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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Kismet has been losing feathers for a little while now :( (About 3 or 4 weeks)

I've read that at about a year and a 3 or 4 months (which is his exact age) he should go through a major moult. Just want to check, though.

He doesn't yank them out, just preens, fluffs and *poof* 4 small feathers are floating around him. You can't see skin, absolutely no blood, no sign of mites, and he isn't pulling out any long feathers, just the ones about his torso (front and some back). He's a bit crankier than usual, which I've read, but by no means is he a pill - still mostly sweet, chirps a bunch, and is fairly active! (He is cooing in my gigantic, curly hair right now.)

I bought him some special moult blend seeds that he eats along with his Nutri Berries (vet recommended at his first checkup), extra Birdie Bread (for protein), and he gets granola cereal, cantaloupe, mango or Nutri Berries Popcorn (which he still snubs) for treats. I didn't want to spike his water with vitamins because I feared he would snub it.

So: moult, or no? Should I alter his diet?
 

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WOW, that last picture looks like he is plucking??!! My birds never molted that way... hmm. Looks suspicious.
He is a cutie, though!
 

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Kiwi is hitting his molting stage right now. His feathers look nothing like that. It is his 2 week in his month of molting.

I say, it is plucking. :(
 

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Plucking can be a number of things. It could be a health problem (I remember someone, whether it was a person or forum that said their bird was plucking due to a kidney infection), nutritional problem, bordem, too small a cage, etc.

It would be best to go to the vet and have blood work done. Make sure there is a good diet being provided. . . toys cycled and a large enough cage to provide some selection. I provide shreadable toys for mine to preen and chew through which keeps him busy.

There are just so many reasons....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I took him to the vet in May (pre-"plucking")and had a Gram stain plus full exam and everything checked out a-okay.

His behavior really hasn't changed since I brought him home - except the plucking - and I've always felt that he's been an avid groomer, but I've never had a parrotlet before (just budgies).

Kismet isn't really a toy toucher. He's certainly got plenty, homemade and store bought, but he much prefers to hang out on top of his cage and sing or ride our shoulders all day. His cage isn't the largest, but he's hardly in it, except eating and sleeping, so I feel that it's an okay size.

I've attached a picture with his current toy setup:

I've also bought this cage (http://www.amazon.com/Brand-Aviary-...3?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1186584583&sr=1-9) and had transferred him to it, but my mother thought the size was too large and bulky and asked that I switch him back. (She babysits him and I thought it best to follow her wishes).

He's alone sometimes during the day, but mostly I or my mother are home (his main playmates) or my sister or father (they fuss with him, but mainly for novelty's sake).

I think he gets enough sleep, usually 10, sometimes 12 hours (I read that during moult he should get more sleep).

Should I actively discourage the preening?
Should I get him a buddy? Parrotlet or different breed? I've lost touch with the breeder...I'll try to find her today.
I'm calling the vet!! :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I realized I forgot to post the current cage picture, attached here.

I just called the vet and made an appointment for tomorrow morning (8/9) at 9am.
I'll keep everyone posted.

I'm so upset!!
 

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the cage he or she (sorry I forgot if you mentioned) is in, is better than the first picture.
I think it could use maybe one or two more toys, which might not make a difference, but oscar who is just about 5 months old loves all his toys, but he LOVES new ones, and he can defiantely tell which ones are new.
Here is a picture of his cage:





he has lots of different toys, and slinkies to hang from and bounce on.


so maybe if you get him something "unusual" that he has nothing like, and give it to him, and it might give him something to do other than pluck.
I dont know if it will work, because I dont have experience with moulting, because oscar is just starting his first molt ever (5 months)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
He's just not terribly interested in his toys -- I took a bunch of them out because they're often untouched. If I load his cage, he sits in a corner and stares at them all with large eyes like they're going to swallow them :rolleyes:.

I'm actively looking for a friend for him - adoption hopefully - just in case the vet suggests a companion.
 

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oh. My bad. sorry
Umm, Im looking for a companion for mine too. So anything you learn (like tips, etc) let me know ! ;)
Im not looking for one because hes necessarilly bored, but I work for a little over 10 hours during the week, and am going places on the weekends. So hes not bored, but hes still young, and after a few years or even less, I dont want him to ever become bored, so im gonna get him a little girlfriend:eek::eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OOOoooOOOOohh! ;)

I haven't found any adoptable-s near me, and I'm not at all educated on how to introduce a new bird (except quarantine/vet check).
Anyway, that's not first on the list.

