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I noticed a couple months ago Chumley was leaving down feathers on the bottom of his cage. At first a few, then more and about two weeks ago I had him out on his play perch and he plucked 5 down feathers out right there in front of me. I was worried so I messaged his breeder. She go right back to me. I sent in pictures of the feathers and she said yes he is starting to pluck and we need to stop before it becomes a bad habit and they are hard to break from it.
She asked if I had recently changed Chum's seed. I said I was always changing his seed because he is so picky. Then I realized I had been giving Chumley an avian cookie once a day and they are kind of big for a parrotlet (should have not given him so much). He would tear through them and couldn't wait to eat them as soon as I put them in his bowl.
So I stopped giving the cookies- cold turkey! Two weeks later no more down feathers any where. I told his breeder and she was so happy and so am I.
Poor little guy must have been itchy from an ingredient in those cookies.
Just thought I would share.
Lisa and Chumley🦜💥🍪❌
 

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Hey Lisa! Great detective work by your breeder ! I am so glad that you were able to discover what was causing Chumley's plucking before it escalated! The faster you find out what is causing it, the better chance of you have of stopping it.
I love the pics of Chumley. He sure is a cutie! 💙
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Lisa! Great detective work by your breeder ! I am so glad that you were able to discover what was causing Chumley's plucking before it escalated! The faster you find out what is causing it, the better chance of you have of stopping it.
I love the pics of Chumley. He sure is a cutie! 💙
Thank you Anya, I love my little Chumley even though he is a little buzzard at times.His breeder is great, always there for any matters concerning Chums.
You know with every pet we learn something new. I show Cairn Terriers and with each dog I learn something new. I don't breed them very often, maybe one litter every two to three years when I find a perfect mate for the female I have in mind but there in whelping litters I also learn something with every litter. I only have two at home and they have done excellent in the show ring but they are very different in personality. The same goes for birds, I have had birds almost my entire life and no two are the same- in personality or health for that matter even within the same breed. They have the same inbred tendencies but my grey cheek was so sweet- not to everyone but he never once nipped me in the 10 years I had him. I could take him anywhere with me and he had no desire to fly off of me, he would gladly visit other people if he liked them but he liked most. Chumley on the other hand can be very charming and would fly off if anything startled him, he would definately not let anyone but me handle him. I would never trust him outside with out a cage and putting a harness on him would definately be out of the question. I do love the little guy even though he is not like Boris( my grey cheek). One big difference is when I got Boris,he was on a open perch in a pet store where he was getting handled everyday , all day. I guess life experiences imprints on them greatly.
Chums says thank you .
Lisa and Chums
 

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Well done Lisa and Chumley! You know, Kiwi often pulls out those little white fluffy feathers - more so when she is moulting. I just thought it was part of the preening process. I mean, she doesn’t strip down or anything, she just pulls a few out from time to time. Was it because of the number of them he was pulling out and because they still had that little shaft on the end on them? Kiwi’s are usually just pieces of fluff without that shaft.
 
