Leg Picking & Beak Banging

Posted By: Lulu's Mom

Leg Picking & Beak Banging - 12/06/17 09:25 PM

Within the last week, Lulu (who is actually a Louie - thanks DNA test!) has begun picking at his left leg, right where his fluffy little leg feathers end. He stands with his leg extended, leans over it and rapidly scrapes this one spot with his lower beak, over and over and over. It's pitiful. The feathers have a little dried blood stain on them from where he has scratched himself raw, or has scraped himself on something. Either way he can’t seem to leave it alone. When I attempt to distract him from doing this to himself he displays and has even lunged at me and banged his beak on his cage. He also does it while he’s perched in my lap or on my leg.
He has a few oddball behaviors like toe licking and even toy licking when he’s tired, but this is disturbing me. He will let me touch his legs and feet, so I’ve cleaned the spot and applied a dab of Neosporin.
Last night he seemed on edge, and he’s been aggressive toward the little dogs and my spouse moreso than usual. I had to intervene when Louie dove off his play spot on the couch and tried to go after the hubs, who was sitting on the other side of the room holding one of our pups. He’s very full of himself lately and refuses to let anyone touch him besides me. Won’t step up for anyone else. Is this a hormonal thing or what? I know that this time of the year is rough for these parrots.
Has been getting his 11 - 12 hours of darkness and sleep, no changes to the environment or diet. I ruled out possible skin irritants from household cleaners - I don’t use them anywhere near the birds, and their covers are washed with an irritant free laundry detergent.
Posted By: RB2sMom

Re: Leg Picking & Beak Banging - 12/06/17 10:54 PM

We had problems with Hannah picking at a place on her leg. It seemed to irritate her, then she would pick at it and we would find blood on the perches. It was not a hormonal thing , just an injury of sorts. We had to board her at the vet for almost a week while he treated her and bandaged and rebandaged her as she would not tolerate a cone. It finally healed and she never picked at it again. They will pick at injuries or irritated areas like we would scratch mosquito bites, etc.
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Leg Picking & Beak Banging - 12/07/17 01:41 AM

Didn't you just take him to the vet and had blood work done? Was it the left leg that the vet drew blood from? I would give the vet a call even if to just give a heads up that it seems to be bothering him. Maybe he has a small hematoma.
Posted By: Lulu's Mom

Re: Leg Picking & Beak Banging - 12/16/17 04:13 AM

Heyo all, life’s gone sideways a bit lately. Why oh why does it happen during the holidays?
He’s still scratching and picking at dry skin. I haven’t seen any more blood, and since applying raw unprocessed shea butter to his toes and legs every few days he’s been doing it much less. Added benefit to massaging the butter on his feet is he gets used to me doing stuff to his toes. The beak scratching also seems to be an idle self-soothing behavior.
He had the blood taken from his right leg, so no possibility of a hematoma.
Susanne, that experience with your RB2 sounds horrible. They’re more than a bit obsessive compulsive in nature aren’t they?
Just getting a handle on those quirks is a steep learning curve in itself.
I’m keeping my eye on him, but I think this is just a minor thing that my tendency to worry has blown up!
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Leg Picking & Beak Banging - 12/16/17 01:46 PM

Have you tried using pure aloe on him? If you mix some organic aloe juice with filtered water and spray/mist him with it, it just may help with his itchy skin. After going back and rereading the post I've noticed something that you may not be aware of. You say that you used non irritant laundry detergent and have not used any cleaning chemicals near the birds. Keep in mind the laundry detergent is made for humans. Try washing their things in white vinegar. It cleans safer than any chemical and is almost like using bleach as far killing germs. No laundry fabric softeners or sheets when you dry them. Also look at what are you using to clean the cages, rag vs paper towel vs scrub brush and what cleaner. I can't use most of the "bird" cage cleaners because they flair up my allergies with sneezing and asthma. Water works great to get rid of poop and again vinegar as a cleaning solution. I use 1 cap full in a spray bottle filled with water. When he is perched on your leg or lap is he sitting on your clothing? You may want to wash a separate towel without chemicals and keep in your lap when he's sitting with you. And your hands will transfer anything that you have been using from cleaners to lotions onto him. Sounds like a lot but it may just help you figure out what he's reacting to or if it's indeed a behavior. Best of luck hopefully it clears up on it's own soon.
© 2018 Real Cockatoo Facts!