My IRN is losing all his feathers, please help me!!!!!!!!!!

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jlien827
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:45 pm

My IRN is losing all his feathers, please help me!!!!!!!!!!

Postby jlien827 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:15 pm

Hi all!

My name is Judith, and I am new here. I joined this forum because I really need help with my baby parrot.

I've had my IRN for about 7 years now. I first got him when I lived in Taiwan with my brother and my parents.
5 years ago I moved here in the United States, and last year my brother did too. Also around the same time, my mom moved away to another city for work (still in Taiwan, she goes home to see my parrot every other week), so now my IRN only lives with my dad.
The reason I mentioned that is because my baby used to be a very happy bird, and his feathers was beautiful, he was always singing and sometimes went through the molting stage, but his feathers always grew back fast. It wasn't until last year, he pretty much pulled out all his feathers, and it's been almost a year, it still hasn't grown back, and only seems to get worse.

I was wondering if my parrot is too lonely and misses his family? I know IRNs can be very sensitive. My dad has tried many different ways, (we've always fed him well, on top of the seed he eats, we also feed him fresh vegetables, fruits...), he takes him out in the sun, tried going to the vet many many times (we put vitamin in his water because he doesn't even eat very much anymore...), My mom, my brother and I also facetime (or skype) my parrot just so he can hear and see us...

My dad is busy with work, so he's only home at night and on the weekends. During the weekdays, I think my IRN can get very lonely... We've tried to let him befriend with other birds we bought (same, as well as different breeds), it just doesn't seem to help. Should we try getting other pets? Guinea pigs? Cat? Dog? Rabbit? Or what about leaving the TV on when no one's home? Radio?

Sorry for writing such a long article... I am so worried and I can only see my parrot once a year... or not even... Please help me I really don't know what to do.

jlien827
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:45 pm

Re: My IRN is losing all his feathers, please help me!!!!!!!

Postby jlien827 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:30 pm

Here's a pic. You can see he's pulled out over half of his feathers and it's been like this for the past year.
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jlien827
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Re: My IRN is losing all his feathers, please help me!!!!!!!

Postby jlien827 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:32 pm

Here's another one....
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InTheAir
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Re: My IRN is losing all his feathers, please help me!!!!!!!

Postby InTheAir » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:49 pm

Hi,

I highly recommend reading Pamela Clarks articles. Here's the first one:
http://pamelaclarkonline.com/uploads/Fe ... artOne.pdf

Does your bird live on that stand during the day? Does he have toys to play with? puzzles to solve? Does he have a cage to play in?
Most authorities on companion parrots strongly advise against restraining parrots by their leg. Parrots don't have the same strength in their legs as raptors/birds of prey.

Regards,
Claire

jlien827
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:45 pm

Re: My IRN is losing all his feathers, please help me!!!!!!!

Postby jlien827 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:25 pm

Claire,

Yes. When we got him at a pets store in Taiwan, that's how they kept him and most birds there in the store. I'm guessing that's how most people in Taiwan do it when they have parrots.

But thank you so much for the advice, I will get the chain off his foot immediately and get him a big cage with toys.
Hopefully he'll be happier.

Thank you,

Judy

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InTheAir
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Re: My IRN is losing all his feathers, please help me!!!!!!!

Postby InTheAir » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:49 pm

Hi Judy,

I have heard that type of restraint is very common in some countries.

Unfortunately feather plucking doesn't seem to be easily fixed as it can become a habit. I'm sure the wee bird will feel much better about life in general with more to do and room to explore, but he may keep destroying his feathers. There may even be a medical reason that is contributing.

He looks like a little sweetheart, btw!

This is the main play stand I have for my 2 birds and they still get bored of it and fly off to find some mischief after an hour or 2 on it.


Image[/quote]

jlien827
Posts: 6
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Re: My IRN is losing all his feathers, please help me!!!!!!!

Postby jlien827 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:02 pm

Hi InTheAir,

Beautiful play stand you have!!! Your birds must enjoy it a lot!
I'm thinking to do the same for my bird! Thank you so much for the advice and the picture, I really really appreciate it!! Hoping my bird is going to enjoy it and will stop plucking out his own feathers!

