Zeek has been my bird for seventeen years and he just began feather picking around the time I lost my hair from chemo. I am growing hair, but he is still not leaving his feathers alone. A trip to the vet to rule out anything physical, check. New toys, check. Improvement in diet, check. I've tried just about everything and have been at my wits ends trying to figure out why he is plucking his chest at this point in his life. Enter Auntie Sherri. A few days ago, my sister, Sherri, asked me when I moved Zeek away from the window and put Timothy's cage in the spot where Zeek ruled supreme. Well.....we traced it back to about the time he started plucking. This was an aha! moment for me. Zeek wanted his window back! Why didn't I think of that? I guess I was too close to the forest to see the trees. So the next day I changed the whole room around to give Zeek his window back.
The music center is now closer to their cage so they can listen in pure bliss to their CD collection.
One more thing...Zeek was also lunging at me in a vicious fury whenever I passed by his cage. But now that his cage is back next to the window, ALL lunging and hot anger is gone! Totally GONE! I now have my sweet boy back again and it brings tears to my eyes. Who knew that cage placement was so important to him. He has always been such a stable bird I didn't even give it a second thought about changing his cage from the window to the wall near the door. Please, learn from my mistakes....cage placement means a lot to a bird. Some birds might flip out being near the window, but in Zeek's case, the open wall next to the door was his worst nightmare.
The reading chair is still in the room, but not in between the cages like before. This seems to be working fine for all birds involved in reading time.
And how does Timothy feel over all this change? He is so excited to have his two brothers right across from him and in plain sight. This arrangement is working magic on Timothy too. He has been exploring his cage more and more. This is a new behavior for him, as he usually stays in only two places in his large cage. I almost fell on the floor with shock the other day when he was way in the back of his cage!
Here is one of his toys that was hung in the far right corner in the back of his cage...chewed and deposited right below where it was hanging. Wow...seriously? I'm stunned at this burst of progress.
I think he is even smiling in this picture!
So what does all this tell me? When faced with a puzzling problem with your birds behavior, get a vet check first...and then when physical health is not an issue, take a step back and study the situation. Then if needed get another person who doesn't live with you to take a fresh look at the picture. If all else fails...call my sister! Perhaps she should be the one to be called "the beak whisperer!"