Nanday Conure Forum

Message #1929. This is a followup to #1910.

Date:Friday August 13, 2004 2:00:23 pm MDT
Subject:Re: Feathers
Message:If you are actually seeing "bald" spots or spots where a clump of feather is noticeably missing, that isn't normal and your bird could be in the beginning stages of either disease or a nutritional issue, or in the beginning stages of feather picking.  As Anna says, extra protein may help as feathers are 88% protein and it is a lot of "work" on the bird's system to regrow feathers during molting season.  With my gang, right now seems a bit early for a fall molt.  that is something I wouldn't expect to see for another 45 days or so.  

Even though the neck isn't one of the "common areas" affected by giardia, you could have your vet treat your bird as if it did have giardia, since that is a parasite that isnt' always picked up on in tests.  Ronidazole is an effective treatment.  After treatment, if the picking hasn't improved then the bird may need a behavioral evaluation.  

Birds can pick their feathers either due to long list physical causes or psychological causes.  Physical reasons could inlude infections, allergies, food sensitivities, toxinx and liver/kidney or other disease.  Psychological causes could include boredom, too little sleep, frustration, attention-getting behavior or fear.  I've had a bird drop nearly 1/2 of its tail feathers, all on one side of the tail, when he saw the new water mister which was a little larger than the last one, plus it was a different color.  Anyhow, if the feather loss is behavioral, you want to stop it before it becomes a habit.

If there is a smoker close to the bird who handles the bird with nicotine on their hands, and scritches the bird on the neck, it is possible the bird is trying to clean itself from the nicotine and is pulling the feather out once it realizes it cannot clean them.  Trying to clean them could also make your bird ill.  That is one thought about toxins.  Also strong smelling cleaners or room fresheners can have the same affect on your pet bird, including air sac infections which can also lead to feather picking.

You see, there are so many reasons for this and your best bet is to get to the bottom of it before it gets worse, your bird's health also declines or it becomes a habit.  Only an avian vet can help there.  If you don't already have one, you can try finding one here -

Good luck!

Sarah Luvs Sammy wrote:
> My Nanday seems to be loosing his feathers....but doesn't seem to be
> plucking them out himself.  AT first it just started with the feathers on
> his head falling out and we were told it > was from him rubbing against
> something but I noticed a small spot on his neck without any feathers.  
> Is there some kind of vitamin that I should give him?
> -Sarah

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