I've just had an epiphany. We're still going to the vet tomorrow morning, but I think I may have narrowed the problem down:

I've been reading all morning about plucking/picking and hormones and zinc poisoning and parasites and Psittacine Beak which has me close to tears. I just realized that I haven't touched my breakfast yet - and then it dawned on me. I'm freaking out about all these rare diseases and poisons when it could be as simple as diet.

Musicjan gave me a recipe for birdy bread (which Kismet loves) and I cooked the first batch a little before the plucking began. I didn't follow the recipe to the t, but it doesn't matter: what if he has a gluten allergy? Or an allergy to anything I put in there? Edamame? Beans? Corn? Carrots? Corn meal? Broccoli? Egg shell? Egg?
How do I know about an allergy like that?

Needless to say, I've taken all his treats and food out of his cage except for the ones I know he's not allergic to (the seeds his breeder fed him, Nutri Berries, millet, and the granola cereal he loves.)

ACK!
 

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Elyse - Thats great you are being so pro-active and doing all that research. You never know, it could be something as simple as the change in his diet you discovered. Hopefully your Vet can shed some more light on the situation for you.

Read Arts thread on Sparky - he and his wife have done everything humanly possible in regards to Sparky's plucking - sometimes this is a tricky issue but Arts outlook and realistic approach may bring you some peace of mind.

Here's one - there are others if you do a search - http://www.talkparrotlets.com/showthread.php?t=596
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Whew! That took me forever to read :p
But I came away with this, from Cindy: "Food. Sweet potatoes I'd stop immediately they've been implicated in pluckers."

Sweet potatoes were definitely in the birdy bread. That doesn't mean causation, just correlation.

Kismet has eaten since I changed his food and just took a quick nap. I just saw a feather go flying so he's awake :rolleyes:. I have no idea how long it will take for an allergy to completely go through his system. A question for the vet.

Art S is hilarious! I can't imagine being so good humored during such trauma - how about a Sparky update? Perhaps the gray parrotlets can have an annual get together to celebrate their individuality.

I'm going to do some housework, etc., but I'll keep checking back today. Thanks for all the advice!
 

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Art S is hilarious! I can't imagine being so good humored during such trauma - how about a Sparky update? Perhaps the gray parrotlets can have an annual get together to celebrate their individuality.
:D :D :D you're hilarious too ! :D :D that was good !
 

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Chipper eats Sweet potatoes all the time. I think each bird is different. You have to meet all needs and then hope they are happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Vet Update!!!

(It's hard to drive a stick shift and keep a hand on a bird cage all the way to the vet - tomorrow I'll be learning how to juggle flaming chain saws!)

The culprit: diet.
Gram stain came out fine, but it's suspected that he has a fruit or sweet potato allergy. I've changed his food (from the Nutri Berry fruit to the regular) and I must take out all unknowns in his diet.
So basically he's on Nutri Berries, Millet, and granola cereal until this is worked out of his system.

It could take up to 3 months for diet change to show results.
Until then, I'm supposed to discourage his plucking gently.

The vet fitted Kismet with an Elizabethan collar (pictures soon!) which he hates. He's been gnawing on it since I returned from the vet, falling off his perches, or lying down and sulking on the floor of his cage.

I'm worried that that's all he'll do, that he's going to become an angry bird, that he won't eat (which is an even larger danger). I have to take it off tonight because I'll be going on a short family trip to Florida this weekend (believe me, I don't want to go!) but I think I'm going to take it off early. In fact, right after I take a picture.

It's incredible how much diet plays into our lives! They really are coal mine canaries. I'm terribly upset and mad at myself for putting him through this. I was supposed to take care of him and I let him down. He could eventually have a serious issue with plucking and never break the habit (though the vet said unlikely since it was caught early). I was supposed to be his Mommy and take good care of him and I didn't.

I'm really glad Rebecca and Kiwi started a thread about what we feed our parrotlets. They're our gift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I feel so bad :(
I can't imagine being that itchy all over my body.
 
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