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When Did Your Qp Start Plucking?


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34 replies to this topic

#1 Andrča W.

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 08:26 PM

Hallo To All The Mum & Dad's of QP Plucker's & Picker's ~

I would like to create a thread where you can all compare notes about the age your QP(s) started this behavior. I think it would be helpful to the newbies (And not-so-newbies *Raises Hand*) to have more informations about QMS as well as plucking.

So here are the 10 questions ::

1.) At what age did your QP start?
2.) How long has your QP been plucking/ mutulating?
3.) Did you ever determine the cause? (And what was it.)
4.) What treatment(s) have you tried?
5.) Which was the most effective?
6.) What is the health status & feather status of your QP today?
7.) If you found out another person had a QP just start plucking what would be the best advice you could give?
8.) What has been the most difficult aspect of dealing with this?
9.) Was the QP a rescue, hand-fed, parent raised?
10.) Describe the environment that your QP was in when the plucking started, and any changes you've made?


#2 Majj

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 09:31 PM

Not got the problem but here are a couple of good links...

http://www.avianweb....erplucking.html

http://www.birdsuppl...ts-p/avfpro.htm

#3 Andrča W.

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 09:54 PM

So as long as I keep my bird on an even keel he won't ever feather pluck? Good environment, cage placement, light/ dark, diet, socialization.... All of that sort? He is a three-year, and I haven't seen any problems, but it is the biggest cause for concern for our little green dragons. I get worried sometimes.

#4 Andie's Mom

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 12:41 AM

There's never a guarantee that a bird won't begin plucking or mutilating. I truly believe that some of the mutilation factor can be genetic.

There are so many reasons for a bird to begin plucking its hard to say what caused them to start. Many times it can be from an illness such as a crop infection but not always. Sometimes it can be from boredom or stress.

There's not been any scientific study that I'm aware of but I'm wondering if once they start plucking even though the problem (such as an infection) has been cleared up; that they keep on plucking because they get something like an endorphine rush from the plucking. I wonder if they get the same type of chemical release that people that are hair pullers get. Just a thought.

#5 Andrča W.

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:39 PM

That's an interesting thought. I wonder what the other member's think?

#6 msdani1981

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 06:48 PM

I just thought I would jump in....I am a hair puller and I do get an endorphine rush when I pull. So this could very well be the case with FIDS who pluck. I started pulling because of depression...it was a way to release the pain I felt inside. I'm no longer depressed but I still pull my eyelashes...it's extremely hard to stop.





----------------------------
This is a side note...if anyone on this forum has this problem and wants to talk about it with someone who understands, or you just want to know more about compulsive hair pulling, feel free to PM me and I'm completely open to talking about it and answering any questions.

#7 Dudley's person

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:23 AM

I got Dudley from a rescue. He (just a guess) had only been there about a week and before that I'm told he was at just one home for about 4 years. Those owners had to give him up because they couldn't spend the time (I gather they started a family). I noticed him plucking his legs a couple weeks after I brought him home. The rescue said he didn't pluck while he was there. A blood workup a couple months after I got him showed no medical problems. I can only assume, with dismay, that he started plucking when he arrived at my house, possibly due to the change of venue and the stress of a new home. Now I think he is hooked on the endorphin rush exacerbated by normal molting. I have now had him for 2 years and he has plucked the entire time. Right now he is looking his absolute worst ever lots of bare spots but he is also molting. I started taking lots of notes since he arrived in Nov 2007, including weight, how much he ate, etc. When I got him he weighed between 115-120. Now he weighs 120-125 (see his diet below - perhaps too much treats?) Then notes about his clicker training which I started very soon after getting him (because he was very cage protective and wouldn't leave his happy hut), and his plucking, to see if there was a seasonal aspect to it (this time of year is worst). I also tracked, loosely what remedies I used. I have tried Prozac and natural herbal "anxiety relief" drops and Pluck No More. I've tried Sock Buddy. None of these seem to make any difference. His diet is Zupreem, peas & corn or Beak Appetit in the morning with bagel or oatmeal. Grapes & broccoli & dried pineapple on his kabob during the day. He has my attention all day long (since I have been unemployed for 6 months which has made no difference at all) so it is not more of my attention that he needs. He has radio playing, lots of foraging and other toys, free flight times in the house, a screened porch for warm weather, play perches at various places in the house, a dog companion, lots of enriching clicker training exercises & tricks with safflower seeds (high fat but high training motivation), Nutriberries & avicake as treats. I currently am just using anxiety relief herbal drops and Molt Ease spray with aloe and shark oil and baths as often as he'll take them (usually about every other day). Am going to try red palm oil next. The most difficult part of this is my attitude toward it. He doesn't like me to preen or pet him to deal with his pin feathers on his head. Wouldn't he be much more beautiful with full plummage? For his part, he has warm feet and seems very content. So as long as he is not mutilating himself, I don't see a reason to resort to collars. If someone were to get a quaker who developed into a plucker, I would say try all these things one by one and then if they don't work, drop the ones that are not helpful and just accept him as long as he is otherwise healthy & happy.