Judy

MissK
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Re: My IRN is losing all his feathers, please help me!!!!!!!

Postby MissK » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:35 pm

Hi Judy,

Are you home with your bird in Taiwan now? How long will you be able to stay? If you are picking out a cage I'd like to help you make sure to get one of adequate size. I really feel it is best to have one at least 36 by 20 inches in footprint, and as tall as reasonable, at least 30 inches. Bigger is usually better, of course, but I understand space and cost are factors. Wheels on the stand are very helpful. Bar spacing should be less than the one inch that bigger birds usually get. I had meant to get a cage selection post up by now, but I have not yet. :oops:

For toys, I find my bird is most fond of little items in a variety of textures, shapes, and materials. He also needs things he can chew up and destroy, like wood, paper, and small twigs. Many birds benefit from puzzles, though if your bird has never had one, he may need time to learn about that, and to start with something very easy. Puzzles can be tied in with foraging, where he needs to do some sort of work to obtain his treats. This activity is very satisfying for parrots in general. When you give him toys, be sure they are not hanging over his head and scaring him. When he's used to that, they can go higher in the cage. Also, larger toys may be intimidating to start.

Providing toys and foraging opportunities (environmental enrichment) is something parrots need, and I'm sure your little guy will be happier with them! :P
-MissK

jlien827
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Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:45 pm

Re: My IRN is losing all his feathers, please help me!!!!!!!

Postby jlien827 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:35 pm

Hello MissK,

Thank you so much for the advice!!!! I'm not in Taiwan right now, but I had my dad get my bird a cage that's about the same size you suggested, and also got him toys and puzzles. He just got them for my bird yesterday, and so far my bird is not liking the change :( he's been living on that stand for the past 7 years (ever since he's born) and he's had the chain on his foot since he was young. My dad took the chain off his foot, put him in a cage and got him many toys, but since my bird has never been in the cage before, he's really not enjoying it :( my dad said he wouldn't eat when he was in the cage, he ignored all toys he bought him, and he wouldn't even sing/talk anymore. My dad said when he let him out of the cage, my bird flew back to his stand immediately and started singing. Perhaps we should give it more time?

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InTheAir
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Re: My IRN is losing all his feathers, please help me!!!!!!!

Postby InTheAir » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:49 am

That's absolutely wonderful that your dad has got him a new cage and toys already! Your parrot is lucky to have such a loving family.
It is a huge change for him, he is habituated to being chained to a perch. Just be patient, everything with animals takes time, he has to learn how to explore a cage.
Missk will be along soon enough to explain the process of adapting to a new lifestyle and toys, it's more her forte than mine.

MissK
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:46 pm
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Re: My IRN is losing all his feathers, please help me!!!!!!!

Postby MissK » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:17 am

Hi Judy,

I am really busy these days and don't have time for a huge post, but you can certainly use SEACH to see what I have had to say on caging and toys and what not, if you are interested.

Right off, I would suggest, if possible, start by placing the cage where the stand used to be. Even, it might be helpful to put that chain back on the bird, put the bird back on the stand, and set the cage (bottomless) around him to give him a chance to understand being in the cage is not dangerous. Supervise during this because with the chain on the leg he could possibly get into trouble on is own. Leave the cage right next to him when not supervised. It must be shocking to suddenly be enclosed when you never have been before.

I would leave the bird like that for a while and introduce the new perches, etc, then bit by bit remove the stand, close up the cage, take the chain off and put the bird in.

An alternative would be if you can take off the bar he is used to sitting on temporarily and put that in the cage for his perch, and run the cage like that, normal, but with that bar as the perch. The point is you want to let him keep something familiar for reassurance and ease him into the cage in a way he remains comfortable and confident. Don't want to upset him. The bird is smart and adaptable, but he is still just a little birdie. Make it easy on him.

I have no past experience in this exact situation, nor have I read of it, but my gut says that's the way to go. Ease him into that big change. Please follow your conscience in this. If you don't think he's ready, don't do it. Better to go extra slow than upset him more and exacerbate the plucking.
-MissK


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