Self-Mutilating African Grey Parrot Question and Answer 06/06/2018
I purchased a collar for my African Gray, Spanky, and she’s been wearing it for about a month now. I’ve had her confined to the bottom of her cage since she doesn’t seem to be able to climb on any perches and I’m afraid she may fall.
She just had surgery under her wing since the treatments for her mutilation have not totally worked. We’re afraid that she might have to wear a collar all of her life (she’s already chewed the velcro at the top) and I’d hate to think that she won’t be able to ever be on a perch up high again.
Could you tell me your thoughts on this….. Will she ever be up on her perch, has any bird ever been able to not wear a collar after mutilation, is there a way that the collar won’t get in the way of her feet?
What we know about self-mutilation is that it turns into an addictive process that is very hard to completely stop, but it can be managed. Long story short, self-injury causes changes in brain chemistry and it is addictive. Research tells us that there are 4 main ways to manage mutilation and often, they need to be applied together. First the collar. It acts as a barrier. But also, exploring both environmental and parrot husbandry care is important. The most effective way to manage mutilation is to develop a behavior modification plan.
Let me know what you think!
- Diane Burroughs, LCSW