One of the most dangerous conditions that can happen to a bird is having a feather plucking problem. Your birds can suffer from minor plucking, which can escalate to a severe case of self-mutilation.
Why birds have to go through this? Different causes can trigger plucking. One of the most common is if they are going through depression. Yes, birds can suffer from this mental state for various reasons.
Reason for plucking
Birds can get stressed over the food they eat. If they are not getting enough nutrients, it can affect them to the point where they mutilate themselves. Balanced nutrition must be incorporated into their diet.
For pets that are living in captivity, they spent most of their time on cages. It is their home. It needs to be clean all the time. Exposing your birds to a dirty environment can trigger a drop in their immune system. It will start with a little itching here and there due to bacterial exposure.
Birds need attention. You cannot expect them to be giddy and happy if they are always left alone on their cages. Keep them happy so they will not turn to a weird habit of plucking because they are bored. Spare some of your time for them. Make sure that there are toys that they can play with.
A bird needs enough rest to maintain a healthy condition. Their attitude changes when they are sleep deprived. You will see that they easily get irritated, and they tend to be aggressive. It is not just towards other birds but even to people around them. Continuously feeling this way can result in a plucking condition.
Birds are a companion that we can have for a long time. They are also very trusting. Once they developed a bond with you, expect it to last forever. You will be their person. There are cases that losses happen. When birds are left behind by their person, they fall into depression. The same as humans. When people feel lost and empty, it gets into their heads, and sometimes it results in pain infliction.
Beauty beyond looks
Once birds are diagnosed with feather plucking ailment, even with the presence of medications, it will be hard to treat. It creates a scar not only physically but mentally as well. Most birds that have gone through plucking have a high tendency of relapse.
Aside from medical help, they are badly in need of emotional assistance. They need our help to get through it. Acceptance is the first step if you want to help your feathered pets.
Whether we admit it or not, their colorful and radiant colors are what attracted us to them. Now that they lost the glow on their feathers and the beauty is gone, it is up to their person to accept them.
Losing interest in your birds should not be an option. You are responsible for them. Therefore, you played a big part in how they end up with the condition that has irreparable damage. Learn to accept what they have become and move forward. It is not a time of guilt. Your birds should be able to feel that you are there. This is the best way to avoid relapse.
The worst thing that you can do to a bird that has suffered from feather plucking is to be embarrassed about them. Don’t keep them locked and hidden at home because you are scared that people will laugh at you. It will worsen the case. They need to continue living the way they should.
Road to Recovery
Through essential support, your birds can recover from this condition. You need to take care of their health. Here are some of the things that can help them get back on their feet.
Due to a bird’s popularity these days, experts have developed supplements that can help our pets. You can get an avian specific vitamin. Check with your veterinarian, which is the best vitamin that can be given to the troubled pet. The prescription will help them grow the feathers they have lost. I am not saying that it will be quick as growing the feathers back takes time.
Skin and feather spray
Birds that are in a healthy condition often suffer from dry skin. What more do you think of a bird that is recovering from plucking condition? It will be harder for them. You must get a spray that can moisturize their skin to promote better feather growth. Depending on the spray you will get, it can also heal scratches and abrasions caused by plucking.
It is an important part of a bird’s balanced diet. Calcium is known to help bone growth and shell those eggs for hatching. Little did we know that it can calm down the nerves of our birds. If they are not feeling anxious, then their state of mind will be in a better condition. But before you give your pets a daily dose of calcium, check with your vet first. You don’t want to end up giving them too much of it. There is also a condition known as calcium overdose.
This supplement is used mainly to improve digestion. As for birds that have suffered plucking, there is a big chance that they have an upset stomach. There are specially made probiotics for these birds. You can choose from liquid or powdered probiotics. Check with a vet, though, to make sure that you are giving the most suitable help for them.
Birds that are recovering or going through feather plucking are commonly stressed, anxious, and aggressive. Though drugs are not recommended for birds, sometimes we have no choice if we want to keep our birds safe. Don’t worry. There are calming medications for birds that safe for their delicate bodies. The intensity of calming supplements is divided into 3 categories.
- Gentle calming – This supplement is based on chamomile products. This is recommended for birds that are still on low anxiety levels. If you notice that your birds are still on the scratching and itching period, you can try to use loose chamomile and make tea for your pet. There are supplementary herbs too that are available in the market.
- Moderate calming – Feather plucking condition can escalate quickly if left untended. Birds that are already on the screaming level accompanied by mild plucking should be given a moderate calming supplement. Green tea is best used in these situations, or you can ask a vet which calming supplement is suitable on this stage.
- Intense calming – The intense stage is when you can see your birds mutilating themselves. This time, you would already need those medications prescribed by a doctor. Also, you need to prepare a leash that you can put on the bird to get it under control.
Birds need our love and affection in whatever condition they are in. A beauty of a bird is not just defined by the colors of their feathers. Their true beauty is reflected in how we stand by their side despite losing their elegant coats. Open your heart and see that whatever they look like, they still have beautiful souls.