Five Drug-Free Solutions For Your Feather-Plucked Parrot

Posted on: 20 June 2016

Companion parrots may pluck their feathers out of boredom, stress or nutritional deficiencies, and this habit may lead to infection if not caught early on. Treating a feather-plucked parrot with drugs may cause side effects, but fortunately there are natural ways to deter this behavior or treat a parrot that is prone to feather plucking. Holistic methods for conquering this problem are the use of dietary supplements, topical aloe treatments and providing a safe and stimulating environment for your pet to prevent boredom. Once your parrot has been examined by an avian vet to rule out any medical issues, try the following five solutions to discourage feather picking or help stop the habit for good:

1. Offer Your Parrot a Nutritionally Sound Diet

Unfortunately, some new parrot owners are under the assumption that a fortified seeded diet is sufficient for their feathered friends. Companion birds need a variety of foods to keep them healthy, however. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be added to your bird's diet daily, and you may also add a protein source, such as a small portion of chopped hard boiled egg a few times a week. Feeding your bird nutritious food will help ensure proper feather growth. Healthy feathers are less likely to become chewed or plucked.

2. Provide Stimulation for Your Feathered Friend

Caged birds that have no social interaction with their human counterparts or those without stimulating toys and activities are more likely to pluck their feathers. Reduce the risk of boredom and feather picking by offering your bird time out of its cage daily with interactive and safe bird toys, as well as bonding time with its owner.

It's a good idea to buy a play stand or parrot gym with multiple perches and a hook for hanging toys. This will allow your pet time out of its cage to play and be entertained each day under your supervision.

3. Try Natural Aloe for Your Feather-Plucked Parrot

If your parrot is affected by feather picking, you'll want to provide some soothing relief and healing. Aloe has natural healing properties and a cooling effect. You may find an aloe spray at your exotic bird supply store. Follow directions and apply the aloe to help promote healthier plumage. 

4. Consider Chamomile to Calm a Stressed Parrot

If your vet believes your parrot's feather plucking is due to stress, you might consider chamomile tea as a remedy. Offer a diluted amount in your parrot's water bowl. Alternatively, you might try misting your bird with a mixture of cooled chamomile tea and water. As your parrot preens its feathers, it will ingest the chamomile. This tea may calm your stressed parrot and prevent the urge to feather pick. 

5. Witch Hazel Applied Topically

Pour some witch hazel in a spray bottle and mist your parrot's feathers. Apply this to the area your pet has feather-picked. This solution will act as an astringent and soothe irritated, itchy skin, while it promotes healing. Contact a veterinarian like one from Clayton Veterinary Associates for more information.