Here's a copy of a post I sent to toolady.com. Figured some of the experts on RPB may provide some valuable info as well.
It's finally happened to me. First time experience with a plucker. I just "inherited" a Quaker who had a bad case of feather picking. Probably about 4 y/o; no idea what sex. I'm now the 3rd owner & #2 told me that the bird was in a state of mourning for a time after #1 gave it to them, so I'm guessing this is when the plucking started. There is pretty good fuzz growing back on the belly and even some on the back & wings, but the legs are still nekkid. (Now I finally know what them drumsticks look like w/o feathers.) Also, he's only got two tail feathers left.
My questions are these: How do I know if it's merely preening or picking feathers again? If preening, should I distract him every time he preens? I'm trying to minimize the stress of moving to a new environment, and my preliminary assessment is that the bird seems to be making the transition pretty well. He's friendly & interested, playing with toys & talking up a storm. Also working on getting him some decent nutrition, but he seems not to have any issues there from owners #2.
Doesn't seem to be any actual mutilation that I've noticed (picking into the skin). As he just moved into my house three days ago, I don't want to stress him out too quickly by a drive to the vet just yet, but that definitely is planned soon (think I'll make the appt today for next week). Thanks in advance for any advice the forum can provide. You can email me at jnster at earthlink dot net.
John
Here's a copy of a post I sent to toolady.com. Figured some of the experts on RPB may provide some ... week). Thanks in advance for any advice the forum can provide. You can email me at jnsterat earthlink dot net.[/nq]I have a couple of pickers and one mutilator and have found that those with over preening tendencies seem to be happy to use preen toys. One thing I do is to tear or cut strips if cotton dishtowel and tie them to the bars all over the cage, also sisal preen toys and give a warm spray daily, really soaking the bird. Every time the mutilating goffins takes too much of an interest in her chest she gets sprayed and praised. I hope yours never mutilates as it can be disheartening.

If only people realised what damage gets done by passing birds from home to home perhaps they wouldn't get them in the first place. I wonder if they would buy them on impulse if a law said that they could not pass it on or sell it until they had had it for 5 years. It might make people think hard about impulse buys. Good luck with your bird. I love quakers and have 4 of them.
I wonder if they would buy them on impulse if a law said that they could not pass it on or sell it until they had had it for 5years. It might make people think hard about impulse buys.

I think you're over-estimating human nature. It would more likely lead to an increased number of birds that mysteriously escape or just die.
Good luck with your bird. I love quakers and have 4 of them.

Alan
Here in FL they say a lot of finches are just let loose because people breed too many of them. The Humane Society doesn't even have adoption for finches very often; people don't bring them in. They say the same happens with Quakers down here to a certain extent.
Would be nice if people had to take a bird ownership test before buying one.
Good luck with your bird. I love quakers and have 4 of them.

I want a quaker so bad, but here in PA, USA, if you get caught with a quaker it will be euthanized on the spot. They are scared of a repeat farmers crop destruction.
Good luck with your bird. I love quakers and have 4 of them.

I want a quaker so bad, but here in PA, USA, if you get caught with aquaker it will be euthanized on the spot. They are scared of a repeat farmerscrop destruction.

They are bloody noisy little boogars but so funny.Luckily I live in England where there would be an uproar if local councils tried to ban certain species of pets.
I knew that quakers were banned in certain places over there as are ferrets. If you ever move home to a place where you can have quakers, do get some, they are great.
Its kinda stupid they do it here too, cause you can go only 30 minutes away right next store to Ohio and have them.
Yeah, it's a real shame. Several states outlaw keeping Quakers as pets. Someone posted a list of them all one time a few yrs back on RPB. Of course, that changes from time to time and there are plenty of websites that list the most current.
I got my first Quaker from a friend who used to breed lovebirds. They moved from Florida to Georgia, where Quakers are outlawed. However, they grandfathered her in since her one remaining Quaker had been a pet for a long time. Unfortunately, they had a real bad winter storm a yr or so after they moved up there, and lost power for several days. She told me that all her birds died except for the few they were able to keep in the house (where they lived by the fireplace, I'm guessing). Such a shame.

John