The Grey Roost

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Feather Picking

Feather picking is a complex problem with no simple solution in many cases. Most owners are devastated when a bird starts to pluck. They have an overwhelming feeling of failure on the birdís behalf. Owners feel it must be something they did or didnít do.

With that said, the first thing you must do is take the bird to the vet to rule out any health issues. Your vet will test for infectious disease, allergies, endocrine/reproductive disease, toxins, Giardia, external parasites, hypothyroidism, low blood calcium levels, skin infections, dietary deficiencies, diseases of the organs and tissues and a properly working uropygial gland.

After the medical issues have been ruled out, then you can check your environment for changes or upsetting things that might have started this issue. Greys are more cautious then other species being they are ground feeders in their native land and always on the look out for safety reasons.

While we might have taken them from the wild, it will be many more generations removed before we take the wild out of them.


They are aware of subtle changes in their environment. Whether it be different curtains, new toy, or placement of the cage, this is something only you can assess. Note changes you make around your grey so you can quickly identify the new danger he/she has spotted, and remove it, if it causes problems.

Note changes in schedules to see if that can be the route of the problem. If you spoil your baby for the first few years, and then a new interest comes into the picture, that can cause emotional issues with your highly intelligent and sensitive grey.

I am a firm believer in a routine. I can see the difference with my own greys if I stray from it from time to time. I always tell new parronts not to spoil their babies too much if they arenít prepared to do it for life.

After all is said and done, sometimes we as owners may need to accept the fact that the bird may always pick, and just to love them for who they are.

Here is a wonderful site that talks all about feather picking.

Feather Picking Website