How to Cut Stress for Feather-Picking Birds

Did you know feather plucking is one of the leading causes of vet visits for pet birds? Birds like to clean themselves just like other animals, but their behavior can become obsessive due to stress or their environment. Read on if your bird is taking his feather picking too far.

What causes feather picking?

Feather picking can be the result of a medical condition or stress. Your first step should be to check with your vet to rule out any medical issues that may be causing or contributing to the problem. If it’s not caused by a medical condition, it may be due to stress or an environmental issue.

To help your bird, offer the following:

  • Varied Diet – Do you vary your bird’s diet? Is it nutritionally sufficient? Offering a varied diet not only helps your bird avoid boredom, it also fills his dietary needs. In addition to seed, offer pellet food, fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Stress-Free Environment – Is your bird’s cage in a noisy area? Move it to a less stressful room for some quiet time, especially if your bird’s not getting enough sleep. (Parrots need 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep.) Not keeping your bird’s cage clean can also cause stress. If the cage spends more time dirty than clean, you may want to step up your cage cleaning schedule.
  • Mental Stimulation – Birds can be very intelligent and social. Think of them as small children who get bored quickly. For mental stimulation, get your bird a variety of toys and rotate them every one or two weeks. Focus on activity toys like swings and ladders, puzzle toys with food, and toys that can be torn up. These will keep your bird stimulated and also allow him to work off any frustration!

Start these good habits early to avoid feather plucking and help your bird live a long, healthy life. For questions or recommendations on bird food or bird supplies, visit Pet Supermarket.