. then i looked at his tail....oh boy.....

he has a couple new feathers coming in. one of the ones that was probly going to be over a foot long is broken. it's only four inches long right now. but it's a very thick feather. by the time i looked at it, it had already started drying, and i didn't want to hinder it doing so by putting him in a bath to help get rid of some of the blood. it stopped bleeding about an hour later. i was carefull to keep him hydrated and make sure his behavior didn't change. i didn't want him picking at it either, and am still discouraging him to do it.

i'm about to go to the store to get some quik stop. i'm going to use it after i give him a bath to help clean it and discourage infection.

i am worried about what to do from here. let me stress to you that i do not have money. and i'm not one of those people who has a little money in the bank and just refuses to spend it on their critters. i mean, right now i'm broke. otherwise, i would take him to the vet. i can't even get advice from the vet without them diagnosing the problem and sucking me dry first. i'm worried though, that the feather may need to be removed...

ug...i just don't know what to do! if you have any advice, any at ALL, please...
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:( my worst nightmare. [Jun. 24th, 2007|11:57 am]

My quaker, Skipper, is eight years old andI've had him since a baby. His entire life, he has never had any behavioral problems or illnesses. I've been away on vacations before, always leaving him in the care of my parents or grandparents (he likes both and both handle and give him attention). Nothing has ever gone wrong before.
This summer, however, I started a new job two hours away that required me to be away from home four days out of the week. Being away from home and Skipper has been hard on me, but for the first three weeks, I came home to a happy, healthy parrot. This week, however, I came back, and according to my dad, he plucked virtually all of his plumage (his chest, back, legs. everything not on his head, tail, and wings.) in a matter of hours. It broke my heart to come home to see my sweet little bird in one of the states I've always feared the most but managed to avoid.
This was yesterday, and by the time I was home, all vets were closed. So, I called a few local bird-centric pet stores and read a lot of articles online. Using the information I acquired, I tried a lot of solutions. I replaced all toys I threw away and bought some new ones, misted him and let him take a shower with me, gave him some mullet and new toys, and drenched his feathers in a taste deterrent to discourage plucking. I'm going to add a multivitamin to his water, as well, and have my father (he loves my dad) keep him in his office during the day. Tomorrow I hope to go to the vet. This entire time, though, I keep on catching glimpses of him yanking his feathers out. He seems unusually quiet and still, otherwise, and I'm terrified.

Anything else I can do to make things better and stop him from plucking at least until tommorrow? I'm pretty sure the vet is not going to have a solution, as his skin seems healthy and from what I can tell not infected or irritated, and mite-free (we have no other pets in the house).
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(no subject) [Sep. 18th, 2006|09:30 pm]

[Current Mood |worriedworried]

So, i have a Lutino peachfaced lovebird who won't stop picking his legs. We took him to the vet about 2 years ago for it for a ridiculous amount of tests, gave him a giardia treatment just in case, but to no avail. the picking comes and goes, and just recently we discovered that he's picked both of his legs almost bald.
I bought this product to spray on his legs. I'm doing it morning and night. It seems to be working, any time he goes for his legs he comes back up with a repulsed headshake, but i still want a little feedback. The instructions say spray from ~8", but if i did that, i'd spray the whole bird. so I spray it really directly and make sure to cover his face.
Have any of you guys tried that Better Bitters product? Any result? Good or bad?

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Stuff to try after going to the vet [Aug. 28th, 2006|01:45 am]

[Tags|, , , ]
[Current Mood |accomplishedaccomplished]

There are many different ways to tackle the plucking issue. There are even different ways to treat the same cause, such as hormones. Here are some of the things I've tried for my birds:

1) Some would suggest Lupron on a regular basis. I'm not a big fan of Lupron as I prefer to do things the natural way. If it's helping perhaps you should try it for 6 months to a year. Meanwhile work on removing hormonal triggers from her environment. Then try taking them off the Lupron permanently, or only using it during the months of the year that they have the most problems.

