How Archie Got His Feathers BackIntroduction

Meet Archie, an adorable Green Cheek Conure that had been through a lot. That is until he found Jibriel.

When Jibriel first brought home his GCC, Archie, he knew he was starting at ground zero. For one thing, at the tender age of 7 months, Archie had been rehomed twice.

In his old home, Archie started plucking his chest feathers. This was a big problem. Archie was also very shy and got scared easily. It made it hard to hold him or teach him things.

The Challenge

Archie's feather plucking before


As Jibril entered the pet store, his eyes locked onto Archie, a colorful conure perched in the corner. There was an undeniable pull, as if Archie was silently asking for a forever friend to take him home.

"When we got Archie we were shown his chest which was plucked and also told he ha been  returned to the store twice. The first owner just didn't have enough time for him and the second time the owner had a cat and that's when we were told he started his plucking."

Jibril understood that Archie had been through a lot of loneliness and fear. Knowing Archie had been rehomed twice, Jibril was determined to earn his trust. He transformed Archie's new home with plenty of toys and positioned it in a sunny spot. Jibril also took Archie to the vet for a thorough check-up and sought recommendations to address Archie's plucking issue

A veterinarian suggested a bird collar to stop the plucking cycle. He also suggested some dietary changes to improve Archie's overall health.

But Archie's reticent nature was hindering his ability to adjust to wearing the collar. He would spend the whole night trying to get it off, and things were starting to go downhill from there. Jibril knew it was time to try some home remedies to help Archie overcome his nervous plucking.

Archie had started to pull out dozens of feathers a day. That’s when Jibril reached out to for a consultation.  “I decided to contact you about tips or ideas to help Archie, hoping to solve this issue.”

"I learned about from two ways. One was from the recommendation of my vet and the other was just viewing online forums and seeing your products used by many people." 

Jibriel wanted to interrupt the plucking cycle with a bird collar as the vet had suggested, but Archie was having none of it.

What We Did

First, we interrupted the feather plucking cycle with an appropriate bird collar

One of the first things that we talked about was using positive reinforcement to help Archie cope with wearing a bird collar. 

Over the next few months, he patiently tried a couple of different bird collar designs to find a style that suited his bird. Between the positive reinforcement and finding a collar that Archie liked, Archie's demeanor calmed down.

"As for clicker training it was somewhat difficult at first because he wasn't very responsive to the stick. clicker, or treat."

Second, we improved Archie' nutrition, exercise, and sleep routines

Archie had no idea about normal parrot behavior like playing, exploring, and foraging. He was becoming a "couch potato," suffering from boredom. He'd spend the whole day quivering on his perch.

We wanted to solve the plucking problem once and for all. So we decided to try to discover the root cause of the plucking. Jibriel and I  talked about how research shows that the most effective way to achieve long-term results for feather plucking is by improving parrot health and wellness and what that means.

Jibriel was determined to get Archie’s diet back on track. He began feeding Harrison’s Bird Food and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. He also taught Archie how to forage for food, which occupied him throughout the day.  And, he increased Archie's social interactions and exercise by getting him out of the cage every day. 


Infographic by Diane Burroughs, LCSW

Third, we used positive reinforcment to teach natural parrot behaviors to help Archie thrive.

"This is tough! I did it though and it worked!” Look at Archie now!"

We thought about ways in which a rewards-based system can really help encourage a variety of natural behaviors in the parrots, all while providing enriching activities for the bird’s well-being and staving off boredom.

Jibriel ‘stepped up to the plate’ by rewarding Archie with positive reinforcement for behavior he knew would be good for his bird. But, perhaps even more importantly, he avoided rewarding Archie for the feather-damaging behavior.

Archie after he healed from feather plucking

In Closing

Sure, the right collar can stop feather plucking. But, there is more to resolving plucking than just a bird collar. Jibriel’s green-cheeked Conure, Archie, was plucking for months before Jibriel discovered the root cause that nipped the problem in the bud for good. He boosted both parrot nutrition and enrichment.

But, Jibriel didn’t stop there.

Look At Archie's Feather's Now

So, Jibril implemented a variety of parrot wellness strategies, including the effective use of home remedies for feather plucking. Through positive reinforcement, he witnessed a remarkable transformation in Archie's behavior, leading to the growth of new, beautiful, healthy feathers.