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African Grey overcomes plucking problem

Parrots magazine 170, March 2012

Lyndsey Jones from Yorkshire tells of her personal experience with a feather-plucking parrot, and how with loads of support, and a little misinformation, he overcame the problem.

Scooby, our African Grey, came to live with us, because his previous owner developed Tinnitus (a ringing in the ear), just two months after getting him, as a baby. But, almost straight away, he began plucking and chewing his feathers. I didn’t know what to do. My specialist subject is guinea pigs, which I rehome, and I knew nothing about parrots.

I read up as much as I could on the Internet, something which I shouldn’t really have done, because it made me feel worse. I ended up thinking that maybe he didn’t like living with me, or he wasn’t happy in his surroundings, even though I gave him loads of attention, and he had bags of toys that he liked playing with. I just couldn’t work out what was wrong. I left him for a week, to see if he would settle in and stop doing it, but it didn’t work. By the end of the week he had no red tail feathers left, and all that remained on his body, was fluff in the areas that his beak couldn’t reach.  

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