Feather plucking in birds

2 min read

Feather plucking in birds - Vetster

Feather-plucking is a behavioral disorder that is sometimes also called feather-picking. It is commonly found in captive birds who chew, bite or pluck their own feathers with their beak. It causes damage to the bird's feathers and sometimes their skin. The most commonly pecked or plucked areas are the neck, chest, flank, inner thigh and underside of the wing.  Feather-plucking is a habit in captive birds that can hard to cure. More commonly seen in parrots and cockatoos but it can happen in any bird.

Causes of Feather Plucking in birds

There can be many contributing factors for a bird to develop a feather plucking disorder. To treat a bird for feather plucking, it is very important to identify the potential underlying causes that could be contributing to the behavior. These causes can include:

  • Skin and feather diseases (such as feather cysts)
  • External parasites
  • Stress and jealousy
  • Lack of environmental stimulation
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Malnutrition
  • Heavy metal poisoning (such as zinc)
  • Insufficient natural sunlight and fresh air
  • Hormone changes
  • Systemic diseases such as liver disease, cancer

Treatment of Feather Plucking in Birds

Feather plucking can turn into a non-reversible habit if it is not treated in time. Treatment for underlying illness conditions and creating a stimulating environment for your bird can be cornerstones in the management of feather-plucking behaviour. In some cases where indicated, your veterinarian may prescribe medications to treat underlying conditions and assist with behavioral modification.

Concerned about feather plucking in your bird? Schedule an appointment with one of our veterinary professionals today at https://vetster.com/ for advice and to learn more about your pet’s wellness.

Book online vet feature photo

Time for a check-up?

Start a video chat with a licensed veterinarian right now on Vetster!

Book an online vet