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Health Articles / Feather Plucking


Nutrition alone can have a major impact on feather mutilation in very many cases. If your bird is otherwise healthy try this before visiting the vet.

The more we deal with feather plucking, feather picking and other forms of self-mutilation the more we find that many cases have nutritional backgrounds and nutritional solutions. 

However there are a number of medical conditions that will cause birds to pluck.  These start with parasites but also include diseases such as liver damage.  Where stress, environmental and behavioural issues are involved these must be identified and corrected.  Has you bird been recently stressed by a change in routine or location?  Is it getting enough sleep?  Has it been ill?

The problem with stress and environmentally induced plucking is that the behaviour often continues despite the removal of the source of stress.  Diet can often be a key factor in treating this chronic problem.  The first dietary issue is calcium.  Because calcium is involved in nerve and brain function a shortage of calcium can lead to many nervous disorders including plucking.  Often it is the key "missing" ingredient.  CalciBoost is now always a part of our recommendation for feather pluckers as it has a calming effect.

Feather plucking birds are always stressed. Because of this their digestive systems are rarely working well. Potent Brew calms the bird down by maximising gut function and improving nutrient absorption.

Finally we try to sped up the growth of replacement feathers to minimise any irritation caused by the emergence of the new feather.  We do this with Feather-Up (or Daily Essentials3) which is a very comprehensive vitamin, mineral, limiting amino acid and balanced protein supplement.

Feather-Up is designed to add to foods like egg foods or fruits and vegetables though for some fussy feeders it may be able to be fed with toast or some other treat.  If the plucking bird is only eating seed then we must supplement through the drinking water.  As this product will not dissolve we have designed Fussy Feeder Essentials to go in the drinking water.

So Feather-Up (or Daily Essentials3), CalciBoost and Potent Brew are our regular recommendation for feather plucking birds. If nutrition alone fails to fix the problem there may be a role for herbal or homeopathic remedies.  If this route, or drug therapies, are selected you must maintain the nutritional support.

Solving plucking problems may be quicker with input from a bird behaviourist. Contact  Candie Bradley for free advice:


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