Feather plucking is destructive behavior in which all or part of the feathers are pulled out. Feather plucking in lovebirds can occur for medical or non-medical reasons. In either case the behavior is alarming to pet owners and requires patience in solving the problem. While feather plucking is fairly common in lovebirds, it is a very difficult behavior to stop once begun.
Poor diet can be a cause of feather plucking in lovebirds. A diet consisting completely of seeds will cause feathers to fray and the birds to pluck their feathers. Pellets meet the nutritional requirements for lovebirds; however fresh fruits and vegetables should be added to offer variety and keep the birds interested in their diet.
Lovebirds are easily stressed, especially when left to themselves. Provide toys that can be shredded, plucked and groomed by the birds. Rotate toys every few days to prevent boredom.
Regular bathing helps to prevent dry, itchy skin; also a cause of feather plucking. Some birds enjoy being spritzed in a sink; or use a spray bottle filled with warm water to spray the birds. Bathe at least once a day, avoid drafty areas when bathing the birds.
Lovebirds often need a companion; either another lovebird or a bird in a cage set close to the lovebird's cage. Birds are highly social creatures and require companionship to fulfill the need of being part of a flock.
Parasites or mites can be a cause of feather plucking among lovebirds. An avian veterinarian can diagnose and schedule a treatment plan to remove parasites or mites.
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