It's a very sad thing to have to face. There are so many causes for feather destruction in Eclectus parrots. They range from boredom, unhappy environments, itchy skin, food imbalance or allergies, over preening turning into a bad habit, anxiety from change, hormonal and the 'need' to breed and not being able to. And there are even more reasons that can be added. There are many plucking sprays available in shops that are supposed to fix plucking and many parrot care givers opt for trying these products first. But these sort of things don't work unless you are able to find the cause for  plucking first. It can be hard and a long process to eliminate everything a bit at a time,

and plucking cannot be cured without knowing what has started it in the first place.

A way to tell if your Eclectus is plucking is by looking at the tip of the  feathers that are on the ground. If he’s pulled them out the feathers can look chewed and/or have blood on tips. The feathers can also look like they've been over preened (thinned out). If they’ve moulted out naturally you won't see any blood on the feather tips and the feathers should look clean and in one peace.

Juvenile Eclectus parrots can often over preen while learning to preen. It’s very common in the Eclectus. You can gather all the moulted feathers up and make a preener to hang on the perch. This can encourage them to practice their preening without destroying their own feathers. Most Eclectus parrots move on from their over preening stage but some need a little extra encouragement to move on to prevent a lead to feather plucking. Bathing will also assist and mist sprays using natural aloe juice bought from a health food shop and undiluted, will help. Lack of bathing can cause some over preening if the skin becomes dry and irritated for the Eclectus. Regardless of the weather conditions, allow your Eclectus to bathe or shower daily.

Eclectus parrots are generally not a needy bird. Most are quite happy to entertain themselves as long as they have a large enough toy selection and they have plenty of space to move around in their cages. But they still need human some interaction and there are those who have not been raised by their care givers to allow them to be independent. These birds become bored or needy. Boredom and being needy can sometimes lead to plucking. Many parrot care givers complain that their Eclectus is plucking and they have supplied them with numerous toys. No amount of toys and space will make them happy if they have been raised to be dependent on their humans.

An unhappy household can also lead to plucking. Anti social behaviour by other parrots or humans can cause your Eclectus to become very stressed and anxious, leading to plucking. The stress of being placed with another parrot that it is not compatible can also lead to plucking. If your Eclectus is unhappy within it’s environment then you need to act on this.

Hormones are a very common cause for the Eclectus parrot to pluck. The need to breed can become very frustrating for some Eclectus parrots. The hormonal periods are the only times your Eclectus will pluck. They can be a single Eclectus in your household and have the strong urge to breed and not being able. Incompatibility when paired up will also cause feather plucking.

The male can also become a plucker if paired up with a female that comes across as being too bossy.

Diet and allergy can also lead to plucking. This can often be hard to diagnose if your Eclectus is on a reasonably good diet. Offering too much of a certain food can lead to allergies and plucking. Even if the food is said to be healthy, too much is not always a good thing and individual Eclectus Parrots can have individual allergies to any type of food. Eliminating foods one at a time is usually the only way you’re able to tell if plucking is due to diet or allergy.

A very common cause of feather plucking is from nutritional deficiencies and Chlamydophilosisin in the aviary Eclectus.

Moulting can cause itchy skin and if allowed to get too itchy and irritating has been known to lead to plucking. Regular bathing and an occasional aloe juice spray will help during these times to avoid the start of plucking.

Weak chamomile tea is excellent for stressful pluckers. It acts as a calmer for the bird. Bach’s Rescue Remedy is also highly recommended for stressful Eclectus Parrots.

The longer your bird has been plucking the harder it is to stop it. Often parrots that have been plucking for very longer periods of time do it out of habit and habits can be very hard, sometimes impossible to break. Some birds live the remainder of their lives as pluckers but they are still healthy and happy. You can buy or make your own sock buddy. They help keep the bird warm in winter and can prevent them from getting to their chest.

Bach flower remedies are highly recommended for pluckers. Many Eclectus owners have been successful using this. You do need to speak to your holistic expert and get the correct flowers and dose for your birds mood and behaviour. If you don't do this the remedies won't work.

Feather Destruction