Nighttime feather snapping

Tonifrax

Agent Scully
Regular Member
Hi guys,

As you know if you've read my posts, Ollie is a plucker. Hes not too bad, mostly just his neck and then down feathers elsewhere. His diet has improved since i got him and he gets nutribal once a week in his food. Hes still a bit fussy but loves sweet potato, will eat broccoli, picks through his chop and he gets a little palm nut oil on occasion too. I dont live near an avian vet so we get all basic stuff done at the vet nearby - they are recommended by an avian vet. They quoted me a price for full blood analysis, ring removal and microchip implantation but because none of it is urgent i am going to wait and travel 3hrs to an avian vet when lockdown restrictions ease. The blood analysis is just to be 100% sure theres nothing else going on that could be causing it. He was at the vets just before i got him but id still like to take him myself rather than going off of someone elses word.

He keeps snapping his tail feathers off when they grow back in. Always during the night. Last time he did it was like a week ago now and then a couple days ago I woke up and he snapped the last one off and even a flight feather which he doesnt usually do plus there was some smaller grey and red feathers. I dont know what is causing it. It could be habit, maybe something scares him during the night etc.. Im not sure.

He gets put to bed at around 10pm or he says "go to bed" to let me know hes tired. Curtains and blinds closed. He used to be covered but he hasnt been since moving into his new cages. Parrotlets arent covered either. Their cage is next to his. He takes a while to settle then goes quiet. He has a night light as hes fallen a handful of times (when he was covered as well) during the night since i got him. I turn off the other lights in the room and leave the door open a bit with the corridor light on until i know hes settled in his usual spot. Then i turn this off and go to my room with the door open a bit so i can hear incase he falls. Sometimes i get up during the night and I can hear hes not asleep... Usually cos he poops and i hear it hit the paper 🤣 or 5am this morning i heard him moving so i spoke to him and he responded. Hes gone like a whole month between episodes of this and let his tail grow out but then just snapped it all off again. He is very attached to me... Both literally (glued to my arm just now) and figuratively. Although im here all day I put him in his cage for a while to entertain himself. Sometimes he goes in a huff and makes a really loud noise to let me know hes not happy. I ignore him. He eventually stops. He is capable of entertaining himself on his stand but if i leave the room he tries to find me and gets pretty upset about it even if im only gone 5 mins. He likes to walk along the radiator (covered with a blanket) to the door so he can see me still. If the blanket isnt there he shouts because he doesnt like to walk on the radiator without it. He gets bored of playing with his toys when hes out unless im involved somehow. Hes the same with eating.. If im not involved or standing watching him its not good enough lol. Know thats pretty standard flock behaviour though.

Otherwise he seems happy but just wondered if anyone had any ideas as to anything i can do bout the tail snapping. @DizzyBlue mentioned a sleep cage and i read the thread about that. Just wondered how that could be of benefit or if anyone has solved similar issues doing that or has any more ideas? 😊
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Hmmm looks like a distinctive lack of suggestions from others let's tag Roz she does sleep cage and can probably recommend size it should be and it's benefits
Only one of mine that had to be in a sleep cage was Henni when she had to have a large plastic collar fitted after an op it was a tad heavy for her sleeping meant as she relaxed she unbalanced so to be in the safe side she was along side my bed at night in her travel cage after a few days she had killed the collar but as she didn't touch the area of the op she went back in to her normal cage as she wasn't at all happy with being in a sleep cage just wanted to be back on her favourite sleep perch

@Roz
 

JackAndRob

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Try searching for the TP-Link 'Tapo C100' camera on Amazon. The price fluctuates but they are about £20 at the moment. It takes a micro SD card and 'loop records', overwriting the oldest recording as the SD card fills up. It can also be viewed via smartphone using the TP-Link Tapo app. It can be controlled with Amazon Alexa and similar 'smart' devices. It has an IR night mode that won't disturb Ollie overnight. It will record any movement, day and night. It records a very clean HD image (even in darkness) and a 32/64/128Gb card will record several day's/week's/month's worth, depending on how much movement it captures.

I use a handful of these camera around the house. I use a free PC program called iSpy to view/record my Tapo cameras too. Relatively easy to set up, but please get in touch if you go down this route and would like some help.
 

Tonifrax

Agent Scully
Regular Member
Try searching for the TP-Link 'Tapo C100' camera on Amazon. The price fluctuates but they are about £20 at the moment. It takes a micro SD card and 'loop records', overwriting the oldest recording as the SD card fills up. It can also be viewed via smartphone using the TP-Link Tapo app. It can be controlled with Amazon Alexa and similar 'smart' devices. It has an IR night mode that won't disturb Ollie overnight. It will record any movement, day and night. It records a very clean HD image (even in darkness) and a 32/64/128Gb card will record several day's/week's/month's worth, depending on how much movement it captures.

