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Feather-plucking occurs in many bird species world-wide for a variety of reasons. Wild birds pluck feathers to maintain appropriate body temperature. Domestic birds and pets can also display forms of this behavior for both thermal or psychological reasons. Birds kept in cages may be showing emotion through the feather-plucking habit, possibly owing to lack of appropriate environmental stimulation. Feather-plucking may indicate the bird feels neglected, sad, bored, or inappropriately expressing joy. Alternatively, feather-plucking may be due to a feather disease, an itchy skin disease or another physical problem. One of the main reasons a bird begins to pluck their feathers is malnutrition. Many birds, especially parrots, are fed a diet consisting of mainly seeds. This diet lacks many of the essential nutrients such as vitamins that birds need to stay healthy. The birds skin eventually becomes dry, flaky, and irritated. The birds then try to relieve the itching by grooming their feathers, but this often leads to over-grooming and eventually feather plucking.It is possible that veterinary treatment or an improved and more stimulating environment may help a bird suffering from feather-plucking.
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