2) Try meal feeding. In nature they typically eat two large meals a day with few snacks in between meals. When there is an abundance of food it can trigger them to make babies. Afterall, there is plenty of food to provide for them. One method is using small quantities of Harrison's along with lots of good, vitamin-rich veggies. Another great diet to try is the Feeding Feathers Plucker's Diet, which I'll discuss more below.

3) Sometimes birds ingest things they aren't supposed to and it can cause intestinal blockage, plucking, etc. Therefore Dr.Van Sant recommends that you eliminate soft plastic, paper, fibers such as string or cloth, cardboard, and any non-edible toys they ingest from the environment.

4) Essential Fatty Acids every day. I will explain this in more detail with the Feeding Feathers Plucker's Diet.

5) A couple drops of liqui-kelp added to the water daily supplies iodine, a necessary mineral. Read more...Collapse )

If you'd like me to expand on any of this, I can. If you're overwhlemed by it all and don't know where to begin, I can help you with that as well.
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Cardboard exposure can cause plucking [Aug. 3rd, 2006|12:45 am]

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[Current Mood |tiredtired]
[Current Music |dripping sink]

Stefanja from Out of the Blue Eclectus discusses her experience with cardboard causing plucking in her ekkie. Read more...Collapse )
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advice please? [Jun. 26th, 2006|12:11 am]

I have a Sun Conure named "Bird bird" that is about 13 years old. I foolishly bought her when I was 16, not knowing what I was getting myself into. The first 7 years of her life were the best. She slept in bed with me next to my head on the pillow, took showers with me, ate mixed seeds, pellets, and fruit.

Things changed drastically for her and I when I moved out of my parents house after college and into an apt. with my boyfriend. She no longer slept with me, and while I was at work my boyfriend would keep her covered because he couldn't stand her screaming. I pleaded with him to leave her cage uncovered, but he wouldn't listen. She began plucking her chest and back. A year later I parted ways with my boyfriend, but my schedule stayed busy. I was gone sometimes 12 hours of the day while my bird was home alone. The plucking continued, and I assumed it was out of boredom and stress.

I am married now and my husband is semi-tolerant of my bird. She is still plucking herself even though I try to spend as much time as I can with her. I feed her enriched pellets, fruits & veggies (though she rarely eats them), almonds, sunflowers seeds, & water in a plastic hamster bottle.
She takes a bath almost everyday. I change the water daily and make sure it is luke warm. I clean her cage at least once a week.

I've had advice given to me over the years from a Avian Vet Tech friend of mine, but none of it has really seemed to help. She plucks her back, chest, tummy, legs, and sometimes her flight feathers. She's almost completely bald on her underside. She usually plucks the feathers just as they start to bud. If the feather can emerge far enough, she will eventually leave it alone, but most the time she plucks them down to nubs or sometimes pulls them out.

Honestly I don't know what to do. Her plucking has lessened over the last couple years, but it is still bad. I look at the photos of the plucking birds in this community and realize how bad off my bird is. I don't have a lot of money and can't afford to take my bird to a specialist who is going to charge $500.00 plus, and may not even be able to help me. My husband is disabled and can not work so we are living on a very fixed income.

In my opinion, Bird Bird seems to be suffering from itchiness. She plucks all of the time, in her cage, while she is sitting on me, just after she's bathed, etc. Recently, I've noticed an odd smell to her after she baths that almost resembles a mildewing dish cloth. Is it possible she has some kind of skin fungus or mold? If so, is there anything over the counter that I could do about this without having to spend a fortune.

I'm ready to just get the credit card out, take Bird Bird to the vet, and spend whatever it takes to get to the bottom of this.

After reading several articles I realized I need to invest in an artificial sunlight source. I will also replace her bath water with distilled/filtered water.
She like to chew on cardboard tubes, swabs, paper, etc, but I read that these might not be good for her. She also enjoys chewing the shoulders out of my t-shirts, chewing a straw toy in her cage, and biting the ends of my hair off :0)

I love my Bird Bird and want to see her happy and healthy. I work out of my home now so I spend lots of time with her and I'm determined to make her whole again.
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