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To Owners of Feather Plucking Parrots

February 15, 2010

To those whose parrots feather pluck, frustrations surrounding this problem are many.  Starting with “why?” and then rippling on to other questions which may never be resolved.

I brought Phoenix into “the flock” in November 2008.  After a thorough avian veterinarian exam, I was given the green light that physically, all was well.  The vet talked a bit about administering drugs to calm him, hoping to stop the plucking.  However, I opted out of that plan.  

Phoenix looks about the same in this picture …. and he probably always will.  I don’t know what initially caused his plucking, and I can only guess what his past 20 years were like.  He’s here with me now.  And that’s truly all that matters.

Now, to the point of this post.  There are certain issues that the care-giver of a feather plucked parrot must address … such as controlling the temperature in the cage area, and quickly drying the parrot after baths.  However, this evening I was presented with an issue that I had not thought about:  Without feathers, parrots lose some of their ability to balance properly.   

Phoenix’s cage is 5′ tall, and this evening while cleaning cages, he was out and about on the top of it.  My back was turned to him, and I heard a “thud.”  I turned to see him struggling to right himself after falling onto the floor.  Tomorrow I’ll be placing old blankets around the legs of his cage – protection in case he falls again. 

So, take extra precaution when your parrot is out and about.  Remember that they’re missing feathers.  And the ability to properly balance.

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