A Collection Of Supplies for Feather Pluckers & Self-Mutilating Parrots
Before BirdSupplies.com, founder Diane Burroughs had always been a lover of all animals, bringing in unwanted dogs and cats or rescuing strays and giving them a loving home. This love took on a new direction and passion later when she discovered the personalities of parrots. Out of this love also grew a hobby-turned-business of caring for parrots and helping other bird owners care for theirs. Thus in 1998, BirdSupplies.com was born.
Through her love and passion for parrots, and role as LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and behaviorist, Burroughs worked on common physical and behavioral problems that plague parrots.
Some of the common inquiries that desperate bird owners brought to her had to do with common but unpleasant and even dangerous behaviors in their birds, like feather picking, screaming, biting and self mutilation.
Birdsupplies.com still sticks by one motto:
[ If I wouldn’t use it for my own parrot problems, I won't sell it. ]
An Educational Flock
During this time Burroughs' own birds were also growing, and she had the opportunity to learn a lot about parrot behavior and their individual, unique problems. She had realized that each one of these intelligent birds develops unique personalities, and the advice she had to give customers grew out of this learning.
She collated data from her research and came to certain conclusions about the issues related with feather plucking and mutilation, and how to fix the problems at the root.
Instrumental in helping Burroughs learn about how to deal with feather plucking and the self mutilation that it often led to was the contribution of Peachy. Peachy is an 18-year-old male Moluccan Cockatoo that went through a series of behavioral problems and feather picking issue caused by a fungal infection. Burroughs helped Peachy leave his bad habits behind, and learned a lot in the process. It is this learning, supported by first-hand research and solutions based on that research, that she passes on to other bird owners.
First-hand Knowledge to Help Feather Pickers and Self-Mutilators
Desperate parrot owners who are seeing feather plucking for the first time may have heard from their vets that it is caused by inflammation, itchiness, lung conditions, allergies, trauma or a host of other conditions. A feather picking behavior can also be caused by boredom, not have enough space for flight and not enough exercise. This can lead to an over-preening habit that is very hard to break. Even worse, pluckers can turn to chewing their skin and self-mutilation. These are habits you don't want to see in your birds.
BirdSupplies.com also tries to prevent birds from going down this path. If your bird has been displaying signs of plucking, Burroughs and her team of vets and assistants can help to remedy the habit in scientific ways. Even after you have removed or improved the circumstances that led to the plucking in the first place, the habit of feather plucking can be hard to kill.
Thankfully, there are wonderful inventions out there to keep your bird from picking his chest feathers. The Elizabethan collar is a very common recommendation by vets. These collars look like their namesake - cone-shaped collars (with the cone cut off) like the ruffled collars worn in Queen Elizabeth's England. These collars are typically worn with the cone pointing away from the chest. They create a barrier between the bird's beak and chest and prevent feather plucking.
The UnRuffledRx Bird e-Collar Collection
BirdSupplies carries three different types of soft bird collars for mild, moderate and severe plucking. Mild plucking damages feathers occasionally, in a tiny area. Moderate levels of feather picking leads to bald spots and a higher frequency of plucking, or literally pulling the feather out by the shaft. Severe plucking is the alarming stage when not only are there almost no feathers on the bird, but he has damaged his skin as well.
For mild pluckers, soft and plush bird collars are best. Thicker collars used under several soft layers work better for moderate pluckers. Severe feather pickers do best with a stiff collar that prevents the bird from obsessively reaching its feathers and skin with its beak.
You can find these items and more, such as calming supplements, feather picking kits, feather conditioning supplements, books to understand feather picking and more.
Remember, a plucker can slowly sink into self mutilation. In fact, research shows that 1 in 10 pluckers progress to self-mutilation. This is the fear Burroughs has for the Moluccan cockatoo Peachy. He is a plucker, but he could just as easily turn into a self mutilator. Since he has a large beak, Burroughs uses the stiff, "severe" style of collar for keeping Peachy safe from self harm when he is sensitive.
Don't ignore your bird's feather picking. Browse the BirdSupplies.com website, contact them for advice, and remedy the problem as soon as possible.
From Our Birdie Blog
This handsome parrot is Peachy modeling one of our Birdie Bandana's from the UnRuffledRx Boutique range! Send us pictures of your parrot doing something cute or using our supplies so we can add it to our gallery!