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Question
Dear Sir,

My Parrot is 1 Year 7th Months old, now he is losing his hair since last 3-4 months, he is losing his hair on his head / back / also his feather and tail is gone. earlier he has a good tail and long feather with beautiful hair on his entire body.
he is bathing every 4th - 5th day, eating as natural diet, fruits / vegetables/ and home made regular food. and he is eating dry fruits too. i cant understand why he is losing his hair , he is iching himself entire day.

Please help.

Answer
--- There are quite a few possible causes for what you're seeing and in more than 90% of all presentations it's usually nutritionally related.††† So let me go over that aspect and the other top possibilities:†
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Nutritional problems are really the number 1 reason for feather loss or plucking in the vast majority of cases.†† Sometimes nutritional problems lend to liver problems and that by itself is a cause of feather plucking.† More on this further down
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The next most often issue, if thereís a cage mate, is over preening by that mate or aggression.††† Sometimes it's both.†† A cage mate might be frustrated, feeling stressed for any one of a hundred reasons birds have and they'll take it out on the nearest subject - which happens to be the other bird.


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I've seen plenty of birds like this 'preened' until nearly bald!††† What's worse is that they're having blood feathers (newly grown) pulled out and that's got to hurt.











† You don't mention the size of the cage, but if it's not at least 4' x 4' you may want to consider upgrading their house.††† As these birds become sexually mature they need more space - even if they're bonded - they can have territorial issues.††


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†It's like any family - we all have our own rooms or a place to go to just to get a break right?†† We love our family, but we can get very tense and aggravated if we don't have a little space.


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† So a bigger cage (and a nutritional modification ) might resolve everything and insure a nice long life for both budgies - and much less aggression over time.††

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Nutritional problems are really the number 1 reason for feather plucking in the vast majority of cases.†† Sometimes nutritional problems lend to liver problems and that by itself is a cause of feather plucking.
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A good base of pellets or crumbles specifically for budgies is available from various sources.† One popular brand is Harrisonís, but as long as your bird is eating any kind is better than eating none.†

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Supplementing this diet with fresh foods every day is ideal and many owners find they can re-introduce seeds - in limited amounts (perhaps once or twice a week) without the bird refusing the pellets overall. ††To be honest, the more research thatís done, the more itís shown that seeds shouldnít be fed at all anymore.†† Remember, we donít own wild, foraging birds that are spending 12 hours a day in motion, flying for miles and miles dawn to dusk, doing what birds do.

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Whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, fruits and legumes. Include the colors orange, yellow , green, plus reds too! Think sweet potatoes/yams, squash, melons, oranges, peas, chard, beets and others. †

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Brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat couscous and natural, whole grain pastas are great choices.
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Limit fats, especially the kind from animals. Good fats are most plant fats like soy, olive and canola oils. †No fried anything †
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Another thing you can try is all natural, human baby food.†† Stick to the orange colors.†

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They can be mixed with tiny pasta or rice, whole grain bread or toast - remember, be more creative than the bird is stubborn.

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†When it comes to vitamins,, as odd as it sounds, birds donít need much, if any vitamin C.† It is a water soluble vitamin which means it passes out of the body after the body takes what it needs and C is available in a wide variety of both fresh and processed foods given to birds.

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Vitamin A/Beta Carotene, on the other hand, is frequently found to be deficient in birds.† This is a fat soluble vitamin which means it gets stored in the fat cells of the body, so itís possible to overdose on it.† With our companion birds though, too little is the situation most often encountered.


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The symptoms a bird will show when deficient are increased allergic reactions, respiratory/sinus infections, reproductive problems, skin and feather disorders, even cysts and tumors, as well as various intestinal complications.†

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Vitamin A is most ideally received from natural foods like sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, squash and other dark colored vegetables.† If your bird doesnít care for fresh vegetables, a ņ teaspoon of natural baby food (human baby food) of any of these vegetables.† Again, it must be all natural and nothing but the vegetable with water sufficient for processing.

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Parrots

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Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott

Expertise

Certified Avian Specialist; Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council member; Own animal rescue org; National Wildlife habitat #66378; bird care, nutrition & behavior consultant; International Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants Associate; National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club member; published bird care, info and behavior articles and guides. Ongoing education in exotic bird behavior and nutrition I can answer behavioral, nutritional, environmental, characteristic/personality questions as well as general health and health care. No animal emergency can ever be addressed on the internet. We cannot see your animal, perform an examination, provide necessary care or medication. Please value your companion for the priceless, living creature they are; not for what you might have paid for them.

Experience

Certified Avian Specialist. For more than 30 years I've worked with veterinarians, protective facilities, nature centers, preserves and on my own in providing care and education with regard to multiple animal species, including raptors (hawks, kestrals, owls, etc) and marsupials. In recent years I've focused on parrots, usually rescued from abusive or less than ideal situations and helping educate owners as to proper care. Expert in behavior studies and modification of problem behavior.

Organizations
4AnimalCare is the organization I run as an animal ministry; World Wildlife Association, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club and more

Publications
Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Education/Credentials
Doctorate, Ordained Minister

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