5 Supplements that May Help Feather Pluckers

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5 Supplements that May Help Feather Pluckers

Feather plucking is a common behavior found in pet birds, including parrots, in which the bird damages or pulls out its feathers. There are also some cases when birds will bite off, chew, strip or barber their feathers. All these feather damaging behaviors are a very frustrating problem for both veterinarian and the bird owner. Even in an ideal setting for your pet parrot, depending on the season or year, it is not uncommon for birds to exhibit some kind of feather damaging behavior. Sometimes this feather plucking behavior can be related with some upsetting event such as the owner not giving the bird a specific food item, the perfect toy, or going away for the weekend. Most cases of feather plucking behavior are progressive. The parrot may start with one part of the body such as the chest, but starts to damage other areas such as the legs, back, wings, neck, or abdomen. Feather plucking can also become a habit for your bird. 

Parrot Vitamins

In many cases nutrition alone can have a major influence on your parrot’s feather plucking. If your parrot pet bird is healthy otherwise but keeps plucking its feathers you may try using vitamins and nutrition supplements. Feather plucking is a form of self-mutilation behavior that has  a nutritional background, in many cases.

Growing new feathers is taxing on the body. Feathers are mainly composed of keratin, which is an insoluble protein made of amino acids such as leucine and tyrosine, as well as sulfur. The nutrients that are most commonly associated with feather disorders are vitamin A, calcium and other minerals, protein, and essential fatty acids. Mineral deficiencies, particularly calcium, sulfur, zinc, magnesium, and silicon, lack of fiber in the diet, and insufficient vitamin A may lead to dry and itchy skin that cause a bird to pluck. Your avian veterinarian can easily do tests to find out if your bird is deficient on vitamins and nutrients.

In feather plucking parrots, we  may also need to minimize skin irritation and assure proper nutritional intake for the regrowth of replacement feathers. Feather-in soothes irritated skin. For this purpose it is recommended to use a feather growth supplement such as Featheriffic in addition to an avian specific daily daily vitamin to insure your bird receives essentials rich in mineral, vitamins, and balanced in proteins. If a plucking parrot is eating only seeds then we need to supplement its diet with a product that easily dissolves in the drinking water. If your pet bird is also eating vegetables and fruits, you can use a supplement designed to be added to solid foods.

Besides the nutritional causes that lead to feather plucking, there are.also several other factors that may cause your parrot to pluck. Some of them include environmental factors, stress, behavioral issues, not getting enough sleep, as well as medical conditions and diseases such as liver damage and parasites. Feather plucking may continue even if the source of stress is removed. A key factor in treating this behavioral chronic issue can be a healthy diet. Calcium plays a major role in proper function of the nerves and brain.

Calcium

Calcium boosting supplements can replenish this missing ingredient in your parrot’s diet. For this reason, a calcium booster supplement is always recommended for its calming effect in case of feather plucking behavior. Calcium supplements designed for parrots like Cal-D Solve or ensure a high bio-availability, meaning that the calcium they contain can be easily absorbed from the bird’s gut into the bloodstream. Always  check with your avian veterinarian regarding how much calcium to offer your parrot. Sometimes a high early dose will ensure a proper calcium reserve in the bones of calcium deficient parrots.

Toxicity

Among other factors that may cause feather plucking are metal toxicity allergies, nutrient mal-absorption, nutrient imbalances by deficiency or excess, internal or external parasites, dietary or environmental toxins, organ malfunction, hormone and endocrine imbalances, lighting environment, yeast infection, bacterial infection, Chlamydia, reaction to antibiotics or other drugs.  System DeTox Herbal Drops are a natural solution to detoxifying the liver and other essential organs.

Probiotics

Another recommended nutritional supplement against feather plucking behavior in parrots is a calming product for their digestive systems. Because birds who are plucking their feathers are stressed their digestive systems also don’t work well. A digestive calming product can help improving nutrient absorption and maximize their gut function.

Ensuring the right dosage for your parrot’s nutritional supplements is crucial when treating the feather plucking behavior. It doesn’t matter much in what carrier food you add the supplement, what matters most is to make sure your bird is regularly consume the prescribed dosage. Over the long term you’ll achieve consistent results. In case that your parrot does relapse and start again its feather plucking behavior you can simply reload its diet with the proper supplements.

Stressed parrots may have a reduced blood supply to the digestive system and this may lead to chronic digestive upset and many other complications. Liquid or powder probiotic supplements can help rebalancing the digestive system and have a positive impact on feather plucking parrots. Birds on a pellet diet may also experience problems because the minerals and vitamins added to these pellets are not enough to compensate for normal levels. Some pellets may be missing essential enzymes because they are destroyed in processing.  Most avian vets recommend supplementing pellets with protein, green food, nuts, seeds, vegetables, or fruits, which are found in a wild birds’ natural diet. Supplements especially designed for birds may help correct the nutritional imbalance.

Amino Acids

Feather plucking birds are also likely to be deficient in sulfur amino acids. These nutrients are in short supply in seeds and plants, so you will need to add them in supplements in order to help your bird growing new feathers. Supplement products that contain these sulfur amino acids can be sprinkled over all kind of bird foods, such as vegetables, fruits, seeds, egg foods, toast or other.

Feather Plucking Rescue Pack

In conclusion, providing the proper vitamins and supplements for your parrot will help maintaining a daily sustained nutrient load, a measured amount of the same macro and micro nutrients. Detox products can also help avoiding some food allergies. You can find a wide range of such vitamins and feather plucking supplements on the Bird Supplies online store.  Check their large supply of vitamins and feather plucking supplements and choose the proper ones for your feather plucking parrot.

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  • Diane Burroughs