Help my female cockatiel is plucking her feathers out from under her wings.

AngieL

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Can I have some advise please. She is 3 yrs old. Has been laying eggs, not fertilised. Sat on them till she came off them. Started laying eggs again, I took away nest box as she had by then started plucking. Took her to the vet, he said she looked healthy, it was possibly hormones. She eats okay, has veggies and everything in her diet. But is plucking like mad. Any suggestions please. She has a mate but they are very close but don’t mate with each other.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Hello and welcome, ok your till you believe is plucking it self, can you tell me where she is missing feathers, are there any missing from her face, neck or back of her head and neck. ok one thing you can try is anti peck spray, this gives a nasty taste to most birds that can stop them or other birds fro plucking
 

AngieL

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Thankyou for replying. She was plucking them from her gland on top of her tail, but seems to have stopped that. She is plucking under her wings. And has now started to go further into her chest. She really tugs at them and does a little scream as they come out. The vet tested for mites and she does not have any. I have purchased a full spectrum lamp today and she has sat under it if her own accord as she is out all the time. I am sick with worry about her. Thankyou again
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
the chest and under the wings an the gland are the most common places for a female tiel to pluck during the nesting period. if it was on the head ,face or neck it would of been the male causing the feather loss. when she laid what happened to her egg?
 

AngieL

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I have a bath of water for them . She hasn’t bathed since having this and I have not sprayed her. But thinking on what your saying maybe I should be spraying her. It’s a good idea. Thankyou
 

AngieL

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I’d taken away the nest box when she started to lay the 2nd time . She had started to pluck although she was in the laying cycle doing the cheep noise etc. She then layed 3 eggs altogether. She has stopped laying. I only took away the nest box because she was plucking and I didn’t want her laying and plucking at the same time in case she got worn out. Her mate is not plucking her because I’m retired and I watch them to see what’s going on.
 

AngieL

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The vet did not take any blood from her, just took a feather and checked for mites
 

AngieL

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the chest and under the wings an the gland are the most common places for a female tiel to pluck during the nesting period. if it was on the head ,face or neck it would of been the male causing the feather loss. when she laid what happened to her egg?
I have kept the egg but took it away from her.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Ok I will advise that next time you should just leave her with the eggs until she abandons them or breaks them, on reason why some birds will pull out feathers is to try to gain back some calcium by chewing on the ends, tiels when they abandum there eggs will normally break them and eat the contents. are you providing extra calcium (I prefer a powdered type I can sprinkle over the dry feed). the lamp will also help the body digest calcium. one of my cockatiels is looking a bit head shaved owing to the male but after the nesting period she recovers fully. Spraying cockatiels should be done at least twice a week. they do need to get soaked for them to enjoy the experience. you can tell when they open there wings and want more that they are wet enough. you can use a little aloe Vera juice in with the spray as this acts like a mild disinfectant and also eases irritation.
 

AngieL

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Ok I will advise that next time you should just leave her with the eggs until she abandons them or breaks them, on reason why some birds will pull out feathers is to try to gain back some calcium by chewing on the ends, tiels when they abandum there eggs will normally break them and eat the contents. are you providing extra calcium (I prefer a powdered type I can sprinkle over the dry feed). the lamp will also help the body digest calcium. one of my cockatiels is looking a bit head shaved owing to the male but after the nesting period she recovers fully. Spraying cockatiels should be done at least twice a week. they do need to get soaked for them to enjoy the experience. you can tell when they open there wings and want more that they are wet enough. you can use a little aloe Vera juice in with the spray as this acts like a mild disinfectant and also eases irritation.
Thankyou so much for your advise. I really appreciate it. I have given her calcium in her water, but as you said powdered is best. You are correct in that she is eating her feathers to gain back the calcium.
I will spray her with aloe Vera in the water and hopefully she will stop feather plucking and I will most certainly take your advise on leaving her with the eggs next time. I’m so pleased I joined this forum. It’s amazing.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
while she has lost feathers and during new growth I will advise spraying her thee times a week until the feathers have developed and only use the aloe Vera in every alternate spray. try to make the spray fall down like rain on her
 

AngieL

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while she has lost feathers and during new growth I will advise spraying her thee times a week until the feathers have developed and only use the aloe Vera in every alternate spray. try to make the spray fall down like rain on her
Thankyou. I will certainly take your advise and do this. Much appreciated
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
We are all a friendly bunch and try to help others by our own experience, this is what makes this site special, I hope you can figure how to post photos of your birds but also I hope one day you are able to help another member whom comes allong :thumbsup: :tiel::tiel::tiel:
 

AngieL

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In need of advise again please. Barney my plucking cockatiel has stopped plucking near her vent on the top of her back. Feathers growing back. Under her wings bald . She is happy, active and eating well. I have introduced oregano into her diet and sprinkled it on the boiled egg with egg shell mixed in for her.etc etc. The vet will only take bloods by putting her under. He is the only avian vet here and I don’t drive so can’t go further afield looked up on the internet and found a lab that you can send blood samples to. So I thought I could do it. Am going to phone the lab Tomorrow to see what is needed. It states they send all the test stuff to you. Can’t let the vet put her under my friends African grey died under anaesthetic. What do you think.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
yes avian biotech is whom I use, so pleased she has stopped plucking herself. the other method they may be able to use is by plucking a feather, ok doing what ever test they recommend it pays to make sure all is cleaned, you wear surgical gloves and a mask to stop contamination of the samples. if you are near the Kent area I do not mind taking the samples from your bird for you
 

AngieL

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I’m afraid I live in Newbury, Berks. But thanks. When you get the results and they may want medicine what if you need a prescription for it. Do you take it along to the vets or do they give you prescriptions ?
 

RoyJess

Regular Member
As others have said, leave the eggs in the nest until either your hen rejects them or they break. If there is any chance of them being fertile and you don't want to let them hatch, then either switch them for some Dummy eggs (and destroy the eggs before they develop) , I got a whole set off eBay for under £5 or you could carefully blow out the yokes by making a small hole in each end and then blowing out the contents and then replacing the eggs back into the nest.

You say that your hen is plucking around the vent? Birds usually pluck around the belly area, this is normal, this is so that she can then place her warm skin against the eggs to help keep the eggs warm when sitting on her eggs. It would be harder to keep the eggs warm if she didn't pluck her feathers out around the area where she will be making contact with the eggs as the feathers would provide insulation, therefore preventing the heat of the bird body from getting to the eggs.

If you have any concerns, please consult an avian vets and get some professional advice.
 
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