We have an adorable one year-old green cheek conure, and due to an unfortunate accident almost three weeks ago (long story, details given upon request) all except one of his tail feathers were pulled out. He didn't bleed at all when it happened.

Within a week he started growing four new tail feathers, but just yesterday we noticed all but one of these new feathers are also gone. We don't know whether he pulled them out himself, or if they just fell off by themselves.
We're worried now, even though he can still fly very well, and the lack of tail feathers doesn't seem to bother him too much.

Is it possible he doesn't recognize these new feathers and is pulling them out? Is it common for the first set of new tail feathers to just fall off?
Thanks very much for any info.
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We have an adorable one year-old green cheek conure, and due to an unfortunate accident almost three weeks ago (long ... it common for the first set of new tail feathers to just fall off? Thanks very much for any info.

Growing feathers is a fairly stressful time for a bird. It takes extra nutrition to produce the feather and there is some discomfort involved. Being one-year-old, this may be his first replacement of tail feathers. But regrowing all of them at one time is not, as you know, the way it works naturally.
My guess is that it bothers him and he is removing them. If it happens again, I think this bird is a perfect candidate for a collar. He wouldn't have to wear it for long and its purpose would be to prevent him from developing a bad habit that could become a life-long one.

I have a Painted Conure with no tail feathers. I doubt that they will regrow now because he has removed them for so long and feather follicles can be permanently damaged. Had I thought of it years ago when the problem began, maybe I could have prevented the habit from developing, maybe not.

His onset was not due to trauma but something about his liver (vet opinion) at that time causing him aggravation he didn't know how to deal with but by removing his tail feathers. He is fully flighted and navigates quite well. He'd never make it in the wild but has accuracy getting around here. Since he is the only flighted bird I have, he thinks he's special. He buzzed me yesterday while I was washing dishes.
If you should collar him, I'd check with the vet to see what you can put on his tail to keep him comfortable as those feathers regrow. The collar is torture enough without him being unable to tend to his tail. Once the blood feathers emerge from the sheath, you should be safe to remove the collar.

I'm sure you've addressed the cause of the original trauma and it will not reoccur. If you choose to discuss the details, make sure you are wearing your flame-proof gear.

Sincerely,
Joanne
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We have an adorable one year-old green cheek conure, and due to an unfortunate accident almost three weeks ago (long ... are also gone. We don't know whether he pulled them out himself, or if they just fell off by themselves.

Blunt trauma can cause follicle damage.
Regards
Growing feathers is a fairly stressful time for a bird. It takes extra nutrition to produce the feather and there is some discomfort involved.How do you know this? . The collar is torture enough without him being unable to tend to his tail.

This is a ridiculous thing to say. What do you base the statement on? I have a little mutilating goffins here who at present is fine, but any stress will start her chewing holes in her chest. I got her a new design collar from Germany and not only is she happy to have me put it on, but she seems happy to wear it. She can preen, move about, eat etc, in fact everything she can normally do without the collar, the only thing she cannot do is put her head down to chew her chest.
Have you ever had a bird which had to have a collar on?
Growing feathers is a fairly stressful time for a bird. It takes extra nutrition to produce the feather and there is some discomfort involved.

How do you know this?

I've never grown a feather, but here is and excerpt of one among many articles on the topic.
(Originally presented to the Association of Avian Veterinarians Annual Conference August 1998)"The emerging feather is encased in a sheath of shiny white or grey keratin, which is rubbed off by the bird in the process of preening. Mutual preening of companion birds, apart from strengthening a pair bond, allows the removal of such keratin from feathers on the head which are difficult to reach by the bird itself. The emergence of the feather at this stage causes some irritation to the bird, and the appearance of several feathers all at once will often promote severe scratching and biting.

Thus if a bird does lose many feathers for whatever reason, their subsequent replacement may lead to excessive preening which can easily become picking, with the loss of more feathers, followed by new feather growth and further irritation... In this way a cycle of feather picking is easily established. The presence of many sheathed quills on a bird may indicate some pain and difficulty in preening (e.g. arthritis), or more usually is an indicator of deficiency problems or systemic disease."
. The collar is torture enough without him being unable to tend to his tail.

This is a ridiculous thing to say. What do you base the statement on? I have a little mutilating goffins ... her head down to chew her chest. Have you ever had a bird which had to have a collar on?

You are right on this point. Torture wasn't a good choice of word. My thought was toward its restrictiveness being (fill in a good word) added to the irritation of the newly growing feathers that the bird can no longer reach.
Yes, I've had a bird in a collar for a short time. The bird was much happier without it.

Sincerely,
Joanne
If it's right for you, then it's right, . . . . . for you!!!

Play - http://www.jobird.com
Pay for Play - http://www.jobird.com/refund.htm
Looking for Love? - http://www.jobird.com/hearts.htm Garden Kinder CDs
http://www.jobird.com/cd/gardenkinderhome.html
I have a tiel who has to be collared all the time, or he also chews his neck/chest. Can you give me any info on the collar you got from Germany? I'm always looking for something that will work better..
How do you know this?

I've never grown a feather, but here is and excerpt of one among many articles on the topic.

but, who ever wrote the article has grown feathers?

ZQ
I've never grown a feather, but here is and excerpt of one among many articles on the topic.

but, who ever wrote the article has grown feathers? ZQ

Stranger things have happened.
Here's the URL for the complete article. I should have posted it with the excerpt. It's pretty interesting.
http://www.parrotpassionsuk.com/Advice/Moulting.htm

Sincerely,
Joanne
If it's right for you, then it's right, . . . . . for you!!!

Play - http://www.jobird.com
Pay for Play - http://www.jobird.com/refund.htm
Looking for Love? - http://www.jobird.com/hearts.htm Garden Kinder CDs
http://www.jobird.com/cd/gardenkinderhome.html
Here's the URL for the complete article. I should have posted it with the excerpt. It's pretty interesting. http://www.parrotpassionsuk.com/Advice/Moulting.htm

When Rudy's first set of tail feathers started to grow back we could tell he was uncomfortable he was always trying to preen them, and we tried as best we could to help him with the process of removing the dried feather sheaths. But I guess the discomfort was too much for him to handle and he picked the feathers off himself.

Thanks everyone very much for the helpful info and advice. We'll call our vet on Tuesday and see about getting him a collar (and maybe some nutrition supplements as well). We love this little guy like you wouldn't believe, and it's especially maddening because the accident which caused this feather loss was completely avoidable.
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