Why is My Parakeet Plucking His Feathers? And How to Stop It

Three budgies are in the roost

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Although feathers are frequently the first thing we observe about parakeets, there is much more to these birds than their splendor and beauty.

The condition of your bird’s feathers may reveal a great deal about its well-being and health. Although some feathers naturally come out during molting, a parakeet repeatedly plucks them out may signal that something is amiss.

In this article, you will find out the causes of why your parakeet is plucking his feathers and how to remedy that.

Causes of Feather Plucking in Parakeets

Bird Leaves Green Foliage Rose Ringed Parakeet

1. Stress

Stress is one cause of feather plucking in parakeets. Due to a lack of affection from their caretakers, messy or crowded living conditions, and boredom, parakeets may get anxious. Some birds brush their feathers to the point of shedding because they have no other interests.

The presence of general disagreement or stress in the house may also trigger anxiety in particularly sensitive parakeets.

2. Malnutrition

The major cause of feather removal in birds is malnutrition. Primarily seed-fed parakeets will not acquire the appropriate nourishment. The skin gets dry, and the stages of molting become uneven. 

Consequently, the parakeet may start to overgroom. This activity may eventually become a habit, and plucking may persist even when a more nutritious diet is provided.

3. Habitat

Yellow and Blue Birds Inside A Cage

The habitat of your parakeet might be a factor in his feather removal. A lack of natural sunlight or humidity and a too-small or overcrowded cage might cause this behavior.

4. Toxins

Heavy metal poisoning, most typically linked with unintended lead or zinc consumption from chewing fresh wire or other metal items, may result in behavioral alterations (in addition to other issues) that may present as obsessive feather chewing.

5. Parasites or Sickness

Parakeets are susceptible to skin illnesses and parasites despite their feathers providing some protection. Infrequently, certain birds are bitten by fleas, lice, or other microscopic insects, resulting in feather loss. 

Removing feathers around the head and neck may indicate a fungal illness, like ringworm. In rare instances, a fungal illness or parasitic infestation can cause itching and scratching, causing your parakeet to get so agitated that he will pluck his feathers. 

Your veterinarian may perform tests to discover which parasite or illness is plaguing your bird and then propose a therapy that targets that specific parasite or condition.

6. Sexual Dissatisfaction

Numerous free-roaming parakeets migrate in small gangs with their mates. Consequently, they have an inherent desire for company. 

In confinement, companion birds often regard their primary caretaker as a partner. It is incorrect since no person can perform such a position.

Fostering such a bond results in unrequited love and exacerbates the bird’s mental uncertainty and agitation. The proper position for a pet owner should be that of a friend, not a mate. The parakeet should consider their caretaker as a kind authority figure.

How to Stop Feather Plucking in Your Parakeet

Orange Parakeet

Instantly schedule a visit with an avian vet if you see unhealthy feather-plucking behavior in your bird. They can assist you in determining if a medical or behavioral issue causes your parakeet’s behavior. 

Until then, refrain from overreacting if you see feather plucking. Making a big deal out of the situation may prolong the issue or lead your parakeet to interpret your reaction as good attention.

It is also conceivable that your pet absorbs your tension, which might perpetuate the habit. To alleviate the problem before your vet appointment and, more importantly, to prevent it from occurring, concentrate on the following:

1. Minimize Stress

If you suspect your bird’s feather plucking is caused by stress, try visualizing yourself in its place. Your bird may feel constrained and fearful in its surroundings if it has a clear view of stressful events outside a window, such as animal or human activity.

In this situation, relocating them to a different area may be the solution. Additionally, parakeets are sensitive to the emotions of their human relatives. If you are nervous or agitated, probably, they are as well.

2. Eliminate Boredom

Birds need a lot of mental engagement to be healthy and spend energy. Choose a range of ladders, wood blocks, ropes, barbells, and dangling toys that correspond to the size and species of your bird.

Keep in mind that parakeets are very gregarious creatures. Simple activities such as peek-a-boo may be entertaining and promote trust.

3. Follow a Routine

Routines are essential for your parakeet and should be adhered to as precisely as possible. Ensure your parakeet gets enough rest, a meal rich in nutrition and vitamins, and affection and connection from you.

4. Provide Healthy, and Nutritious Food

Parakeets should get a meal rich in all the minerals and vitamins they require to be healthy depending on their lifestyle, but how they are fed is as crucial. Foraging activity, for instance, should be included in their food schedule.

5. Observe Their Surrounding Environment

Blue Parakeet Budgie Bird in cage

Parakeets are very sensitive to their surroundings, and air fresheners, cigarette smoke, and vigorous cleaning products may all upset them.

Whether you suspect one of these things is disturbing your parakeet, consider relocating their habitat or removing potential environmental allergens individually to see if the feather picking ceases.

Whenever possible, maintain your bird in an environment where it may witness familiar and reassuring activities. Consider playing music or switching on the television before you leave your house for added comfort.

Parakeets are also very sensitive to variations in temperature, so a significant shift in any of these factors, as well as the quantity of natural sunshine they get, may have a considerable impact.

Final Takeaway

Parakeets are excellent pets; however, they may occasionally pull their feathers. This conduct is unhealthy and may indicate anxiety or an unresolved health condition.

By excluding the above-stated medical reasons and minimizing your parakeet’s stress, you may reduce this unwanted behavior and keep your parakeet happy.

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Lizzy Ashton

Lizzy Ashton

Hi, my name is Lizzy Ashton, and I’m from Louisiana.
I consider myself an expert when it comes to raising parakeets and have been doing it for many years now. I’m 32 years old, live with my boyfriend, and together, we have 7 parakeets at home.
Our home is full of light and greenery, which my birds love. We even let them fly around the house (windows closed, of course)!

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