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How To Stop My Bird From Plucking its Feathers – 30 Top Tips

 

How Can I Prevent My Bird from Plucking its Feathers? 

If your bird is plucking its feathers out, there are a few things you can do to try to stop this behaviour. Feather plucking in birds can become a habit.

In our last article, Why is my bird plucking its feathers? We discussed the causes.

This article will help you figure out ways to stop your feathered friend from doing this destructive behaviour.

Here are our 30 top tips to help you stop your bird from plucking its feathers out.

Stop Feather Plucking Due To Health Issues. 

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TOP TIP 1 – If your bird is plucking its feathers out and appears to be sick, it’s time to see an avian vet. A health check including blood work and X-rays may be helpful. Blood work may also show if a diet change is required. Your bird may also have lice or mites. When you notice any health changes, it is better always to see a vet asap.

How to stop feather plucking due to lice and mites.

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TOP TIP 2 – If your bird is plucking its feathers out due to lice and mites, the good news is that you can stop this. Once your bird and its environment are treated, they will stop itching and pull out their feathers and start to heal.

The products used to treat mites and lice come in a few forms. Insecticidal wash, spray, and powder. These chemicals are rather toxic, so safety precautions must be taken for your bird, yourself and any other family members and pets living in your home.

NOTE If you do not feel confident in treating your bird for mites or lice at home, please see your vet.

WARNING Always read the label before using these products on or near your bird or other pets. 

TOP TIP – 3 Here is a helpful video guide to demonstrate how to treat your bird at home.

TOP TIP 4 – The following video is a guide to help your bird stop plucking its feathers.

Stop a bird from plucking its feathers due to a poor diet.

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The bird’s diet is a key factor in preventing feather plucking. Malnutrition can lead to feather loss. Feeding your bird just seed is not a balanced diet. Birds naturally forage for their food in the wild. They can get bored from eating the same thing every day too.

TOP TIP 5 – Give your bird a healthy diet and provide it with enough water. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a bird’s diet. They contain vitamins and minerals that the bird needs to stay healthy.

TOP TIP 6 – If you have a bird plucking its feathers, you should provide them with more fruits, vegetables and seeded grasses.

TOP TIP 7 – They also benefit from shell grit, cuttlefish and mineral blocks.

Keep your birds’ environment clean.

Make sure your bird has access to natural light and fresh air at all times. Cleaning birds living space is essential.

TOP TIP 8 – The cage and contents will need to be cleaned often free of dirt, spent feathers, old food, including veggies, grasses and fruit.

TOP TIP 9 – Make sure the environment is safe. Keep your bird away from potentially harmful substances like cleaning chemicals, pesticides, or medications.

A bird is less likely to pluck its feathers if its cage is clean.

How To Stop Your Bird From Plucking Its Feathers Due to Phycological Issues.

Bird recovering from plucking its feathers out due to stress and neglect.
Bird recovering from plucking its feathers out due to stress and neglect.

As discussed in our last article here, Your bird may pluck its feathers for many reasons including neglect, stress, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, change in environment and any other behaviours that have become a habit.

If you suspect that your bird is plucking its feathers due to psychological reasons, then try providing it with more attention and giving it some space when possible.

How to stop a bird plucking feathers due to boredom.

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The most helpful thing you can do for your bird is relieving its boredom.

TOP TIP 10 – Provide it with a variety of toys, perches and different activities to do. This will keep them busy and entertained.

TOP TIP 11 –  Since birds forage for food in the wild, why not hide some delicious treats for them to find. There are also foraging toys for birds that they will appreciate. 

 

How to stop a bird from plucking feathers due to loneliness.

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TOP TIP 12 – Spending time with your bird daily will help break the cycle of feather plucking. Observe what your bird does.

TOP TIP 13 – Interacting and playing with your bird will help to stop it from being so lonely. Birds need a flock to belong.

TOP TIP 14 – Also, consider getting another bird friend to keep your bird company.

TOP TIP 15 – The following video is fantastic in helping you interact with your bird.

 

Stop your bird from plucking its feathers due to Changes in the environment, such as moving homes.

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TOP TIP 16 – Make sure the cage is large enough so the bird can fly around.

If you change your birds’ environment like moving house, this can cause your bird to stress. It may pluck its feathers out as it doesn’t feel comfortable in its new environment.

TOP TIP 17 – Before the move, place your bird carrier near its cage so it can explore and get used to the carrier being near its safe place. This will help your bird become familiar with the carrier.

TOP TIP 18 – When packing up to move, be sure to spend time with your bird and talk to it while you are moving. You can even give your bird a moving box to play with.

TOP TIP 19 – Take the cage to the new place ahead of time and set it up, ready for your parrot.

TOP TIP 20 – Set up the cage in a place that is comforting. Do not place the cage in an area of hustle and bustle while unpacking in your new home.

Stop your bird from plucking its feathers due to stress.

Stress can certainly cause your bird to pluck its feathers out. Just like humans, we can get stressed out or even depressed. Birds that have been neglected, such as rescue or adoption animals, will need a lot of special attention to help them stop feather plucking.

TOP TIP 21 – Give your bird plenty of sunshine.

TOP TIP 22 – Give your bird time out of its cage. This will help you have a happy bird that is not constantly closed in.

TOP TIP 23 – Don’t shout at your bird. Do not yell at a bird that is stressed or afraid. Many things could happen if you startle an animal. It could teach the bird that bad behaviour gets attention.

TOP TIP 24 – Slow down, please. If your bird bites you because it’s afraid or nervous, moving away quickly could make the animal even more stressed. Make sure you move slowly when you come near your bird, reach into its cage, or try to pet it.

If you are worried about your bird being stressed out, please see a vet. Birds are highly sensitive, and stress can be a serious issue to your bird’s health and well being.

Stop your bird from plucking its feathers due to anxiety/ sexual frustration.

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Some birds will pluck their feathers because they want the attention (of the love kind) from their own kind. Instead, they become highly attached to their owner.

The bird gets so frustrated that it becomes filled with anxiety and can even be violent towards other people in the household. The bird will pluck its feathers out as a way to cope.

TOP TIP 25 – A vet can give the treatment (Fluoxetine) can help you stop your bird from this behaviour.

TOP TIP 26 – The following video from Bondi Vets. This will show you a bird plucking its feathers due to anxiety and frustration.

 

TOP TIP 27 – Here is a success story about a bird named Ringo. Ringo’s owner managed to stop his cockatiel from plucking its feathers. Watch this inspiring video.

 

The last Few TOP TIPS we have to stop your bird from plucking its feathers as follows:

TOP TIP 29 – If the plucking continues even after giving your bird all these things, consider seeing a vet. An avian vet can be found here.

TOP TIP 30 – Be patient and kind while your bird is recovering. TLC goes a long way.

LAST RESORT – If you cannot cope with this situation for any reason, consider rehoming options. That way, your bird will have a fighting chance to recover with someone willing to adopt. You can find more info here.

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