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Hello. Lisa, I love that you breed and show Cairns! That is awesome! I grew up with Cairns, Scottish Terriers and West Highlands! I have had all different sizes and breeds, from a Great Pyrenees to a miniature poodle. Loved them all. Once, I had four dogs at one time. The cost of having them groomed regularly was expensive, so I went to a dog grooming school and learned how to groom them myself. I could write a book about that experience! To me it was so much fun, but, boy, it was hard work! Trying to get a 90-pound reluctant Weimaraner into a bathtub is not easy! Lol I no longer have any dogs and I do miss that, but little birdie birds are my thing now. 💗 What you said about them all having different personalities is so true. Cleopatra was my first bird, so it is from being on this forum I have learned what different personalities they can all have from each other. Just like dogs Having a hand tamed bird can make a big difference on their personality. Any experience your bird has had before we get them can influence them. Your grey cheek sounds like he was an exceptionally lovely bird. It must have been very special having him in your life and I am sure you will always miss him dearly. Now you have Chumley. 💙 I love his name, by the way! Your lovable little stinker birdie. They are all little stinkers! And they each have their moments, don’t they? Lol If we had friends who acted as badly as our parrotlets do at sometimes, we would want nothing to do with them! lol So, what is it about these little fluff balls that no matter how bad they act, we love them as much as ever? I remember the first year I got Cleopatra she was a handful at times. When she got mad she would bite me and then she would fly to the top of her flight cage and have a conniption fit! (From all the yelling I used to get, I am inclined to think birds swear!) lol I remember watching her storm around on top of her cage yelling and thinking how much I love her! Even at her worst, she could do something to melt my heart. Once they hook our hearts, that is it! We are goners! Chumley is lucky to have you! I know how much you love him! How old is he now? The good news is that they can mellow out with time. That is what happened with mine. She turned out to be the sweetest little thing. Now that I will be getting Pugsley in a couple of weeks, I wonder how he is going to be. I keep on telling myself that I won’t be comparing him to Cleopatra, but I imagine that may be hard to do at times. My breeder is going to hand-tame him for me, so that is going to help a lot. Isn’t it great having a good breeder that you can rely on for good sound advice? We are lucky to have them! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well done Lisa and Chumley! You know, Kiwi often pulls out those little white fluffy feathers - more so when she is moulting. I just thought it was part of the preening process. I mean, she doesn’t strip down or anything, she just pulls a few out from time to time. Was it because of the number of them he was pulling out and because they still had that little shaft on the end on them? Kiwi’s are usually just pieces of fluff without that shaft.
Thank you Ginziputzi..and Kiwi, this is good to know that pulling down feathers is normal to a point. The shaft part is what concerned Chum's breeder. It makes me wonder if those feathers with the shaft never fully opened up causing them to irritate Chumley to pulling them out. Hmmm .
 

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Hello. Lisa, I love that you breed and show Cairns! That is awesome! I grew up with Cairns, Scottish Terriers and West Highlands! I have had all different sizes and breeds, from a Great Pyrenees to a miniature poodle. Loved them all. Once, I had four dogs at one time. The cost of having them groomed regularly was expensive, so I went to a dog grooming school and learned how to groom them myself. I could write a book about that experience! To me it was so much fun, but, boy, it was hard work! Trying to get a 90-pound reluctant Weimaraner into a bathtub is not easy! Lol I no longer have any dogs and I do miss that, but little birdie birds are my thing now. 💗 What you said about them all having different personalities is so true. Cleopatra was my first bird, so it is from being on this forum I have learned what different personalities they can all have from each other. Just like dogs Having a hand tamed bird can make a big difference on their personality. Any experience your bird has had before we get them can influence them. Your grey cheek sounds like he was an exceptionally lovely bird. It must have been very special having him in your life and I am sure you will always miss him dearly. Now you have Chumley. 💙 I love his name, by the way! Your lovable little stinker birdie. They are all little stinkers! And they each have their moments, don’t they? Lol If we had friends who acted as badly as our parrotlets do, at sometimes, we would want nothing to do with them! lol So, what is it about these little fluff balls that no matter how bad they act, we love them as much as ever? I remember the first year I got Cleopatra she was a handful at times. When she got mad she would bite me and then she would fly to the top of her flight cage and have a conniption fit! (From all the yelling I got from her at times, I am inclined to think birds swear!) lol I remember watching her storm around on top of her cage yelling and thinking how much I love her! Even at her worst, she could do something to melt my heart. Once they hook our hearts, that is it! We are goners! Chumley is lucky to have you! I know how much you love him! How old is he now? The good news is that they can mellow out with time. That is what happened with mine. She turned out to be the sweetest little thing. Now that I will be getting Pugsley in a couple of weeks, I wonder how he is going to be. I keep on telling myself that I won’t be comparing him to Cleopatra, but I imagine that may be hard to do at times. My breeder is going to hand-tame him for me, so that is going to help a lot. Isn’t it great having a good breeder that you can rely on for good sound advice? We are lucky to have them! :)
Both of my daughters have Great Pyrenees and both are working farm dogs. My older daughter’s dog is a saint and performs her protective duties with such love for the animals and birds she looks after. My younger daughter’s dog is a menace, chasing the cats, chewing on the kids and sleeping on the flower beds! He’s still a puppy, mind you, but he’s much more dominant and rambunctious than the other one. She’s about to begin training in earnest and we all literally can’t wait. I love him but he is a handful and a half!

