Bird

Get Answers to Bird Care Questions. Ask a Bird Specialist.

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Bird

My lovebird has begun pulling out feathers all around the neck

Customer Question
area. Nothing has changed...
My lovebird has begun pulling out feathers all around the neck area. Nothing has changed in our household or the food. Is this serious? Is there something I should do?
Submitted: 9 years ago.Category: Bird
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Bird Question
Answered in 3 hours by:
10/12/2008
Bird Specialist: August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist replied 9 years ago
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7,633
Experience: Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
Verified

My biggest concern with this symptom is that one died already. If you haven't done so, get Adam to a vet this week and have a DNA/genetic profile done.


For things to screen for: Avian Polyomavirus; PBFD/Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease; Pacheco’s Disease (and in some circumstances, Chlamydophila/Psittacosis)


You can see more about these tests here: http://www.healthgene.com/avian/agp2.asp



Avian Cholera (Pasteurellosis) is transmitted via inhalation or ingestion of infected material (food, water, discharge, dirt/droppings/dust). DNA testing can detect chronic or early infection, especially when samples are submitted from blood, choanal and cloacal swabs.


Knowing the sex of the bird is important because females need more calcium, especially if they begin egg laying. It’s also important to curb egg laying, which can and does happen without a male or any other bird around.


When you have a female bird it’s good to know so that you can quickly identify odd behaviors or symptoms of illness that may be egg binding or Dystocia. These are often life threatening conditions if not treated by a vet within a few hours.


Males might become more aggressive and territorial, but these behaviors could also be associated to a variety of other illnesses that need quick treatment to insure survival.


Find an avian vet near you http://aav.org/vet-lookup and


http://veccs.org/hospital_directory.php


Another very productive search site is


http://www.vetwebdirectory.net/index.php?option=com_mtzcssearch&template=2


These days, with birds growing fast in popularity as in home companions, many DVM’s are quite experienced and able to see and treat many birds. If you have a pet store that sells birds or know of any bird breeders – ask them who they use for their bird care.


When it comes to the feather loss, while it might be related to the health issue that claimed your other lovey, it could also be nutritional:



Nutritional issues accounts for up to 90% of feather plucking problems according to some published veterinary medical studies and research. Some feather plucking that begins as the result of physical cause such as this or any one of those mentioned above, may end up a ‘habit’ – and once it’s a behavioral issue, it’s even more difficult to stop.

For more about the right nutrition for healthy feather and an overall happy bird take a look here www.4Animalcare.org/birds


Sleep deprivation may also contribute to this (and sometimes increased screaming and nipping). You may want to try establishing a separate sleep cage in a room that’s quiet with dim lighting - or offer the bird an opaque cover in their present cage, keeping the sounds and activity down in the house while it’s in sleep time.


Birds need 12 hours of sleep time, preferably the same hours every day. For example, if you tend to get up at 7 a.m. every morning, try to put the bird to bed at 7 p.m. every night and make it your priority when you get up (don’t leave them covered/in sleep cages while they can hear you up and about or it will only lend to their frustration and possibly stress levels).


Regular 12 hour sleep hours also help curb mating behavior, including egg laying.


Cage bound and unchallenged birds will self-mutilate. Does it have enough real wood to chew and shred? Enough room in the cage to fully turn around, side to side and upside down without (what would be his/her) tail feathers touching any side? Does the bird have three different sized perches of different materials? Rope perch, natural wood perch and 'rough' perch for nail and beak grooming. Make sure the perch near food dishes and higher up are the most comfortable ones since they will be using it more.


We have our rope and natural wood perches on the same level with the rough perch just a tad down from them.


Does your bird get to spend at least two hours out of cage every day? The average bird owner has their companions out on average for four hours (we found this very refreshing). Ours are out for at least 7 hours.


Back to the subject of food: A rule of thumb among avian veterinarians is a predominantly pellet diet with seeds, nuts, fresh fruits/vegetables/legumes and grains supplemented daily. We give them whole multi-grain oatmeal with cut up apple and/or banana in it for breakfast every day (just add warm water to the oatmeal, no need to fully 'cook' it) and their mid-day meal of whole wheat couscous and whatever veggie in season (choose the darkest greens like kale, collards, broccoli, etc).

www.spca.bc.ca/AnimalCare/birdcare.asp


and

www.thebirdbrain.com/html/foodforus.cfm?category_id=4&subcategory_id=22

provide more information and professional nutrition ideas.



Cuttlebone and mineral block are also essential, not just for the calcium, but for the outlet to bite and scrape their beaks.


Keeping the bird misted every few days with warm water (out of drafts of course) is also something that may help. Many birds enjoy sharing the shower with their people :) We'd just recommend that you use only baby safe products on yourself for this shower to reduce any possibility that the bird is harmed from regular soap/shampoo.

It sounds like you care a great deal about Adam and with your staying on top of things, being observant like you are, I believe you've caught this early enough to have a quick and successful outcome. Good job with him (or her) by the way.






August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7,633
Experience: Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
Verified
August Abbott, CAS and 87 other Bird Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask August Abbott, CAS Your Own Question
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7,633
7,633 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author

August Abbott, CAS is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Thank you so much!!! I love this service. It has given me peace of mind and extremely valuable information at an affordable price 24/7 to care for my beloved pets. THANK YOU

LindaCenterreach, NY

I found my experience with you to be very positive. Not only did the vet answer my question thoroughly, he left me with a better knowledge to follow up with my vet.