I use a handful of these camera around the house. I use a free PC program called iSpy to view/record my Tapo cameras too. Relatively easy to set up, but please get in touch if you go down this route and would like some help.
Aww wish id seen this before as I have ordered one already but its not the same although I assume it is similar. Was £18 on amazon. I use tapo wifi plugs and theyre great. If im not happy with the one I ordered I shall check it out as I never saw it when I was having a look earlier 🤔
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Oooo let us all know how it goes and if you'd recommend it.
I keep thinking about home security but since I am such a clutz would have to get it fitted by someone who doesn't damage themselves!
 

Tonifrax

Agent Scully
Regular Member
It was easy enough to set up although it fell off the wall at one point and Ollie said "oops" 😂🤣 but beak cam is up and running now 😄
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
Plucking/snapping is habitual unless you can stop it very quickly? Lou is in a pretty poor state despite everything I've tried and she has a night cage. This is where she does most of the damage tbh, at night! You could try some chamomile and either make a tea or add dry to food? It is calming but not a miracle. Sonu is snapping off tail feathers too, too early to tell if habitual or due to something else? He stays in his cage and is covered over. Have you tried adding some toys to cuddle up to? Sonu has a preener thing and Lou a ring thingy. They do use them for comfort. Try to relax hun it sounds like it is affecting you more than them but I quite understand why. :)
 

Tonifrax

Agent Scully
Regular Member
He has had chamomile tea before and he's got avian tea with chamomile in his chop. Hes gotten worse over the past few days which im thinking is just hormonal. I noticed some dried blood yesterday morning and i think he must have gotten a blood feather during the night. His is worst at night. Usually he snaps his tail feathers off when they grow back in and he plucks his neck/chest. I thought maybe a night cage in my room might help but i didnt want to make him even more dependant on me. I havent tried it yet but i did just order a small cage for travel. Hes been to the vet but not since ive got him. They said he had nutritional deficiencies but was otherwise fine but id rather get my own tests done as well rather than just go off of someone elses word so we are planning a trip but my closest avian vet is 3 hrs away. Will be ruling out all possible medical causes. I do think it is habitual or anxiety but Id like the peace of mind! You are right! I do worry about him a lot. Just want to make sure i do right by him 😊 I havent tried with cuddly toys, i think id be worried he'd chew them up or something :risas3:
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
Toys medium preener from the usual suspects :) about a fiver. They have been safe with my two so far.

Blood - Sonu picks in his wing pits :) so there is often a scab when he raises them. Dont think this will stop anytime soon, too used to doing it. They do get used to doing it quick hun. Chances are if hes got a blood feather there would be loads of blood, think pipe with blood in hun. Lou did this and scared the pants off me! Fortunately she has the foresight to completely remove and touching wood has only done it twice (enough times thank you!)

Sonu picking his skin under wing odd drop or splash of blood.

Be good to sort those deficiences hun, certainly wont hurt things. Most cases IMHO are ill treatment, hormones or over stimulation.

Night cage in room close by? I wouldnt go for being with you hun. Be careful as they say you reap what you sow. Good luck though :)
 

Tonifrax

Agent Scully
Regular Member
He shouldn't be deficient now as those tests were done at his old home, before he went to foster and then came here. His diet used to be terrible whereas now he is quite a good eater but we'll be doing the tests anyway just to make sure we are on the right track. They will be testing for anything that could be causing it just to make sure its not a health issue. I think it is most likely just habit at this point and started because of something else and I have a few ideas about what that could be from what i know of his previous home. His cage at the moment is in the room next to mine. I keep my door open a little because sometimes he gets night fright although he's not fallen recently. Only a few times since ive had him. He has a little night light so he can still see. Hes not really one for toys. He can be but its hit or miss. Will give it a go though! Hes been hormonal recently and the vet did mention an implant but I wont be doing that until all the tests come back. He seems content otherwise in his behaviour. If hes happy and healthy then ill be happy, naked or not 🙂
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
Hun look into the full facts re implant. Rubes had an injection and it came to light later down the line when she broke her wing that her bones are very thin. She should possibly not have had that or if she did had a supplement. Just be sure of what it is and what it does, good and bad!

Naked (partial) and happy does me hun with Lou, we are seeing that she is about the same each time of year :)
 

Tonifrax

Agent Scully
Regular Member
It does make sense for it to be worse just now as he was worse this time last year when he was in foster and then got better when he came to me so it could have been because he was hormonal but he has been moved around a lot, has been overly stimulated by an owner in the past which caused aggression etc so it could be a number of things that caused him to be this way. He could be a lot worse as well but i definitely dont intend on doing anything that ive not fully researched. Im not too keen on the hormone implant unless its last resort and im not sure his behaviour justifies it to be honest. Hes otherwise been fine. A little bit more nesty and was biting more a few weeks ago but it calmed down on its own. Hes a delight in my opinion! 🙂
 
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