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Discussion Starter #1
Okay I have noticed over the past few weeks that Sammy would often start screaming her head of every time she was preening her back feathers. I thought this had to do with her touching the new blood feathers with her beak, last week however I was watching her and noticed that she actually pulled out one of her blood feathers. Everything made sense now, she was plucking out her feathers... but why?

With a mad dash, I hurried onto the computer to see what were the causes of feather plucking. Bad diet, can't be it because they are all on a Harrison's bird diet. Lack of toys, not because I have plenty of toys for her to chew and play with. Loneliness, I don't think so because she has two other Cockatiels to interact with and I give them all love and affection everyday. Lack of exercise, No because I take them out of the cage everyday and I actually provoke them into doing flapping exercises with there wings.

Okay so this didn't help me but I found another thing stating that it maybe because of the powder down which could be irritating her. So I have been giving her like baths everyday, though she has stopped screaming when preening her back I noticed a large gap in her back feathers.

I really don't know what to do to help her, I'm unable to take her to my avian vet because of lack of money. Does anyone have any ideas that could possible help me to prevent her from plucking more of her feathers out?
 

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Oh, I wish I had some helpful advice for you.
 

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I'm sorry to say this, but I really think you need to find a way to get her to the vet. Will they take a payment plan? That looks like self mutilation to me, not just plucking. You really need to rule out medical causes.
 

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I'm unable to take her to my avian vet because of lack of money.
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You really should take her to the vet...no excuses. Part of bird ownership is responsibility for their care in health.

A vet can do some tests to see if the problem is from an intestinal infection such as giardia. Other causes for plucking as she is doing is allergies to the ingredients in food consumed. She may be on what you feel is a good diet, but it may not be good for that specific bird.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't think it was that bad, but I don't care if I don't have money now I'm going to try and get to the the vets today if I can. I really don't want to lose her.

Thank you for the help
 

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Good luck at the vets :) The plucking is definitely an indication of a problem.

Some things you can ask your vet about is giardia with hypovitaminosis E, or the start of Chronic ulcerative dermatitis (CUD) in regards to health.

If it is a diet allergy, you would have to eliminate one food at a time for several days to see if she stops plucking. Foods that contain corn can cause allergies. Some birds are sensitive to synthetic vitamin sources in foods.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I rang the vet clinic and the earliest appointment I was able to get is at 10am on Wednesday morning.

If she was allergy to something in her diet, wouldn't she be plucking in more places then just her back? also this problem started I think about 2 and half months ago and they were all being feed a proper diet a couple of months before that.

I feed them Harrison's bird diet, carrot, silverbeet, pumpkin, broccoli, zucchini, bok choy, parsnip, spinach, apple, banana, pear, soaked seeds, Cockatiel seeds (sparingly) and sometimes cooked brown rice and hard boiled egg. So I wouldn't consider that as an unhealthy diet for Cockatiels.

I don't think it will be the food, it is best to find out from the vet then to just guess. I will make sure to write down everything that might help the vet like food and environment and also I will be sure to ask him about giardia with hypovitaminosis E and Chronic ulcerative dermatitis.
 

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I'm glad you got her an appointment! I hope it's an easy fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah I hope so too.... though I know she wont be all to happy with going to the vet clinic again.
 

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If she was allergy to something in her diet, wouldn't she be plucking in more places then just her back?
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Good question. If a food allergy she would be plucking all over her body. What happens is the allergy causes an intense itch under the skin and the bird plucks to relieve the itch.

Also giardia will cause itching over several areas of the body. Common places are under the wings along the legs, shoulders and chest....many times where the blood supplu (veins) are nearer to the surface.

If she is plucking in the one area then there is a possibility of CUD, which the vet can do a culture of the area, to see what bacterial growth is causing the problem to the area.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh I hope she doesn't nick a vein whilst she is trying to relieve the itch, last visit to the vet clinic confirmed that she is slightly Anemic, so it will not help.

I'm now glad that you told me to make an appointment because it could get bad pretty quickly. I guess hope it doesn't get any worse between now and then.
 

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I hope you get to the bottom of it. Please give an update after your vet visit on Wed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh I will be sure to give an update after I get back from the vet clinic.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Okay here is an update on Sammy.

The doctor did a faecal exam and a Diff Quick stain and came up with nothing, so he isn't all to sure what is making her pluck her feathers. Because Sammy is in good health, apart from the plucking, he made an appointment for next week to have a blood test, x-ray and whatever else that needs to be done.

I also got an appointment to have my other two Cockatiels to have an annual check-up, just to make sure they are also in good health.
 
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