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#62326 - 05/15/02 04:18 PM chewing feathers  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 2
sandy Offline
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sandy  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 2
What started out as a molt has progressed to my beautiful umbrella chewing off her wing and tail feathers. Is this unusual during a molt and will it stop when the molt is completed? I have given her a supplement fron the pet store for molting and I have given her everything I can think of to chew on-the last day or so it seems to have subsided and she is chewing up her wood and ropes instead-any suggestions? eek [*]

#62327 - 05/15/02 11:47 PM Re: chewing feathers  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 374
Michelle Offline
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Michelle  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 374
London, Ontario
...What I might suggest is a bed time routine? It's kind of necessary during molting period...My macaw goes to bed at 8:30 every night, and has something called "Jungle Mist" for birds on her food. Every day. It's a vitamin spray that contains Beta Carotene and Spirulina. Helps 'em get through the molting.

I may or may not be right, but that's what I'd suggest. smile

#62328 - 05/16/02 12:56 AM Re: chewing feathers  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 183
cockatoostreet.com Offline
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cockatoostreet.com  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 183
Utah
Chewing off feathers (barbering) is not usual molting behavior. It is usually the beginning of a lifetime of feather mutilation. The sooner you can try to stop it, the better chance you have of it not becoming a permanent habit. Try everything you can think of. Rotate her toys daily, give her unusual foods to eat and play with, give her things that can be chewed and destroyed (wood blocks and old computer keyboards). Do not give her any kind of attention when she is chewing. Turn your back on her until it stops.

Be sure to preen her head feathers for her. They might be itchy and bugging her since she can't get to them and doesn't have a flockmate to take care of it.

Two of our rescues (one umbie and one moluccan) barber their feathers. Who knows how long they did it before they came to our home??? It is such an subconscious habit they even do it when they are being cuddled.

My U2 snips her wing feathers off and plays with them like her favorite toy. When she runs out of her own feathers, she snips feathers off the other birds. We have tried everything! It is heart-breaking and frustrating. Who knows what causes it, but from what I have observed, its almost as if they don't realize what the feathers are for. Like they weren't raised around any other birds who could show them how to preen properly.

Also: be careful handling her in this state. When they are missing their feathers, they are off-balance and if they fall, they don't have wing feathers to help soften the fall. They can get injured much more easily.

Good Luck & Best Wishes, Cari

#62329 - 05/16/02 02:05 PM Re: chewing feathers  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 2
sandy Offline
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sandy  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
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thanks for the advice regarding feather chewing)barbering) I intend to try it all-am heading out to pet store to get the vitamin spray. I sure hope you're wrong about the lifetime mutilation. I did make her a a whole bunch of new toys whick she is enjoying and so far seems to be working. Haven't noticed her snipping off any more feathers. Was planning on taking her to have her wings clipped-guess she was trying to save me money-lol. Anyway she is still my beautiful baby-have encouraged my son to get over his fear of her biting him and last night he was finally able to get her to step up and not bite him once she was on his hand-Now when I'm at work she can still be out of her cage-which she loves. thanks again for the advice
Sandy


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