Understanding Why a Cockatoo Pulls out His Own Feathers

Cockatoos have beautiful plumage, which is what attracts many owners to this species. Unfortunately, not all feathered friends are so feathered! There are a number of reasons why your pet might decide to wage war on himself.

Medical causes

Feather destructive behavior can have a medical cause. Nutritional imbalances, metal toxicity, parasites, bacterial and fungal infections, and reactions to environmental toxins, like cigarette smoke, can all cause problems for your feathered friend. Even cancer can cause your pet to behave in strange ways.

There is no way to know exactly what medical problem your bird might have without visiting a professional avian vet. If your Cockatoo starts pulling out his own feathers, making a stop at your vet’s office is a must.

Emotional reasons

Although Cockatoos can’t cry or laugh, they are definitely capable of a wide range of emotions. If you don’t understand the emotional needs of your pet, he may act out by pulling out his feathers.

Not having the right toys, standing on the same perch, getting stuck in the cage for long periods of time, and even the energy in your home can affect your bird’s well-being. In order to keep your pet from plucking his own feathers, it’s important to understand his language so you can better care for his emotional needs.

It has become a habit

No matter what the original cause of your bird’s behavior, if he engages in feather plucking for a long period of time, it may become a habit. In this case, even if you solve the initial problem, your Cockatoo may continue to destroy his plumage anyway!

It’s a lot like biting your nails. You may not even know you’re doing it! In order to break your bird’s habit, you’ll have to find a way to keep him occupied by redirecting his attention.

The cause may be a mystery

After considering all these factors, the cause may continue to be a mystery. Even after extensive environmental modifications and veterinary support, some birds continue to destroy their feathers anyway. However, it’s important not to judge a book by its cover! Even if your pet looks a little bedraggled, he still deserves a lot of love!

To learn more about this interesting problem, contact your local vet for pet care tips.


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