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Male Cockatoo Ripping Out His Feathers!

Our cockatoo has begun ripping out his feathers and we don't know what to do for him. He has always been a happy little guy, but all of a sudden he began this bizzarre behavior. Does anyone have any suggestions? We've tried everything we can think of - letting him loose around the house; Talking to him more; Even got him a bigger mirror for his cage - but he's still yanking feathers. HELP

9 Responses
155531 tn?1189759424
He might not be getting enough attention, or he's lonely.
Birds sometimes pluck when they are depressed.
I know they are expensive birds, but try getting him a mate, or devoting more time to play with him.
Theres not a veterinary cure for this.
Let me know if it help.
Avatar universal
If it has just happened recently it may be due to Spring and his hormones going crazy because he thinks its time to mate.  We have a male Cockatoo who started pulling out his feathers and biting his leg so bad he would bleed.  The vet said that he was nothing but testosterone with feathers.  In order for him to not think it was spring you need to make sure he gets at least 12 hours of darkness a day.  Put him in a carrier in another room and cover him up.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for the great information and suggestions!  We are trying to devote more time to our little, almost featherless friend.  We're going to try to find a mate for him, but you are right when you say these birds are expensive!!   We're also going to talk to our Vet tomorrow re: whether she thinks a mate will be acceptable.

Thanks again for the great info!

Avatar universal

my bird store suggested for our birds.  Bach Rescue Remedy and hemp seed.
Avatar universal
the bird store that we go to suggested BACH RESCUE REMEDY and hemp seed for our birds.
Avatar universal
Hi BK,

I own a pet store and we breed, board and sell birds.  After many years of research and hands on activity with birds, I've come to the conclusion that feather plucking is sort of like nail biting in humans.  I have never seen a bird recover from it.

Some birds pluck every single feather they can reach; some pluck only in certain areas.  Some birds pluck to the point of self-mutilation and, in that instance, a collar is necessary to save the bird.

Birds are a flocking species.  They are programmed to be around and interact with a flock or many other birds of their own species.  I believe that this is the reason some birds pluck--their instinct is to be around many other birds and they don't know what to do, they get nervous and confused and, since they are in a cage alone most of the time, they start plucking.

I don't know if your bird is alone during the day, but I would suggest that the best way to keep a bird from plucking is to have it with you 24/7.  They seem to mostly pluck when they are alone in a cage.  By my saying "having the bird with you," I mean ON you, WITH you, and not in the cage.  

Hope this helps!
Avatar universal
These birds can become notorious pluckers,, mostly from non interaction,, I suggest you google plucking and cockatoos and read up on it
605540 tn?1220134669
You might want to check  this site
They have allot of good information all about cockatoos.
I do have to inform you some of the memebers on that board are very rude.

I my self have 3 cockatoos Lesser sopher crested, Umbrella, and Molucan
They spend all they out on there play stands.
At night they get one on one time with me before they go to there cages to sleep.
I would love to hear from you.

good luck with your Too.
730826 tn?1317946934
Often birds will pluck when there is change. If he lost a partner or companion, or even if there was a person in his life he saw on a regular basis,oh is gone or not there as often,  this could be the source. I left my bird home with my husband for a month and he stopped talking and plucked his feathers out. I know someone who has a bird that was given to her to help solve the plucking problem and she just cant seem to get him to stop completely. He will be ok for a while and they will all grow in and then he'll pluck again. You can try putting polysporine or vaseline on him, coat him good. This isnt a long term solution though but it will help while its on.

Find out the source of the problem such as needing a mate.  All the best.
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