How can you tell the difference between preening and picking? - Talk Budgies Forums


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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Your Budgie's Health


Your Budgie's Health Learn about avian health and vet care. This forum does not substitute for veterinary expertise.

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Old 04-14-2018, 03:28 PM
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Default How can you tell the difference between preening and picking?

Archie's been doing really well in the month-ish I've had him, from what I can tell. He perches on one foot a lot, he likes to grind his beak, he'll often chatter along to my TV, which I've heard are signs that a budgie is comfortable. Although, he doesn't play with his toys much at all, he likes to just sit on his rope perch and stare at things. I wonder if he is plucking his feathers, it could be because of boredom. But I'm still not sure he is plucking :/
About a week after I got him, I started finding feathers around my room/in his cage. I didn't think much of it, I thought he was probably just malting. It's around the same time that he started feeling comfortable enough around me to preen his feathers, but I'm not sure if that's really linked.
This afternoon I was sitting next to his cage, as I often do, and I saw him preening the feathers around his neck, and one of his feathers came off and stayed in his plumage until he shook his feathers and it fell out (he shakes his feathers a lot too).
There aren't any bald spots on him, and it's always just little wispy white feathers from his undergrowth that come out.
This might be an easy distinction to an old-timer, but a bird dad worries!

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Old 04-14-2018, 03:38 PM
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That's perfectly normal

You'd be able to tell if he was plucking as birds who do concentrate on just one area, leaving very sparse or even bald spots. Just having a few down feathers fall out on their own is perfectly normal. Additionally, while he's moulting it may seem like he's losing a ton of feathers, but this is also normal
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:20 PM
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Have you read the threads regarding molting?
Budgies preen their feathers and lose a lot of the little downy feathers on a regular basis.

As StarlingWings indicated, when a bird is overpreening/plucking it is very evident.

https://www.talkbudgies.com/articles-...e-molting.html

https://www.talkbudgies.com/articles-...ds-health.html
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:34 AM
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Hi there JJ

Reading the links given to you by FaeryBee will give you a better understanding about molting. In fact, reading the Stickies at the top of the forum sections, and our Articles section, will give you a good starting knowledge base on budgies. There you’ll find answers to many commonly asked questions too.

Feather plucking isn’t common among Budgies as a species. In fact, although you hear about it and see it from time to time on any parrot species, the ‘most common’ reasons for plucking or over preening are medical reasons.
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