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Bird Feather Plucking

I have a 9-month-old African grey and he has started plucking.

Q:  I have a 9-month-old African grey and he has started plucking. We have two other birds and all are on pellet diet. We mix a couple different kinds of food together. We also feed fruit and veggies. I bought some medicene to put in his water that is called Pluck No More. When we are home they are out of their cages - we leave a light on and the radio on. When we are gone they have a lot of toys to play with. Can you please tell me if we should be doing anthing different? We did take him to the vet when we first brought him home and was told that he is in very good health. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have been thinking of selling him because I do not want him to suffer.

Jean Pattison explains feather plucking in African greysJean Pattison, also known as "The African Queen," explains:

It appears you are doing all the right things. Some birds have had good success with Pluck No More, so I would follow the directions and use it to see what happens. Definitely do not sell your bird because you seem to think he is suffering. This is what we humans think, but plucking does not mean the bird is suffering. Many happy, fun loving birds pluck.

Please see the answer about the 10-month-old African grey name Paco, as it will apply to your bird also.

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Reader Comments
Nice to know! I feel so bad for pluckers.
Terri, Ozark, AL
Posted: 6/15/2011 1:11:21 PM
A lot of single birds "preen" more than grouped birds. Grouped birds play more. I sometimes think, that because we buy our greys as pets.... greys NEED to be kept busy, they get bored. And alone, well, what else is there to do except "preen".
JR, Lockport, IL
Posted: 3/6/2011 7:38:31 PM
stephanie, no smithfield, RI
Posted: 9/27/2009 12:50:06 PM
My 4 year old Gray just started plucking (right by her crop) as I had her clipped for only the second time in her life. She seems to be bothered by the conventional cut as the cut-shaft is chewed on, (starlike appearance). I now will find a groomer that cuts the newer way. However, what do I do in the mean time to keep her from plucking?
Heike, Minneapolis, MN
Posted: 2/3/2009 12:43:24 PM
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