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    Why do parrots pluck their feathers

    ArticleParrot AdviceSaturday 08 January 2011
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    Many parrot owners will have owned a parrot that, at some point in its life, turned to plucking its own feathers, a problem that can be disturbing for the owner and ultimately unhealthy for the parrot. So what are the causes of this compulsion, and how can it be resolved?

    • Often, parrots will pluck their feathers as a result of disease – which could in itself be a result of malnutrition. Make sure your parrot gets the right nutrients and is on a stable, steady and healthy diet.
    • One of the biggest reasons that parrots develop the urge to constantly pluck their own feathers is depression. Depression in parrots can be a result of insufficient light, so make sure your parrot gets enough sunlight.
    • Depression can also strike a parrot through boredom. Your parrot needs to have a good-sized cage and plenty of distractions in order to prevent it from getting so stir crazy that it begins to pluck its own feathers. Also, don’t let your parrot get lonely – if buying another parrot to keep it company isn’t an option, make sure you spend plenty of time with it yourself.
    • A good way to distract a parrot from plucking its own feathers is to place a cheap mop head near the top of its cage/swing so it will pluck the mop head rather than itself. Sounds silly but it works!
    • Finally, if a parrot insists on plucking itself, particularly in a certain area, it could be evidence that the parrot is experiencing pain or an infection in that area, so you should take it to a veterinarian in order to determine how the problem can be resolved.
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