PART 1 of this article, published in the last issue, described an approach to the medical investigation of feather plucking in psittacine birds. However, even when medical causes of plucking have been identified, most cases will be multifactorial in origin and so rarely resolve permanently with a single therapy. When presented with a plucking bird, it is generally necessary to take a holistic view of the bird's lifestyle to ascertain whether other non-medical triggers are also involved. This article discusses the social and behavioural/psychological factors associated with feather plucking and suggests how affected birds might be managed.
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