MarilouEast Taunton, MA

I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there.

Alice H.Jacksonville, Fl.

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

August Abbott, CAS

August Abbott, CAS

Certified Avian Specialist

7,633 satisfied customers

Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author

Anna

Anna

Bird Expert, Biologist

1,332 satisfied customers

Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.

Dr. Pat

Dr. Pat

Avian Veterinarian

621 satisfied customers

25 years as avian-only veterinarian

Joan

Joan

Vet. Tech.

96 satisfied customers

Vet Tech

Dr. Angela

Dr. Angela

Bird Veterinarian

77 satisfied customers

Member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians. Extensive avian clinical experience.

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

49 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

Theresa

Theresa

Veterinary Technician

28 satisfied customers

Several years experience in handling, care, and health of our feathered friends

< Previous | Next >

Related Bird Questions
My amazon parrot has her head tilted down and not pooping,
My amazon parrot has her head tilted down and not pooping, seems weak and her wings are like lower. She cries when you reach to touch her … read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
7,633 satisfied customers
Loss of feathers under my male cockateils neck. I see him
loss of feathers under my male cockateils neck. I see him picking at it and he picks and screathes under his wing but i'm not seeing any other bald spots. One answer a=was vit A another was Parasites?… read more
Heath Wilkerson
Heath Wilkerson
ER/ICU & Exotic Animal Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
46 satisfied customers
I have a Senegal parrot, he's 2 years old. I have him since
Hello. I have a Senegal parrot, he's 2 years old. I have him since he was 2 months old. He's a great parrot but when I take him out from the cage, at first he's very lovely but later he starts attacki… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
7,633 satisfied customers
My mothers 2-year old has had watery diarrhea for a few
My mothers 2-year old has had watery diarrhea for a few days. Eating same food, never leaves cage (Mom is 93, so doesn't handle him too often) … read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
7,633 satisfied customers
I have a budgie that i've just adopted from some friends of
i have a budgie that i've just adopted from some friends of mine who've had him for about 7 years. until a couple of days ago he was very lively chirpping all day long and flying around the room (i no… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
7,633 satisfied customers
All the feathers are dull and no feathers left on the head,
All the feathers are dull and no feathers left on the head, took them to the Dr and she checked for mites and run a all type of test, check all over the body and said they were very healthy, she said … read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
7,633 satisfied customers
ONLY, PLEASE! I just opened up a new question thread. Baxter
ANNA ONLY, PLEASE Hi, Anna! I just opened up a new question thread. Baxter is doing considerably better today. I syringe fed and medicated him this morning before work, just to be safe. I did notice h… read more
Anna
Anna
Bird Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
1,332 satisfied customers
Cockatiel is very weak, staying in the bottom corner of her
Cockatiel is very weak, staying in the bottom corner of her cage, can hardly walk … read more
divealot1
divealot1
DVM
6 satisfied customers
FOR ONLY PLEASE So ... Baxter is still turning in circles
FOR ANNA ONLY PLEASE So ... Baxter is still turning in circles and a little wobbly--which I expect right now. He ate decently last night. Today, he's taking treats but that's about it. My concern: He … read more
Anna
Anna
Bird Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
1,332 satisfied customers
Our duck has labored breathing and is lethargic. Daffy. He
Our duck has labored breathing and is lethargic. JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name and age? C… read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,228 satisfied customers
My parakeet just started falling over and i don't know y she
My green parakeet just started falling over and i don't know y she is a old bird she ben around four about16 years or longer … read more
Scott Perry
Scott Perry
Veterinarian
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
1,228 satisfied customers
My cockatiel has very dark nostrils, but otherwise, seems
My cockatiel has very dark nostrils, but otherwise, seems fine … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
We found him at the bottom of his cage. He looks very weak.
We found him at the bottom of his cage. He looks very weak. He cannot fly and fell when he walked to the edge of chair. He is making clicking noises. His poop looks normal. … read more
Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
544 satisfied customers
Our budgie is breathing than usual and has been since we got
Our budgie is breathing harder than usual and has been since we got home. I'd say probably all day. He currently has his head turned towards his back to sleep.but he's usually active at this time. He … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
My daughter just told me one of her chickens didn't move for
My daughter just told me one of her chickens didn't move for most the day and had to be placed in the coop tonight. I didn't feel any egg stuck in the vent, but there seemed to be a lot of feces stuck… read more
Anna
Anna
Bird Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
1,332 satisfied customers
I have a bantum that is about 5 months old. He acts like he
I have a bantum cock that is about 5 months old. He acts like he cab … read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
I have 2 parakeets (around 2 months old) and i got them just
Hi, i have 2 parakeets (around 2 months old) and i got them just a few days back. this is our first pet ever in our life... i wanted to understand what kind of food should i give to parakeet... on a r… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
Since 2014 the birds would always come to me I put my hand
since 2014 the birds would always come to me I put my hand in cage a give the water no problem within the last tow or three weeks they just started biting me sometime drawing blood don't know what goi… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
7,633 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x