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Re: Tail feathers

Posted by Karen on December 22, 2011 at 16:28:23:

In Reply to: Tail feathers posted by Allie on December 21, 2011 at 15:08:43:

Are you sure he's actually pulling them out?
He may just be in the process of molting his tail feathers. With my GCC, her molted feathers will frequently come out in her beak when she's preening her tail and they sort of stay sandwiched between the other tail feathers after they come loose. As for the picking at the tail feathers, that is normal enough if there are new tail feathers growing it - he will be preening them a lot to remove the feather sheath as they grow in.
Another possibility - most common in babies who tend to play hard and don't know how to take care of their tail feathers - is that he is breaking feathers. Broken feathers may be uncomfortable and he may chew them off above the break for this reason. While it doesnt look great, it is harmless.

Now, if he is actually pulling out tail feathers, that is something much more serious. Tail feathers are large and painful to pull out, so it's not likely to be just a behavior problem. If he's really plucking you should take him to a vet. It is likely he's trying to relieve pain or discomfort from a medical problem like an infected follicle or preen gland.

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