After a thorough check-up, your avian vet may recommend a bird collar as the first step for feather plucking treatment. Bird collars act as a barrier to keep your bird from damaging feathers. Experiment to find the bird collar that your bird tolerates but that also discourages feather plucking. A behaviorist would highly recommend that you use bird collars with other strategies, such as environmental and physical wellness strategies and behavior modification.
Parrots need to learn how to wear a bird collar but you can make it easier on them. Sure, festive collars are cute, but an anxious bird needs to feel "normal" in its bird collar. If your parrot gets anxious with new colors, choose a bird collar that matches your parrot’s natural plumage to reduce stress and anxiety.
One thing to keep in mind, when introducing a bird collar is to take the weight of the collar into consideration. If you were out of shape and someone made you wear a heavy backpack all day and all night, it would surely through you off. Your bird is no different. Choose a lighter weight bird collar to start out with and introduce it slowly, say an hour the first day and a little more each additional day.
Make it a point to reward your bird any time it is acting calm in its' new bird collar.
Research has shown that hand-fed chicks are more prone to adult onset of anxiety-related feather plucking. These birds seem to have missed out on major developmental milestones causing a lot of anxiety. Anxiety reduction is a major component to stop feather plucking. Another way to help a parrot accept the bird collar is to introduce a parrot calming formula. This will just take the edge off.
Anything that you can do to reduce the stress your bird is experiencing will help feather plucking. A hand-fed chick that hasn't learned how to be a parrot is already super stressed out. Ensure that its environment is optimized to allow it to meet its instinctual needs. And, don't ignore its physical needs, either. Diet is very important. So is adequate sleep, exercise, and socialization. All of these accommodations will help to reduce the stress that your exotic pet may be experiencing.
Just like people who cut themselves or pull their hair out, feather plucking is addictive. Intense pain releases highly addictive endorphins into the blood stream that instantly relieves anxiety. Once addicted to endorphin induced anxiety relief, the behavior becomes an obsessive need.
Did you know that stress-relieving endorphins are as addictive as crack-cocaine?Whether you're dealing with feather plucking or parrot self-mutilation, the process is the same. Brain chemistry takes over. Here's how the process happens:
Behavioral feather plucking requires an understanding of behavior modification, something that most of us don’t know much about. Learn how to track your parrots triggers feather plucking incidents and what to do about it in The Feather Plucking Remedies Workbook. Discover how to set up an individualized behavior modification plan specifically for your own parrot. Learn how you can respond to feather plucking so that you can promote desired behaviors and stop feather plucking for good.
Your exotic pet has special physical and environmental needs that must be met if it is to thrive. We call this "wellness." Putting the time and effort in to ensure your pets' wellness will reap benefits. You'll see improvements in your pets' disposition, its health, its' happiness, and its' plumage! You'll find plenty of resources right here on the BirdSupplies.com blog. Another great resource is the UnRuffledRx Feather Plucking Help Facebook Group, moderated by a licensed behaviorist.
As parrots mature, they can easily form a sexualized bond with you that results in physical and emotional distress. Parrot hormonal season is perfectly normal, but without proper care, parrots can become chronically hormonal. Discover how to minimize chronic hormonal behavior here.
Its' hard to know where to begin with behavior modification for feather plucking, but you can get step by step help in The Feather Plucking Remedies Workbook.