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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow bird lovers,

I've had my cockatiel (shpoggles) for about 3 or 4 years now. I got him from a breeder when he was just a baby. Up until now I've never had a problem with him at all (health or behavioral wise). He has a lovely nature and has always looked clean and healthy.

But lately (last 3 or 4 weeks) he seems to have developed a nasty habit plucking his down out around his neck and his back. He looks scruffy and untidy and sometimes (if he doesn't know I'm watching) I catch him doing it. He is a solo bird but has lots of toys and things to do in his cage so has never really seemed to mind being on his own. The most he is ever left on his own is 4 or 5 hours while i go to work. He is a bit of a fussy eater and wont really eat much fruit or veggies (except corn and spinach occasionally) but i try to supplement this by buying the premium expensive seed that has dried fruit mixed in with it.

Its just got me totally puzzled as to why he has suddenly developed this habit just out of nowhere. I'm trying to find more and more things for him to do in his cage but obviously there is a limit. (I assume he must be suddenly bored or something). He went through a molt a month and half or so ago.. so i don't believe its still going.

I'd love some help as to what i should do about it :)
Its got me worried that he might be hiding sickness or something.

I should mention that his behavior hasn't really changed.. he is still cheerful and whistles all the time.. still loves to play outside his cage.

thanks in advance for any help you have to offer.





here you can see a bit of the problem... (its so hard to take good close up pics of it)
 

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Hi there welcome to the forum sorry to hear your having some troubles with your tiel, there could be a few reasons why he is plucking, it could be physical or psychological.

Feather plucking can be caused by disease or allergy. It can be a reaction to toxins or the result of a skin infection.
It can be caused by dietary deficiencies, such as a mostly all seed diet.
I have also heard it can be due to sexual frustration.

I think the best thing you could do for him is to take him to a avian vet for a complete check up to find out or rule out what could be causing his plucking.
 

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Hi there welcome to the forum sorry to hear your having some troubles with your tiel, there could be a few reasons why he is plucking, it could be physical or psychological.

Feather plucking can be caused by disease or allergy. It can be a reaction to toxins or the result of a skin infection.
It can be caused by dietary deficiencies, such as a mostly all seed diet.
I have also heard it can be due to sexual frustration.

I think the best thing you could do for him is to take him to a avian vet for a complete check up to find out or rule out what could be causing his plucking.

I agree. Laura pretty much answered it. An avian vet would be best so that way you can rule out some of those things. Check out food and nutrition section to get more info on other things to feed him. No matter how picky he is, don't give up since eating the right variety of things really increases their health and life span.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello again,

I took him today to the avian vet. We have pretty much narrowed it down to a vitamin A deficiency from an all seed diet (as I said before he's very fussy)... so the vet and I devised a plan to get him to eat a bigger variety of things like fruit and veg and wheat bix. He also gave him a vitamin A needle (poor little guy didn’t like that :( ) so that should start to help him along till he eats better... Apparently I wont see much of a change in his appearance till his next molt.. (6-8 weeks time)...

so yea.. that’s it pretty much.. got a really handy feather plucking fact sheet thing off him which gives me some hints and tips. To eliminate the slim possibility of it being stress the vet also said I might want to make him a little hidey hole out of PVC pipe up the back of his cage so he can have some quiet time... might try that too.

anyways..

thanks all of you for your help.
 

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Thats great that you took him to the vet and got some answers hopefully a change in diet will do him good ;)
I wouldn't recommend putting up a hidey hole for a tiel it can cause then to become aggressive he might think its his spot for mating and when there is no one to share it with he might become even more frustrated.
I would stick to the change in diet right now and see how that goes ;)
 
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