After a thorough check-up by your avian vet, bird collars are the first step in parrot feather plucking treatment. Bird collars act as a barrier to keep the bird from plucking feathers and it is highly recommended that you use them with along with a variety of other strategies. Experiment to find bird collars that your bird tolerates but that also stop feather plucking.
Experts agree that birds respond best to bird collars of similar color to their natural plumage. 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 from a variety of bird collars that match your parrot’s natural plumage to reduce stress and anxiety.
Avian veterinarians and parrot specialists consistently agree 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.
Just like people who cut themselves or pull their hair out, plucking feathers is addictive. Intense pain releases highly addictive endorphins into the body that instantly relieves anxiety. Once addicted to endorphine anxiety relief, the behavior becomes an obsessive need. That’s why caretakers turn to behavior modification to stop feather plucking.
Parrot plucking seems to occur more when there is a lot of hustle bustle or unpredictable events going on. Do a time-study to learn when your parrot plucks and use parrot calming supplements at those times to stop feather plucking. Parrot calming supplements like AviCalm, Herbal Relaxation or Pluck No More are all natural and work well. Nobody wants a "drugged up" parrot, but that can be managed too. Tinker with dosing and administration timing. Evidence shows that medicating in early morning and upon arrival home from work offers optimum results.
Parrots are exotic pets that need specialized care and environmental enrichment. They tend to become very stressed out when their physical, environmental, socialization and enrichment needs are not met, which may contribute to plucking feathers. Explore how you can meet these needs, whether it be by joining a Facebook group or doing independent research as one way to manage parrot stress.
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 and unwanted behavior in The Parrot Feather Plucking Workbook. Discover how to set up an individualized behavior modification plan specifically for your parrot. Learn how you can respond to parrot plucking so that you can promote desired behaviors and stop feather plucking for good.
It is helpful to pace your parrot feather plucking treatment by using only a few strategies at a time. Track and log all changes by date to find out which strategies stop feather plucking and which strategies actually raise parrot anxiety. If a strategy is curbing parrot plucking, by all means, continue it. However it if it makes parrot plucking worse after a few weeks, discontinue it.