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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello.

I acquired Poppet, a ~two year-old lucida, from a retail pet store six days ago. I love her. We get along and our bond has been formed much, much faster than I ever would have anticipated. (I spend almost every moment of our waking minutes with her, so perhaps this is to be expected.) The entry of this bird into my life has been monumental: to call it 'special' would be a trivialization. Though I digress...

She preens a lot. Not a big deal, but she is pulling out quite a bit of I'll describe as 'down', or little soft white feathers.

I am assuming that this is because she was housed in a huge warehouse for almost two years in a region prone to very, very cold winters, one of which we are presently in.

I'm poor and am used to living at 55º F, but this bird originates in Ecuador, so I have stepped it up to 70º F. I'll sacrifice everything for this bird.

Again, I assume she is acclimating, literally, but this is OK, right? The pulling down thing?

Thank you for your help, info, caring, and existence in advance.

Edit: I should add: Four days I ago I took her to a vet to get her wings clipped, her self checked, stool poked, etc. The trip was a complete, total disaster, and her wings are butchered. Just an addition for complete situational information.

Edit two: The vet said the bird is in perfect health, besides what she did to Poppet during the visit.

Edit third: I play this video of a male parrotlet talking for Poppy: Am I being cruel or comforting? She seems to enjoy it, but I am unsure if I am merely instigating frustration in my poor little bird.
 

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Do you see any bald spots? She may be molting, which is normal to see down feathers and even some regular feathers fall out.

As for the video, I don't see anything wrong with that especially if she's enjoying it.

Post pictures of Poppet when you can, she sounds like sweetheart;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you for the response :)

No, no bald spots at all. The preening seems perfectly 'normal' to me, as does the pulling of 'down'... Though my only point of reference is a pigeon I had a few years ago, a bird of a different feather, so to speak.

But it is the beginning of winter, not a normal time for the shedding of warmth, as far as reason sways me. I assumed this is due to her moving from a cold environment (giant warehouse of abuse) to a cozy one (a loving nest of lovely).

I was hoping for reassurance. You provided it. Thank you so much!

I am beginning to realize that a mutual appreciation of the 'Amélie' soundtrack gets as much response from Poppy as a parrotlet video :) I love this parrot bonding thing.

I will post pictures as soon as I kind find the battery charger for the camera... I swear, it is killing me not being able to capture these moments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Something I think might be helpful for new parrot acquirers, or pet friends in general: Take an ethology course, at least an introductory one. They can be found online for free: I recommend the ethology lectures that are provided by Stanford and UC Berkeley via iTunes U. There are even ethology podcasts for people, like me, who just go bananas over the study of natural behavior.

Having a basic understanding of animal behavior can go a long way in productively communicating with such a high-intellect species as a parrot. A lot of people simply say 'patience' when what they really mean is 'sympathy, knowledge, and productive understanding'. It takes time, but when one is empowered with the beauty of empathy that is ethology I believe one might have an easier time relating to such a foreign species as a bird.

I know that coming to this new relationship with a mature parrot armed with a basic understanding of animal behavior and psychology has allowed us a fluid and rapid course toward a solid bond.

I know I am just babbling to the wind, but I would love a parrotlet culture that espoused an honest eduction in animal behavior (a free, quick, and enlightening teaching by way of the internet), something that would be so much more productive and helpful than repeating the mantra 'patience, patience, patience'.
 

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Has there been any change in food? I have been dealing with "down pulling" to the point of baldness with my Parrotlet and I think I have it narrowed down to a food allergy. We have investigated everything else with a vet and a change in food has caused less pulling. I think she was itchy/irritated. We switched her from Harrison's two weeks ago, trying to illiminate soy, wheat, peanuts and corn. We are trying "Totally Organics" organize food pellets and have seen some new feather growth and less picking/pulling. I think Harrison's IS the best, but may not be the right choice for every bird.
 

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My Nibblet pulls out his sticky white feathers some, but he is very healthy. I don't think some is that bad. You might look into a Thermal Perch. Just be sure to plug it into a surge protector. That way at night he can warm his feet (that is how they stay warm, with their little feet). At first Nibblet would not use his thermal perch, now he uses it all the time and he has never been sick at all (he is over a year old now, I got him when he was about 10 weeks old).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thank you so much for the responses.

I have kept her on the same food she was getting at the pet store, with the introduction of birdie bread which I baked per a recipe I found here. It was my intention of keeping things as similar to her prior environment as possible while she adjusts to her new home. As she is settling in nicely, I plan on ordering a more beneficial food tomorrow (the pet store food is junk), as well as additional nutrients.

I suppose I am unsure how much preening is normal. I spend all day with her, and can safely estimate about 30 minutes of total accumulated preening daily. Perhaps ten little white feathers have been plucked over the course of the past three days.

I look forward to her enjoying a more healthy diet soon.

Thank you, again, for the helpful responses.

Edit to say: I am very intrigued by the thermal perch idea. This is something that is going on the shopping list. Thank you for the recommendation!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We switched her from Harrison's two weeks ago, trying to illiminate soy, wheat, peanuts and corn.
I completely misread this statement and immediately ordered some Harrison's High Potency Super Fine upon an initial ingestion.

That being said, I just supplied Poppet with this newly-arrived foodstuff and she seems to like it.

I have been having difficulty introducing Poppy to new foods... Even millet spray took a wee bit for us to get accustomed to. I hand-fed her scrambled egg prepared with ground peppercorn, red pepper flakes and almond milk last night and she liked it. This was something of a triumph.

Today I made her plate of pitaya, guava, cauliflower, Birdie Bread, hard-boiled egg yolk, kiwi, and Peruvian mango. She ignores it all. I fill her dish with that Harrison's pellet and she eats it up. Therefore, to see her so receptive to this product is satisfying.

Am I going about this all wrong? Is there a better product? Should I filter my water?
 

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No you just have to be patient with food trying. I introduced one food at a time for about a week each. That being said she is not a great eater. She will eat corn, peas, scrambled eggs, sweet potato, and cherrios. I took her a year of everyday being exposed to blackberries to even try one. Now it is her favorite fruit. I put every vegetable I have on hand in her birdie bread and she loves that. Each bird is different and some eat everything right away and some do not like children. Just keep offering it to her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thank you, jeannepp.

I apologize, but my sense of humor doesn't seem to translate in these forums. I was being a tad tongue-in-cheek.

I found a wonderful article that resonates with me in regards to companion parrots:

Ethical, Moral & Spiritual Considerations of Companion Parrot Care

In said article, an idea is presented in re: a parrot 'liking' something. One bowls over in agreement and confirmation of philosophy .

I apologize, again. I'll be leaving now.
 
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