We all know that feathers are the exterior integument of all birds. Feathers are required for birds of the same species to locate appropriate mates and reproduce. These colourful covers serve more than just cosmetic benefits; they also assist the bird to adapt to its surroundings. Feathers are essential for avian flight and survival. Feathers, as the body’s covering, act as insulation, keeping the animal warm in cold weather.
The process of moulting is visible in conure parrots at least once a year. Moulting is the natural loss of a bird’s feathers to make room for new feathers. Not all feathers are lost throughout the process, and the bird usually does not continue for lengthy periods with a bald area. If your bird is in the process of moulting and you see a large bald area on his body, he may have been plucking his feathers. This can’t possibly be a positive thing.
Preening is a natural behaviour in birds such as conures, in which they brush their feathers together to smooth them out. This permits them to promote the formation of younger feathers after moulting while also acting as a grooming activity for conures in social groupings. When feather plucking is found, it may be interpreted as an indication that he has over-preened himself, but there are alternative possibilities.
According to a Bird Breeder Magazine article, there are three plausible reasons why a conure would pluck its own feathers. The first cause is physical discomfort, the second is a chronic ailment or sickness, and the third reason might be emotional in origin.
For the first reason, specialists believe a conure may pull on its own feathers out of discomfort. This might be because of a damaged wing, a painful claw, or anything else. When a conure is moulting, he or she may get angry due to how irritating the process is; this may lead to plucking.
Second, if a persistent problem such as vitamin deficiency, heart disease, skin infection, or skin dryness is present, the conure may begin to pluck his feathers as a kind of comfort. Ecto-parasites, such as the bacterium Giardia, may potentially cause skin infections or irritations. If germs have formed on the conure’s skin, it will feel compelled to pluck at its feathers.
Third, emotional causes other than preening may be the source of this shift in behaviour. Because conures are known to be active and like interacting, boredom may cause them to begin plucking their feathers. Other conure owners have noticed that a lack of contact, particularly if a conure is imprisoned apart from others, might result in feather plucking. According to some, this might be a bird’s attention call.
Preening toys in the cage might help to reduce feather plucking. These toys keep the conures entertained and are composed of soft cotton material that they may tug on. This diverts their attention away from ruffling their own feathers.
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