Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Feather Destructive Behavior, Feeding Nuts

Thanks Sandee for your great parrotlet work and your blog
I know myself and others look forward to new issues being brought up, and your articulate response to all questions.
Also is there a blog connected with yours for parrotlet fans to discuss parrotlet
tales and experiences ..?
On to the good feisty chattie pac. parrotlet named Odie....our special friend here ...
We waited for months for odies' beautiful tail feathers to grow back in after moulting and radiate
their shape and coloration.....well they grew in nicely but in the last few weeks he has
been nibbling and chewing on them....corncobbing' I call it ......picking off the sides and leaving
the center stem or rachis....he is healthy, gets oodles of attention ....as he wants,
and has a good and balanced diet....attention parrrotlet fans....snow peas have
become a favorite of his....organic with prizes in every pod.
So, my question for you this morning is does his picking at Those particular feathers only
indicate emotion stress or dietary absence...?
Your answer would be greatly appreciated
As Odie is aging and being male energized he has become nippy only on occasion
usually around his cage and food which you have always told your readers is quite
normal...acceptance of his moods and having patience is always essential.

I'll be doing an experiment nxt week that I'll send you and the ranch' readers
the result of.....Odie gets a nut bowl daily usually in the afternoon...consisting of
three cashews two almonds and five shelled pistachios...of course he doesn't
and isn't capable of eating all of it....a large amount of nut flour I call it is left in the bowl.
So, I'm planning to weigh the nuts combo before I place it in his bowl, then I will
weigh the nut flour that is left and report the amount of actual consumption to you
And your readers....should be an interesting experiment and eventual result

Thanks again for being there for us all with your tremendous knowledge and answers to
our parrotlet questions

Warm regards

Dear Mark:

Thank you for your kind note. Unfortunately, until we get bird psychiatrists no one can say why animals do anything. I have friends who chew their fingernails - who knows why? Same with birds. I am not one who believes that animals have emotions like people - their behavior is guided by instinct and it has been my experience over the last 30 years that there are as many reasons for feather destructive behavior in birds as there are birds who engage in it. We humans are always looking for a rational explanation and with animals, sometimes there are none or at least none that sense to us highly evolved humans. I sincerely doubt your bird is malnourished or not receiving an adequate diet but that is based on your behavior not the bird's. As for 'emotion' it could be stress or hormones as those are usually the two culprits when it comes to parrotlets. Sometimes you can figure it out and resolve it, sometimes you can't.

As for the nuts you are feeding, please be careful. That is so much fat that bird is receiving that alone could cause heart problems. Of course, he isn't going to eat it all - again, Nature designed birds to cohabitate in their environment and that includes spreading pollen, seeds and nuts to help disburse plants in the wild. Therefore, birds are very wasteful and both play with their food by tossing and carrying it around as well as only eating small amounts from each bite. If you ever have seen a flock of cockatoos in Australia land in a corn field and pick up each ear, take a bite and throw it on the ground or flick the corn out of their mouths, you can see Nature in action and how the symbiotic relationship between birds and their environment. To me a much more conclusive experiment would be to see how much weight that bird gains over the course of 6-12 months eating that many high fat nuts. Both in the wild and in zoos, studies are done to see both what birds are eating and how much but they do it by checking crop contents. That, or analyzing droppings' contents, are the only scientific ways of determining what birds eat as well as how much.

Best of luck with your bird. Please keep me posted.

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, www.parrotletranch.com

Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization www.internationalparrotletsociety.org

A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest.
Camaroonian Phrase

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