Very Dry Skin, Any Ideas?

Bebe suffers from ridiculously dry skin, and we're running out of ideas. There is obviously the usual birdy dandruff that Gary sheds, but when Bebe ruffles her feathers there is practically a bird shaped cloud coming off her.

Bad points..... They both (coincidentally) have uropygial glands that don't work. She suffers from anxiety and has OCD behaviours. She is a plucker. She has chewed an area in her wing pit to the point of sores, which will tentatively heal, but she won't stretch her left wing as it must pull on the sores, and twice now she has taken to flight in a panic over something and ripped the skin open again. Due to her anxiety issues, we (vet included) would prefer to avoid making her wear a collar. This afternoon she has been scratching and preening again as usual, and I noticed another dry patch on her leg with a little wound where she must have been so itchy she chewed.

Good points.....There is an air purifier/humidifier in their room. They have spray baths. Their diet is good, including foraging activities. There is no underlying health problem, other than her mental health. They have an abundance of toys. When we're home (evenings and weekends as we both work), they're out of their cages.

Bebe is 'my' bird, but when it comes to trying to look at her wing she turns into a she-devil. She allows me to touch it, but senses when I want to try and actually do something and warns me off. And again, due to her anxiety issues, I don't want to risk the trust she currently has in me.

If you've read this far...well done! If anyone has had a similar experience, or had any ideas, please share!

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Regular Member
Avifood Spray do one for irritated skin which I have used a little on the naked chicken. It contains Aloe. Lou's (naked chicken) gland didnt seem to work when she came last year, it looked a bit dried up and sad. It works now! Diet, diet, diet!I thought it was infected so got the vet to look see and he said it was working by giving a squeeze and I bathed it with warm water/cotton wool for a little while. It seemed very black and lumpy then.

Work on Bebe being your bird re trust when you need to look at it. You need confidence and assurance to her that you won't hurt her but need to see. Always give a favoured treat afterwards so she knows that mummy is pleased she has been a good girl.
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Staff member
Try growing your own aloe vera plants and squeeze the sap out of the plump leaf add to a spray bottle of tepid water shake and spray with that. It's what I use for Henni my nudist. No plant food for the plant though don't want to be passing that on!
Henni gets a couple of sprays a week with it and she has clean water baths in between anything you spray on a bird will coat feathers / skin and irritate the bird eventually as they know something is coating them regardless of what it is makes them want to clean it off so rinse off every couple of days with fresh clean water.
Thank you all for your replies. For some weird reason I've only just seen them, I kept checking but I couldn't see responses. Probs me being dozy! Anyhoo, I managed to get a photo of under her wing which isn't nice, but will show the extent of the problem. I've also taken a pic of her leg which has also started to become worse with the dryness. I'll be trying with the aloe, but I've got to work with her to gain more trust because she's so sore.

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Has your vet done a skin scrape or sellotape stick to check under a microscope?
That's a good point, but in the very first instance when she chewed, they did all kinds of blood tests and scans and examined her skin to try and find a reason behind it. Fortunately/unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a physical reason for it. Other than horrendously dry skin. The self harming did stop, but the area of the wound was awkward and because of her mental health issues, she was already a plucker, which gave the vicious circle of overly dry bare skin unprotected by feathers. She preens her itchy skin....etc....and it goes on.

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To be honest I have no idea but try to think what I would do if this was Lucy, all I can think of is increasing her oil intake ?
That's also a good idea. They have Palm oil and coconut oil regularly, and are given oily nuts such as walnuts also regularly. If anyone knows of a different oil they could have as an alternative?

Thank you all for your input so far, there is always a good chance that something one of you does as 'normal' would be an einstein moment for us!

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