Kiwi certainly has been a handful but you’re right, I just love her so much even when she made me so mad or made me cry with that incessant biting! She can still land a good one when I am taking her out of my hair and she doesn’t want to come. It hurts so much! But then she tilts her head for a scritch and makes those cute little beak grinding sounds and it’s game over. She has my heart and she knows it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Pyrenees are such gentle dogs and keep coyotes away. The pup sounds like a dominant personality but by the time he is two years most of his rambunctious behavior will have calmed way down. Its like in most dog breeds, two years they no longer have puppy brain.
Our birds are so special, they can melt our hearts with scritches and esp. when closing their eyes in enjoyment of them.
 

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I really needed to hear that, Lisa! He has calmed down already but definitely still has puppy brain. Such a difficult period. The other one (Agra) was an angel from day 1 so Duke (the menace) has the disadvantage of comparison. Interestingly, they came from the same breeder. If Duke is half of what Agra is, we will be happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I really needed to hear that, Lisa! He has calmed down already but definitely still has puppy brain. Such a difficult period. The other one (Agra) was an angel from day 1 so Duke (the menace) has the disadvantage of comparison. Interestingly, they came from the same breeder. If Duke is half of what Agra is, we will be happy.
That is exactlt what I mean. dog or parrot any species can have the same parents but whole different personality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Well done Lisa and Chumley! You know, Kiwi often pulls out those little white fluffy feathers - more so when she is moulting. I just thought it was part of the preening process. I mean, she doesn’t strip down or anything, she just pulls a few out from time to time. Was it because of the number of them he was pulling out and because they still had that little shaft on the end on them? Kiwi’s are usually just pieces of fluff without that shaft.
Hi Ginziputzi, Ill have to ask Chums breeder about that question and I'll get back to you.
 

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Hello. Lisa, I love that you breed and show Cairns! That is awesome! I grew up with Cairns, Scottish Terriers and West Highlands! I have had all different sizes and breeds, from a Great Pyrenees to a miniature poodle. Loved them all. Once, I had four dogs at one time. The cost of having them groomed regularly was expensive, so I went to a dog grooming school and learned how to groom them myself. I could write a book about that experience! To me it was so much fun, but, boy, it was hard work! Trying to get a 90-pound reluctant Weimaraner into a bathtub is not easy! Lol I no longer have any dogs and I do miss that, but little birdie birds are my thing now. 💗 What you said about them all having different personalities is so true. Cleopatra was my first bird, so it is from being on this forum I have learned what different personalities they can all have from each other. Just like dogs Having a hand tamed bird can make a big difference on their personality. Any experience your bird has had before we get them can influence them. Your grey cheek sounds like he was an exceptionally lovely bird. It must have been very special having him in your life and I am sure you will always miss him dearly. Now you have Chumley. 💙 I love his name, by the way! Your lovable little stinker birdie. They are all little stinkers! And they each have their moments, don’t they? Lol If we had friends who acted as badly as our parrotlets do at sometimes, we would want nothing to do with them! lol So, what is it about these little fluff balls that no matter how bad they act, we love them as much as ever? I remember the first year I got Cleopatra she was a handful at times. When she got mad she would bite me and then she would fly to the top of her flight cage and have a conniption fit! (From all the yelling I used to get, I am inclined to think birds swear!) lol I remember watching her storm around on top of her cage yelling and thinking how much I love her! Even at her worst, she could do something to melt my heart. Once they hook our hearts, that is it! We are goners! Chumley is lucky to have you! I know how much you love him! How old is he now? The good news is that they can mellow out with time. That is what happened with mine. She turned out to be the sweetest little thing. Now that I will be getting Pugsley in a couple of weeks, I wonder how he is going to be. I keep on telling myself that I won’t be comparing him to Cleopatra, but I imagine that may be hard to do at times. My breeder is going to hand-tame him for me, so that is going to help a lot. Isn’t it great having a good breeder that you can rely on for good sound advice? We are lucky to have them! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Anya, you went to dog grooming school to learn how to groom your dog?! I am impressed! Actually I understand. I went to many grooming salons for my first Cairn Terrier. No one could do it and of course they had all the reasons why they couldn't do what I was asking for- a cairn style- not a schnauzer. So I would up calling someone whom showed and knew the breed very well. She taught me how to groom her by hand- hand stripping and rolling the coat and she also hooked me into showing and really learning the breed. I have been showing and occasionally breeding Cairns for 30 years and met some of my most cherished friends all over the USA and beyond.
Yes, my grey cheek , Boris was very special- as is Chumley just different personalities, habits and Boris would eat anything Chumley is the Mikey of birds. I think Boris was more trusting, he would lay in my hand but would also call people '"Bad Boy. "YOU!" No! He would call my name, "Iiiisa". He would lay on his back in the palm of my hand.
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog Terrestrial animal
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog Terrestrial animal
My Swedish Grand Champion, Brenna
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog Fawn
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog Terrestrial animal
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog Fawn
Brenna's daughter, Goldie, Grand Champion
"Sometimes you are the dog and sometimes you are the fire hydrant."
 

