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August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7608
Experience:  Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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FOR AUGUST ABBOTT: August - We are having an issue with

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FOR AUGUST ABBOTT:

August - We are having an issue with Verdi plucking the feathers off the back of Saffron's head. This is fairly new behavior (within the past month) and sometimes results in a red, slightly bloody patch of missing head feathers. As sisters these two often get in small spats that include squeaking noises but they have never hurt or injured each other until now. What we really don't understand is why Verdi would do this to Saffron, as Verdi has always played the "big sister and protector" of Saffron, making sure she is "safe" at all times. We showed our Avian vet the damage a couple of weeks ago and she informed us that it was really nothing compared to what some birds do to their "friends or mates". We are very disturbed by this behavior and also wonder why now, after 2 years together (unless it has to do with Kate's feather plucking behavior). She seems to like to do it in front of us like it's a game. Saffron is so low key that she never really complains about it.

Can you shed some light?

Sue and Ed

Hello,

I'm Camille, and I’m a moderator for this topic. I sent your requested professional a message to follow up with you here, when they are back online. Unfortunately I do not know when this may be, as the professionals come on line as they are available. You don't have to stand by, you will get an email telling you when you have received a response. If I can help further, please let me know. Thank you for your continued patience.

Best,

Camille

Hello Sue and Ed! Remind me a bit more about what you're feeding in the way of fresh foods and a base diet

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We have kept them on an organic pellet and seed diet supplemented with freeze dried veggies and fruits.

Thank you Sue.

Sleep deprivation may be behind this and possibly contribute to this (and sometimes increased screaming and nipping). Are the chickie girls getting at least 12 hours of sleep time, preferably the same hours every day?

It's also 'that time of year' and nature is dictating that they have a mate and babies. It's possible this is just frustrated over grooming in a 'mate-type' of way.
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Another thing to look at is calcium levels. Is there possibly intake of a food that leeches healthy calcium from the body? A big offender is spinach. A reasonable amount is along the lines of once or twice, even three times a week along with other foods and not binged on

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I know how you care for your flock - no one is more ideal in the way of caregiving that you and Ed provide.

Remember our frequent discussions of how all birds relish attention? In their little birdy brains, like most toddlers, any attention is 'good attention'.

Are you reacting when the over-grooming begins or continues? It would be almost impossible not to

Other than advising to keep seeds to a minimum and push the fresh stuff as I'm sure you are -- let's try ignoring the behavior, increasing distractions, increasing dark, quiet sleep hours to 12-14 and I'll stand by you all the way.

You've been remarkable people and have gotten this flock through some impossible times. There are no two better people to share a home with 4 lovies. You always amaze me



August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7608
Experience: Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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