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Avian Practice
Feather plucking in psittacine birds 2. Social, environmental and behavioural considerations
  1. John Chitty

    John Chitty graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 1990 and joined the Strathmore Veterinary Clinic in Hampshire, where he has a large avian/exotic pet! zoo animal caseload. He holds the RCVS certificate in zoological medicine. As well as being the UK representative to the board of directors of the Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV), he is secretary to the European Committee of the AAV. He is also the current president of the Veterinary Invertebrate Society and the Southern Counties Veterinary Society.


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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