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Hi Lisa! Yes, I had four dogs that needed grooming! Oh, my gosh, your dogs are beautiful! Wow! Gorgeous Cairns! Our family dog, Sandy was a lot scruffier looking than that! Lol He was the same coloring as your Goldie! He was such a good wee dog! How exciting to own and breed champions! It is no wonder - They look perfect. That breeder taught you well. In grooming school, I was never taught how to strip and roll a coat. The only reason why I know what it is is because at a dog show I attended once, I asked a breeder how they got the coat to look like that. It looked so beautiful. Thanks again for posting the pics. It brought back a lot of memories. Cairns will always be near and dear to my heart. 💕
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you Ginziputzi..and Kiwi, this is good to know that pulling down feathers is normal to a point. The shaft part is what concerned Chum's breeder. It makes me wonder if those feathers with the shaft never fully opened up causing them to irritate Chumley to pulling them out. Hmmm .
Hi Lisa! Yes, I had four dogs that needed grooming! Oh, my gosh, your dogs are beautiful! Wow! Gorgeous Cairns! Our family dog, Sandy was a lot scruffier looking than that! Lol He was the same coloring as your Goldie! He was such a good wee dog! How exciting to own and breed champions! It is no wonder - They look perfect. That breeder taught you well. In grooming school, I was never taught how to strip and roll a coat. The only reason why I know what it is is because at a dog show I attended once, I asked a breeder how they got the coat to look like that. It looked so beautiful. Thanks again for posting the pics. It brought back a lot of memories. Cairns will always be near and dear to my heart. 💕
My cairns are very special to me too. BTW, most pet cairns look scruffy- I kind of like that look and yes rolling a coat is a LOT of work.
My Chumley grooms himself with a little nail and beak trim from me or Omar’s every now and then. I like that low maintenance stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well done Lisa and Chumley! You know, Kiwi often pulls out those little white fluffy feathers - more so when she is moulting. I just thought it was part of the preening process. I mean, she doesn’t strip down or anything, she just pulls a few out from time to time. Was it because of the number of them he was pulling out and because they still had that little shaft on the end on them? Kiwi’s are usually just pieces of fluff without that shaft.
Hi Anya,
I did wind up asking Chum's breeder how she knew those feathers were plucked. If you click on the picture of the feathers I posted up above, you can see just a tad of dark on the ends of those feathers. This is blood. This is how Chumley's breeder knew they were plucked.
That was a great question BTW. Now I do still see feathers on the bottom of his cage at the end of the day when I clean his cage and get it read for the next day. ( have 4 cages for Chumley( such a spoiled boy with all his mansions!) He has his everyday cage, his sleep cage in the art room , a vacation cage which is a little smaller for when I board him and a travel cage. But these feathers are fully opened , no blood and there are maybe one or two. He is currently going through his fall molt that Chum's breeder told me would happen- molts for her birds is usually spring and fall. However this time he is very happy to perch on my finger, let me put treats in his cage and and put my hands in his cage. He happily jumps onto my finger when I bring it up to him. Yes he still has his little buzzards moments of screeching at towels, paper and plastic anything. I figure these tiny little birds get startled by objects including hands and fingers coming at them and try to act tough by screeching, fluffing and flaring feathers to look bigger ad scary. I have to remind my self he is in defense or territorial mode to protect himself because he is at the bottom of the food chain as most small birds are... well ok next to the bottom if I include the bugs and worms they eat.. He is tremendously much friendlier than last spring and I can tell much more comfortable. He turned 1 year last July3rd. The breeder says all this stuff gets way less dramatic as he matures and gets accustomed to all his surroundings and humans.
 

