Our pet's behaviour is the best indicator that they are suffering from anxiety or stress. They tell us a lot by their actions, their physiological responses and sometimes by the "evidence" they've left while you have been away from home.
Many people don't realise that birds can fret when their owners go away or there is a change in the home life of the bird.
There are several factors that can cause your bird to become anxious and stressed - something as simple as a change in cage location, lack of interaction with humans and other birds or animals or even a change in how much sleep your bird receives, can all be detrimental to their mental health.
Although birds pluck their feathers to preen, a common sign of stress or anxiety in birds is continual feather plucking until the feathers are gone and the skin is left red and looking sore and irritated.
It is important to ensure that you take the necessary steps to keep your bird happy and as stress free as possible. Ensure they have ample stimulation by way of toys that will stop them using their energy destructively and keep them entertained.
A bored bird can turn on itself or its environment very quickly. Include things for them to climb on and toys that provide a bif of a game; there is a wide variety of toys on the market ranging from those that can be shredded, ones that make noise and talk to the old style ball with a bell. TIP: Rotate your bird's toys. Keep a few on hand that you can switch over every few days to avoid boredom.
If you are planning a trip away, ensure your bird is not left on its own for long periods of time. Perhaps find a friend or relative who can bring it into their own home or care for it in your home, ensuring that your bird is stimulated and checking for any signs of stress.
If you fear your bird has become a victim of its own destruction, there are products available that make the feathers become bitter and deter from overplucking. Sprays such as Aristopet 'Stop Pick' can be used in conjunction with toys and branches that will help keep your bird stimulated and break the cycle of self-mutilation.
Parasites such as lice and mites can also cause overplucking. Ensure parasite treatment is kept up to date. There are sprays available such as Avitrol Bird Mite and Lice spray in a variety of sizes to make it simple for you to keep parasites at bay.
If you have any concerns speak to one of our friendly team in store or visit your avian Veterinarian.
Written by Janine Yeates - Just for Pets