Feather picking or loss - what can you do?
Most feather problems are due to one of five things; psychological factors/boredom, nutritional deficiencies, infections, hormonal imbalances, or parasites. Here's a list of things you should be doing to prevent feather loss.
Feed a varied diet as per your veterinarians recommendations. Seed and water is not enough, a bird's diet should encompass commercial bird food pellets, seed, grit, water, greens such as silverbeet, carrot, broccoli, native tree branches and their flowers and fruits, mineral and salt blocks.
- Allow daily time out of the cage if possible (but make sure there are no fans on, hotplates are switched off and windows are closed.
- Leave a radio/TV on if your bird is alone in the house during the daytime.
- Ensure your bird is receiving enough natural photoperiod, which is normal length of day and night. Cover the cage at dusk, and relocate it to a quiet room.
- Create a spacious environment for your birds so that each bird has their own territory. Provide areas of camouflage in cages with several birds, bushy shrub cuttings (bottlebrush are good).
- Clean the cage daily, feathers left in the cage may stimulate further self-mutilation.
- Provide a birdbath where possible or spray with fine water mist.
- Protect your bird from stressful situations such as from predators including cats, dogs and wild birds and extreme temperatures.
- As a last resort you can try plastic collars, we do not recommend doing so until you have had your bird examined by a veterinarian for parasites and infections diseases which may not respond to the general changes as suggested above and may require medication.