Birds may pluck at their feathers for a variety of reasons such as regular preening (grooming). This is normal bird behavior and nothing to be concerned about. Sometimes their plucking may get too extreme and they will start plucking themselves raw throughout their body. When this starts occurring it is time to take action and help your beloved bird.
Some causes of extreme plucking:
- Emotional stress
- Separation anxiety
- Infection under the feathers
- Dry and irritated skin
- Allergies to the surrounding environment or food
- Lack of fresh air
- Lack of sunlight
What to do to help your bird
There are many ways to help your bird avoid these situations and make sure plucking does not become a continuous habit. Make sure to take your bird to their vet often to get checked for any infections or parasites they may have contracted. Infections and parasites can cause irritation on or under the skin which will lead to plucking.
If your bird exhibits signs of separation anxiety such as excessive squawking and screaming when you leave the house, you can administer a calming bird supplement that contains hemp, melatonin, chamomile or other calming agents. This will relax your bird and calm them down therefore reducing the chances of plucking. Always ask a vet before administering any kind of supplement to be sure it is safe for your pet.
Make sure your bird is eating the right kind of food and getting all the nutrients they need to live a happy health life. If they are not getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients it may lead to skin and feather problems which will result in plucking.
If your bird has plucked him or herself raw and they are experiencing inflammation of the skin, you can look into administering a CBD oil that may ease the inflammation and pain.
After addressing the problems from a medical standpoint always make sure to correct the behavioral side of plucking or the habit will continue to repeat itself.