In captivity, however, a plucking bird can be a sign of veterinary or environmental problems. If you suspect that your bird has been plucking its feathers, the best advice is to get your bird to an avian vet as quickly as possible. If the vet determines your bird to be free of PBFD or other medical problems, then your bird's plucking is most likely due to an environmental issue.
Birds that are stressed will pluck as a means of pacifying themselves, and sometimes out of boredom or lack of interaction. To determine if there is an environmental cause for the bird's behavior, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the bird eat a healthy diet? A nutritional deficiency can stress a bird to the point of plucking and other self mutilation. If you find that your bird's diet is less than spectacular, try mixing it up a bit by adding some fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
- Is the bird's cage clean and comfortable? Birds are hygienic animals by nature, and a dirty, unkempt cage is detrimental to their mental as well as physical health. Check out your bird's cage to see if better housekeeping is in order, and if so, make a point to address it promptly.
- Does the bird get enough attention and mental stimulation? Parrots are highly intelligent and social creatures. They crave interaction with their flock members, and will sometimes pluck if they feel neglected. Evaluate the quality time that you spend with your pet and make sure that you are providing your bird with enough socialization, interaction, and play.