Feather Picking: Popular Remedies May Not Work

There are certain popular remedies for feather picking. Foul-tasting sprays applied to the feathers (Bitter Apple, Listerine, etc), grinding/notching of the lower beak to make destruction of the feathers more difficult, and use of tranquilizers have all been recommended over the years to treat the chronic feather picker. Unfortunately, none of these is truly effective. They merely treat the symptom …

Feather Picking and Sexuality

Much feather picking of caged birds results from sexual isolation and frustration. It is easy for most bird owners to subconsciously ignore the sexuality of their pet bird because, in most cases, the true gender of their bird may not be known. Caged birds do not have external genitalia other physical characteristics that would , at a glance, indicate their …

Treating and Preventing Feather Picking

From the above discussion it should be obvious that there are no quick and/or easy solutions for psychological or stress-induced feather picking. Collars fashioned from discarded x-ray film or certain acrylics can be fitted and applied. These materials create an artificial barrier between the bird’s beak and its feathers. Collars treat the symptoms (the feather picking and mutilation) but do …

Causes of Feather Picking

There are both medical and non-medical causes for feather picking. The major medical causes include changes in hormone levels, external and internal parasites, malnutrition, internal disease, and bacterial or fungal infections of the skin and/or feather follicles. Interestingly, and con” to popular opinion, external parasites (mites in particular) are extremely rare among caged birds. The non medical causes are psychologic …

What is Feather Picking by Lytle Vet

What is Feather Picking?

What is Feather Picking? Feather picking is an obsessive, destructive behavior pattern of birds during which all or part of their feathers are methodically pulled out, amputated, frayed, or in some other way damaged. This behavior often prevents normal feather growth and emergence. Molting is the normal physiologic process by which old, worn feathers are lost and subsequently replaced by …

parrot preening its feathers

Feathers and Preening

Feathers and Preening  Feathers have a variety of functions: flight, temperature regulation, protection against environmental and climatic extremes, and courtship displays (colorful feathers, selective erection of certain feathers, etc). Without feathers, wild birds could not survive. Therefore, careful and regular attention to the feathers and their condition is vital. The process by which a bird grooms itself is called “preening.’ …