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Toys for Birds

Shredding toys for a feather plucked bird?

Q. Our Goffin Cockatoo plucks his chest and we have been told to offer him shredding toys.

A. For the benefit of your bird, always consult your avian veterinarian to determine and rule out physical causes for the feather damaging behavior. You should also discuss your bird’s diet with the veterinarian. Once you’ve determined that he does not have diseases or parasites, you can make changes in his lifestyle to discourage the plucking. First, provide your guy with a day cage and give him a lot of misting showers each morning to encourage feather growth and beneficial preening. While shredding toys are great to offer birds with feather damaging behavior, it is very important that these types of toys only be offered to companion birds on either their play gym or in a day cage. When birds have a shredding toy in the same cage they sleep in, they often shred excessively as this is a nesting behavior.

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Hagen Avicultural Research Institute