#8 Christi Anderson įƒ±Ü“

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 08:44 PM

Hi ya'll, well Kiwi started plucking I believe in about September of 2009. Which would make him a little over a year old and what I believe was his first big molt. I thought it was just because the feathers on his chest were so sharp and he didn't mean to pull them out, but he was trying to itch them and pulled them, and then he just continued doing it. Of course I don't know that to be a fact, but just an assumption.

Well, he still plucks daily. I've been told by my local bird store that the PLUCK NO MORE really works so as soon as I get my taxes, I'm going to purchase some but boy oh boy is it expensive. Almost $40 US so it better work. I've also made him SOCK BUDDIES which does divert his attention to pull that darn thing off rather than pull out his feathers, but he's getting worse at the plucking. It used to be just one small section on the left siide of his breast, but now he's taken them off of his neck and it just gets more and more <sigh>

The owner of the bird store also said he has something called stress bars on his feathers. Instead of solid green healthy feathers, some of them have black on them, which is a sign of stress. I don't know what is stressing my little green chicken out, and nothing has changed since I got him, environment wise, except it's winter now. He also doesn't like anything I give him toy wise. He's a very persnickety fid to say the least and I wish I could end his suffering from his plucking

#9 Cooper's Mommy

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 06:41 PM

If you have plucking or stressed out birds and own a cat:

CATS
(from Parrot Parrot.com)
Cats commonly have Pasteurella bacteria as part of their natural flora. While this bacteria is ubiquitous in cats and does them no harm, it is DEADLY to birds. Even if your cat just bats your bird or gets saliva on your bird, you could end up with a dead bird. Also, if your bird has a persistent problem with itching, plucking, and other skin issues and you have a cat, this could be a cause and your vet should be asked to screen for this bacteria. If your bird is ever in a confrontation with a cat, take him to the vet immediately even if there are NO apparent wounds. The bird could still have been exposed to this bacteria. You should get your bird to a vet the same day if you think it has come in physical contact with a cat's saliva, feces, or food. This bacteria means even the most friendly relationships between cats and birds are NOT SAFE. Period.

Besides this bacteria... imagine how stressful it is for a prey animal to have to live in the same home as a hunter animal. This is NOT in the best interest of the health and well being of your bird.

Please note that I do not mean to offend anyone and just want to share this important health information for our babies :)




#10 Birdybren

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 08:54 PM

My Paulie is a rescue who plucks and mutilates. I am her third home, I have no idea how old she is but I do know she plucked in her first home which was very stressful, I've heard she was tormented by an adolescent boy there. She was given to a lady who loved her but really didn't have time for her. She raised Jack Russells which Paulie hated them bouncing at her cage and she wasn't allowed much out of cage time. She almost bled out and a call came into me asking is I'd take her.

I immediately took her to the vet, blood panel showed nothing. She actually got a little better for awhile but now I must collar her most of the time. She is habituated to it, if given the chance she even picks MY skin raw and she seems so happy when she does that.

The first med used for Paulie was haloperidol which made her a zombie, I only used it when she was very very stressed. Then the vet tried clomipramine, used in human medicine for OCD. This really really seemed to help but she vomited on it a couple of times so I took her off of it. Since then its been prozac, hydroxyzine, diphenhydramine,pluck no more and Avicalm. I only use the Avicalm now, it seems to help somewhat.

I've tried the red palm oil in birdybread, and Missing Link on her foods. The feathers she has now are glossy and green -when I got her they were ridged in black, greasy and hideous looking.

Paulie laid eggs for me a couple of years and the vet gave her HCG shots to curtail it, it really helped with the plucking and when I told the vet he said they actually studied it for plucking but because it has to be injected twice weekly (only route of administration) they gave up on it being a solution.

I've had Paulie now 4 years and I can't say I've done anything to help her problem. It breaks my heart. I have to keep her tube collared most of the time, only taking it off for a day or 2 before she opens her chest back up. Even collared she can still reach her legs, I use Carravet gel from the vets to help heal her wounds. An E-collar is next but I really really hate that, she tried one once and she was a very unhappy girl.

