4 Simple Tips – How to Stop Your Parrot From Self-Plucking

It is very painful for both the parrot and its carer when a bird starts to damage its own feathers. Self-plucking occurs when a bird tries to pull or tear its body feather out or the underlying down feathers. This can sometimes lead to self-mutilation of the skin.

Self-plucking is a form of self-harm that happens only for captive birds. Wild parrots do not exhibit this behavior. This behavior of self-plucking takes place because the bird perceives some benefit from doing it and recovery can take several months. Scientific studies have shown that the problem is caused by frustration and overuse of the cage.

Follow these four simple tips to stop your parrot from self-plucking:

1. Let the bird out of the cage

Self-plucking is really an illness of the pet parrot kept in a cage without the company of other birds or the freedom to perform its natural behaviors.

Your parrot needs to spend many hours each day out of the cage, able to fly, in order to prevent self-plucking. Provide a good environment preferably with ample space to reduce the likelihood of self-plucking.

If a bird is self-plucking, it is vital to act quickly in order to reduce the severity of the damage done on its feathers.

However, if the plucking is severe and the bird is damaging its feathers or its own flesh, you may want to put a collar and disk fitted around its neck to prevent the bird having access to all or part of its body. This may certainly stop the bird from damaging its feathers, but the cause of the problem is not solved yet.

2. Leave the room when your parrot starts to pluck

Be careful if you are trying to reprimand your parrot that is self-plucking, for example, by saying, “Stop it!”or “Don’t do it!” or “No”. The bird may see this as part of the encouragement or reinforcement to continue the unintended behavior.

Where the bird is seen to pluck in the company of people, the best course is to leave the room where the bird is and repeat this many times until the bird realizes that its plucking is causing you to leave.

Do not try to punish the bird by returning the parrot to its cage. The self-plucking will be more severe at the beginning but it is only temporary. It is your consistent action of ignoring and leaving the room that will act as a precursor to the stop the behavior.

When a bird is seen to pluck even if it is outside of the cage, but only in certain specific locations, then restrict it from having access to those locations.

3. Keep the bird occupied

On the other hand, it becomes more difficult when a bird is plucking perhaps during the night, when no one is around. One of the possibilities could be that the bird is feeling bored or something is lacking in the living conditions.

In this case, you may try the following:

o provide your parrot with some toys to chew on;

o give the bird its favorite food to eat on;

o provide longer hours outside the cage;

o create an outdoor day-flight aviary with fitted perches and branches;

o spend more time interacting with it;

o a combination of all these activities

The point here is to simulate its wild-life natural behaviors or environment as much as possible.

4. Spray your parrots with plain water

You should spray your parrot at least every other day to obtain good feather condition. If possible, you can even shower your parrot until it gets thoroughly wet because dry feathers will break and fray and this will irritate the bird leading it to self-plucking.

I hope you find these simple tips on how to stop self-plucking useful.

Source by Wilfred Tan

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