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Matricalm for Birds

For stress, anxiety, behavioral problems in birds

USD $44.95
Matricalm for Birds USD $44.95 Add to Cart

Why is My Bird Plucking His Feathers?

Pet Care Tips 3 min read
Why is My Bird Plucking His Feathers? Three parrots perched on branches together.

If you have a feathered companion, chances are you’ve heard of, or sadly have experience with feather plucking or feather picking. It is important to answer the question “why is my bird plucking his feathers?” in order to help them stop.

Why do birds pluck their feathers?

Feather plucking behavior is also known as pterotillomania. This is a behavior exhibited only in captive birds. Birds like parrots are very social animals in the wild. Due to this, they require much socializing and entertainment to live a life that meets their needs. Nearly all factors that lead to this behavior are related to the quality of life the parrot is receiving (or has received in the past).

Many people forget that parrots and birds are not domesticated animals. Due to this ignorance, often miss the telltale signs of anxiety and neglect needs. We may cause enough anxiety that they begin to self-mutilate in this way. Underlying medical conditions that affect the skin are another reason birds pluck their feathers. Examples are environmental situations such as allergies, dyes, and preservatives in food, not enough rest, and lack of natural sunlight and enrichment items.

When a bird pulls their feathers, the adrenal glands release adrenaline which eases anxiety. The bird then associates anxiety relief with the feather plucking and begins the vicious cycle of self-mutilation.

Is feather plucking related to stress?

Feather plucking is most definitely related to stress. Common stressors are environmental changes are enough to induce stress. Here are some examples:

  • Nearby construction
  • New people or pets introduced to the house
  • Moving to a new home
  • Changing the location of your feather friend’s cage

Some ways to help ease stress for your feathered friend would be to provide a quiet and peaceful space.

Some ways to help ease stress for your feathered friend would be to provide a quiet and peaceful space.  Do not ever use a round cage, they require corners to retreat to should they need downtime. Provide some favorite foods and treats and spend quality time with your little one. We also recommend our supplement, NHV Matricalm for birds. It is a vet-formulated blend of herbs to help alleviate overactive nerves and create a sense of calm.

It’s important to note the toll that stress can take on your feathered friend. Stress can cause your bird’s body to flood with adrenaline. If there is too much adrenaline, it causes high blood pressure, obesity, and adrenal gland fatigue. Though unlikely to pass away immediately from said symptoms, they can contribute to premature death.

Is my bird molting or plucking?

Molting is our feathered friends’ version of “shedding” like our fur friends! Molting is when your parrot loses its old feathers and grows new ones. A parrot will undergo this process for about 2 months and this will happen about twice per year. They develop “pin feathers” from the skin follicles that will slowly grow into new and beautiful plumage.

Feather plucking is not related to molting at all. It’s a behavioral condition that is not natural for your feathered friend.

Molting can be very uncomfortable however and our Matricalm for Birds is a great remedy to help ease some of the tension around this.

Parrot bending over to pluck his own feathers. Why is my bird plucking his feathers?

How to stop a bird from plucking its feathers

The first steps are to ensure their home is full of direct sunlight and that they’re provided with a lot of enrichment. Toys and other visuals such as a nature show on tv are easy ways to add enrichment. Spending quality one-on-one time is always important to enrich your bond and the happiness of your feathered friend.

There are cute little sweaters and collars available to make it so your feathered friend cannot pluck their feathers. They may not like them at first but they will help give your parrot’s body a rest from plucking and allow for it to heal. Plus, they look really cute. However, be aware that if the conditions causing the plucking are still there when the collar/sweater is removed, the plucking will continue.

What supplements do you recommend for a bird that is plucking?

We recommend providing supplements such as Matricalm for birds to help ease nerves and anxiety and promote a sense of calm. NHV Multi Essentials for birds is a great way to supplement their diet to fill some nutritional gaps and it encourages healthy organ function. Milk Thistle for birds is a great way to improve liver function which is a very common issue for captive birds. Milk Thistle also helps improve the overall health of your parrot’s plumage.

If you have any questions about our supplements, don’t hesitate to contact one of our pet experts by clicking on the button below!

Pet Expert Anna

Pet Expert Anna

Anna has been in the pet health industry for a total of 22 years, in a wide variety of roles. She’s a lifetime pet owner and currently shares her life with 2 large and giant breed dogs, 2 cats, and an Amazon parrot! She’s a passionate advocate for animals to live their most healthy and happy lives, she strives to learn all that she can about pet nutrition, treatment for specific health conditions, and all facets which lead to overall wellness. Contributing to her overall knowledge as a loving pet parent is her certification as a Professional Pet Food Nutrition Specialist. Next on the agenda is completing the Raw Dog Food Nutrition Specialist program, in order to add to the vast knowledge which she has already gained.

Published: June 15, 2022

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