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Hi Lisa, nice to hear from you and Chumley again! You quoted Jackie, but addressed me so I guess both of us are welcome to comment. Jackie is so helpful, isn't she? :) I just looked at the pictures. Wow! The end tips were blood. Ouch. It is something we all can look for when our birds start dropping feathers. I don't think I ever saw that with Cleopatra's feathers but boy, did she shed a lot of down feathers! I was picking down feathers off the cage bars. Good that Chumley is through his molt. Hurrah, right? (y)Can you see any new colors or different shades on him? Sometimes when they molt their feathers change colors a bit. His Royal Majesty (HRM) King Chumley with four palaces is a very lucky bird. I bet he is spoiled rotten. (I love it) They are so stinkin' cute they could get away with murder! lol Whoa! He is taking treats while perching on your finger? That is awesome. You guys are doing so good. Can you get a pic of that to post? We want more pics of Chumley, please! The first year owning one of these little guys seems to always be the most challenging. It sounds like he is really starting to bond with you and I will not be surprised if things just get better and better between the two of you.💙Happy belated Hatch Day Chumley! 🦜
 

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Anya and I post so much we are practically interchangeable LOL so no worries there. Thanks for sharing the response you hot from the breeder. That is really good to know! Still learning new things!

Kiwi was really difficult when she was younger ( maybe I was the difficult one … hmmmm) but she did settle down A LOT as the years went by. She is a super sweet old lady now although she can still land a solid bite when she wants to. But mostly she just loves to hang out. There’s a ton less drama on both of our parts. It can be so tough to get through puberty but it is totally worth it for all of the lovely years that follow. 💚
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi Lisa, nice to hear from you and Chumley again! You quoted Jackie, but addressed me so I guess both of us are welcome to comment. Jackie is so helpful, isn't she? :) I just looked at the pictures. Wow! The end tips were blood. Ouch. It is something we all can look for when our birds start dropping feathers. I don't think I ever saw that with Cleopatra's feathers but boy, did she shed a lot of down feathers! I was picking down feathers off the cage bars. Good that Chumley is through his molt. Hurrah, right? (y)Can you see any new colors or different shades on him? Sometimes when they molt their feathers change colors a bit. His Royal Majesty (HRM) King Chumley with four palaces is a very lucky bird. I bet he is spoiled rotten. (I love it) They are so stinkin' cute they could get away with murder! lol Whoa! He is taking treats while perching on your finger? That is awesome. You guys are doing so good. Can you get a pic of that to post? We want more pics of Chumley, please! The first year owning one of these little guys seems to always be the most challenging. It sounds like he is really starting to bond with you and I will not be surprised if things just get better and better between the two of you.💙Happy belated Hatch Day Chumley! 🦜
Chumley says thank you Anya and I am sure he loves the HRM status too!
Sorry to Jackie I got a little mixed up with the replies.
 
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