I have a birdroom, my den, where she is one of 8 birds- each have a Kings cage 34x22x60 and playgyms, nets to climb. When I am home all the birds are out of cage. Paulie is overbonded to me, wants me to pet her constantly, she talks very well and asks for "sugar" alot-which is kisses. She gets alot of natural light but then everybirdie goes to bed by 7-8pm for at least 10-12 hours. She eats a varied diet-fresh fruits and veggies, birdybread and Good Stuff whole grain cook and serve. She eats alittle of Volkman seed, Harrisons pellets and Zupreem.

In spite of everything I've done I think Paulies health is declining, she has lost alittle weight and seems smaller. Her last vet check a month ago showed no problems. I think the hardest issue in this is the worry of losing her from this problem. I KNOW she hates that collar but I have to use it and that is stressful also. She is such a happy girl when uncollared - she purrs and preens like she is loving life but within hours she will open her chest up. I also have to file her beak more rounded once a week or so, she hates everything I do to her like this and putting the gel on her legs. It breaks my heart. My vet is 2 hours away so I do spend alot of time on the road when she needs to see him-I usually take her in every 4-6 months.

My advice to everyone with a quaker is to start them loving baths early , Paulie hates baths in the worst way and I've heard this can be really helpful. If your bird starts plucking I would jump on it quickly, seeing the vet and having tests done. I would most definately try the clomipramine, if you have problems with it then I recommend the AviCalm by Avitech products. I think foraging and lots of shreddable toys are a must. Paulie loves her supreem cotton toys. I also recommend a good nights sleep-perhaps a sleep cage in your bedroom if you tend to stay up late at night and watch TV then your bird can go to bed early. Personally I would not collar, even tube collar, unless there is mutilation going on, unless the vet thinks time away from plucking by collaring would yield results-personally I think this might work IF its the very first plucking episode and you collar just to let them refeather, then uncollar and give lots of baths, perhaps it might help in that case. But for a chronic plucker I think collaring is too stressful and it hinders their preening, this is JMO so follow your vets advice first.

I would also ask that they check their environment-any smoking? scented candles? I would scrutinize the environment carefully-it should be as natural and stress free as possible. I was leaving the TV on for Paulie when I was gone and I realized finally that she hated the TV, she is much more relaxed with it off. I think because she lives with other birds they entertain each other alot so its not needed.

I love Paulie with all my heart, my wish each day is that she knows that, that she is loved and she is a beautiful birdie.

I will attach a pic the first time I saw Paulie and one of her now.

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#11 night

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 03:20 PM

I am sorry, but that first pic is hilarious. If it were for any other reason I would make a poster of that. It is like.. a super hero without their suit on. Glad to see him growing back though. My first quaker pluck at about 1.5 years old for a week or two. I noticed it and realized in my being busy he hadn't been out much, so I picked back up on my routine with him and he stopped plucking as quick as he started.

#12 Carrie~Anne

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 06:40 PM

Besides this bacteria... imagine how stressful it is for a prey animal to have to live in the same home as a hunter animal. This is NOT in the best interest of the health and well being of your bird.


Definitely agree that cats (and even dogs!) and birds should have NO contact and you should wash your hands prior to handling your birds (this is good practice anyways). However, I disagree that having a bird and a cat can be a stressful situation for the bird. ALL of my birds have no fear of my cat. In fact, it is the other way around. My birds will physically attack my cat if given the chance (which of course they are not). I've had my African Grey go after my dad's Jack Russell when the dog got too close to the bird's cage. Thank goodness I was there to prevent the dog from getting any closer to the cage other wise that dog would of lost an eye.

So keep in mind that there are exceptions to every rule. We have lots of members on here who have cats/dogs that live peacefully with their birds...albeit under strict supervision.

#13 Tamy

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 06:53 PM

This is so interesting and ironic. Boo is a 4 yr/o male. He is very bonded to me, I live alone, and spends most of the day out of the cage and around me. Within the last 6 wks he has started plucking his neck feathers. Last friday he had nipped a sore on his rt leg so I rushed him to the vet. They placed an e-collar on and last Mon. I took him back in for labwork. As I posted in another thread I had to cut the collar off tues. night because he became lethargic, stopped eating, and sat on the bottom of his cage. His stress level, environment, nothing has changed to cause him to start plucking. Boo over-preens himself. When he preens my hand he becomes totally engrossed in it and will bite me. He loves to break the skin and will try to do that to me every time. My vet agrees with me that birds do exhibit forms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Got his bloodwork back today and he has a slight elevation of two liver enzymes. Guess I'll worry bout fatty liver disease also. As I said in another post, I have invested in an elaborate sprouting system and am going to try that along with haldol. The last 2 days he hasn't plucked at all~he has been so happy to get that e-collar off. lol

