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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have tried to post this on talk Cockatiel but it wont let me post it, but I really need advice.

I am looking after my aunts cockatiel as she is away for the weekend. I warn you in advance it is a long post.

I am very concerned about him (the cockatiel) as he has been plucking his feathers very badly (this has been going on for nearly a year, so not a new thing). I don't have a lot to do with my aunt or uncle unless they want something then I hear from them so I didn't know much about whats has been going on. So he has been brought to me and his front is bald, the back of his neck and down the back is too. He is desperate for attention that is the first thing I noticed, human and other bird, he used to live with another cockatiel who was disabled (my aunt and uncle too her on as the owners didnt want her, when they got her she had two broken wings which had been left and healed in a disfigured manner) but she died about a year ago. That seemed to be when the issues start, or at least that was when it was mentioned to us.

They have supposedly taken him to a vet (proper avian) though I am very unsure as to whether they have or whether they tell the vet the whole truth as they only feed him trill (the budgie kind, im in the uk and it is in all the supermarkets), there is nothing else provided other than water. This is the main reason I dont trust what they are saying regarding the vets as I would presume they would of told them to put him on a proper cockatiel diet, supplemented with veggies and possibley powder or liquid supplements or to wean him onto pellets. As I am used to giving my budgies and parrot the best diet I can of seeds, pellets, beans and pulses, sprouts, fruits and veggies with small amounts of proteins (eggs food, boiled egg etc), and once a week a probiotic fortified with minerals and vitamins the food they give their cockateil is extremely lacking in my opinion. But I have never had a cockatiel before and dont know their diet requirements, just presuming. You guys will know far better.

Now according to them the vet has done blood work on him and have said everything is perfect and there is nothing they can do, but to me that can not be right. He is left compeletly on his own for hours when they go to work, when they are about he would be lucky to get out 30 mins a day in total for a week, some days not getting out others being out an hours or so. Something that bothers me is if he makes a lot of noise they cover him up to make him go quiet, now I have been there and seen it , the sounds he is making are flocking sounds/begging for some attention.

So my thinking (again I don't know cockatiels) was that there must be a combination of loneliness and diet issues contributing to his feather plucking. But tonight I was watching him and he pulled out a feather and ate the full thing, he had done this on 3 seperate occasions, that set alarm bells with me because that screams there must be a deficiency of something. Since he has been here I got some Harrison high potency mash which i dusted his food with (didn't want to change his diet on such a short stay) and I added some pro-biotic to his water which has loads of vitamins in it too. I also added a cuttlefish bone, though I will need to take it away for him going back or it will cause offense.

Now I am really looking for some guidance and advice on this. My aunt and uncle are not intentionally being cruel or anything but I am pretty sure it is just sheer ignorance. The next problem I have is they are not people that accept any advice or criticisms, they are always in the right so I am on a loosing streak to start with, but I cannot stand to look at him and not try to do something for him especially if it is something that can be fixed. My parents think I am wasting my time over the situation as my aunt and uncle wont listen or agree with me, and so will do only what they want. If you have any advice on what the possible cause could be or anything I can try and do to improve his situation etc I will be very grateful.
 

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That is so sad :( and I think you are absolutely right with your suspicion that the cockatiel's state is caused by malnutrition and the living conditions.
Fist of all, does he even get any kind of calcium in his diet? Sunlight? Cockatiels need vegetables too, just like budgies. Egg would be nice once in a while for protein and growth of feathers.
Although feather plucking can be a sign of parasites, it can very well be psychological. The cockatiel is obviously lonely and bored.
I don't know how you would go about helping this bird, since your aunt and uncle won't listen. Would you be able to persuade them to give you the bird? Honestly, they don't seem fit to be bird owners, especially because they won't listen to good advice. :( Through their ignorance, they are causing the bird to suffer.
 

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There could be a number or mixture of reasons why he is plucking from loneliness, boredom, depression, lack of play/foraging toys and malnutrition. if he's severely plucking any vet I have seen would have given him a bird collar to prevent further damage. If he's on parakeet only diet he may be lacking vital minerals that case the skin to be dry and itchy causing feather plucking, same as lack of direct sunlight. but he also might be missing company :( I hope you can get them to listen even just a little for the birds sake
 

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You hit the nail on the head with your suspicions of poor diet and loneliness. I truly hope you can find a way to add this poor sweet baby to your family and nurse him back to good health. It is so good of you to be concerned for him like you are, he really needs you. :hug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I got my opportunity to give some advice, but I am pretty sure I was wasting my time and everything I said will be ignored. It does turn out though she has taken him to a vet, who from what she said has advised everything I and you guys thought (apart from re-homing), however most if not all advise was ignored. The bird seems to have developed an unhealthy attraction to their dog, caused by being on his own for a large portion of the day and due to the fact they wont re home him or separate him from the dog the vet has offered them surgery to insert an implant to stop the sexual desires. Though I am of the firm belief if he had company of the appropriate kind and was not left in isolation this wouldn't be a concern anymore. Personally I think the best option is he is re homed, but the chances of that are extremely slim to non existent. But you never know stranger things have happened. Thanks again for all the support on here and to those who private messaged me.
 
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