Feather picking

Feather picking is a major problem bird owners face. Sometimes it seems birds are willfully destroying their plumage without any rhyme or reason. But there is a reason. Feather picking is actually a symptom of something else wrong with your bird. If you find out what’s behind the behavior, you can treat the cause and indirectly treat the feather picking.

Once you notice the start of feather picking, contact your veterinarian to first rule out any medical problems. If there is nothing medically wrong, watch for these reasons:

Health problems

This could include things like allergies parasitic infections, cysts, and many more.

Diet

Have you changed your bird’s diet recently or is he getting enough nutrients?

Low humidity

Many birds are originally from environments with high humidity, and the low humidity environments we enjoy in our homes can have a detrimental effect on birds.

Boredom and pent-up energy

If your bird doesn’t have anything else to do, he may just find it fun to direct its energy to self-mutilation.

Psychological problems

If a bird’s wings are clipped too short, instead of having a gliding landing, it just drops to the floor with no control. The bird can become upset if this occurs and can start self mutilation. Birds also have phobias as well as other obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

Attention seeking

Birds’ plumage is very beautiful, so when you see your bird picking out his feathers, you usually run to the cage and want him to stop. The bird then associates feather picking with your attention, so he continues the practice for the attention.

Return to Bird Articles