#14 RSA

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 04:30 PM

1.) At what age did your QP start?
A: Age 3
2.) How long has your QP been plucking/ mutilating?
A: Picking at a spot on his breast and lots of bleeding. Started a year ago and immediately put a collar on him. After two months took the collar off and he did it again. Have left the collar on at all times since. Replacing it every three months.
3.) Did you ever determine the cause? (And what was it.)
A: No
4.) What treatment(s) have you tried?
A: Only used the collar.
5.) Which was the most effective?
6.) What is the health status & feather status of your QP today?
A: Excellent health before and after
7.) If you found out another person had a QP just start plucking what would be the best advice you could give?
A: My advice to every Quaker owner would be to find an Avian vet BEFORE you need them. If you can't afford a vet you can't afford the bird in the first place.Because of my experience and the amount of bleeding (very close to the carotid artery)and the fact that it occurred at 9PM at night, I would not wish my experience on anyone unprepared. This is my first Quaker and I was naive, uneducated and ill-prepared for my first Quaker "incident"!
8.) What has been the most difficult aspect of dealing with this?
A: My Quaker has adapted to the collar very well.
9.) Was the QP a rescue, hand-fed, parent raised?
A: Hand-fed and purchased directly from the breeder.
10.) Describe the environment that your QP was in when the plucking started, and any changes you've made?
A: Same environment for the first three years of his life and no indication of any stress.


Not a lot of good answers for you just my story.

Roy

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Edited by RSA, 25 January 2011 - 04:39 PM.


#15 Stuart's Family

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 08:31 PM

Poor Fids!

#16 SaraR

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 09:36 AM

I've never personally had a bird pluck but i think i might have a solution for some of you. let me know if it works or your opinion?
http://petparrot.com...arePlucking.htm

#17 laflaca26

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 08:12 PM

my quaker changed from one minute to another , it was like somebody changed our bird , im very sad , i cant help him , im doing everything i can to help my quaker but he keeps pulling his feathers and also mutilating himself , please help , i already took him to the vet twice .............................

I just thought I would jump in....I am a hair puller and I do get an endorphine rush when I pull. So this could very well be the case with FIDS who pluck. I started pulling because of depression...it was a way to release the pain I felt inside. I'm no longer depressed but I still pull my eyelashes...it's extremely hard to stop.





----------------------------
This is a side note...if anyone on this forum has this problem and wants to talk about it with someone who understands, or you just want to know more about compulsive hair pulling, feel free to PM me and I'm completely open to talking about it and answering any questions.



#18 laflaca26

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 08:12 PM

my quaker changed from one minute to another , it was like somebody changed our bird , im very sad , i cant help him , im doing everything i can to help my quaker but he keeps pulling his feathers and also mutilating himself , please help , i already took him to the vet twice .............................

I just thought I would jump in....I am a hair puller and I do get an endorphine rush when I pull. So this could very well be the case with FIDS who pluck. I started pulling because of depression...it was a way to release the pain I felt inside. I'm no longer depressed but I still pull my eyelashes...it's extremely hard to stop.





----------------------------
This is a side note...if anyone on this forum has this problem and wants to talk about it with someone who understands, or you just want to know more about compulsive hair pulling, feel free to PM me and I'm completely open to talking about it and answering any questions.



#19 laflaca26

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 08:26 PM

i need to know where i can find a collar for my quaker

#20 jtowne68

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 06:13 PM

So here are the 10 questions ::

1.) At what age did your QP start?
11 years

2.) How long has your QP been plucking/ mutulating?
4 years

3.) Did you ever determine the cause? (And what was it.)
I adopted a new cat and the bird isn't too fond of her. Isn't bothered by the other one, just her and so he plucks his feathers.

4.) What treatment(s) have you tried?
I haven't tried anything specific for the plucking. I make sure he has a lot of toys that he can destroy and "pluck" at.


5.) Which was the most effective?

6.) What is the health status & feather status of your QP today?
QP is good, having seizures, but that is unrelated to the plucking. He still plucks, but it is only under his wings and his legs. If I notice him doing it, he'll stop right away. My vet says it is an endorphin thing and that preventing them from doing it with a collar only stressing them out further. He says the collar should only be used if the bird is mutilating himself.

7.) If you found out another person had a QP just start plucking what would be the best advice you could give?
I would take him to the vet asap. If you catch it early enough, there are behaviorial tricks you can use to get them to stop.

8.) What has been the most difficult aspect of dealing with this?
It's not too bad, he just doesn't have feathers on his legs

9.) Was the QP a rescue, hand-fed, parent raised?
Hand-fed and I've had him since he hatched.

10.) Describe the environment that your QP was in when the plucking started, and any changes you've made?
I can't really get rid of the cat and it's really a jealousy thing. The cat is way too attached to me and the bird isn't happy about that. I try to give everyone equal attention to make sure it doesnt get worse.