There is nothing more disheartening too find a newly feathered chick, where all the feathers are missing as they have been plucked by either another chick or an adult.
NOTE this section should be considered only for Canaries as feather plucking in other breeds can have specific causes such as "Hypovitaminosis [A]",
There are many theories but no known reason why the plucker starts. It is however fairly certain that when an adult particularly the hen starts plucking, it is difficult to stop it continuing. If however it is another young bird doing the plucking, then the remedy is easy and the problem will not continue.
You will sometimes see a bird chewing on the feather shaft, appearing as if to get to the soft centre. Some say this is an attempt to get a mineral for which the bird is deficient, but I think that this is bunkum nonsense claptrap hogwash rubbish twaddle.
The following may be observed | Feathers plucked | Tail feathers missing | Bald patches |
Adult Hen missing head feathers.
If an adult hen is missing head feathers it has probably been caused during mating, or the cock bird is hassling the hen whilst she is sitting on the nest. The best treatment is to remove the cock. Once the eggs are laid the cock can be safely removed and returned later when the chicks are about 14 days old.
Young un-flighted birds missing feathers.
This is caused usually by another young bird and the problem is directly proportional to the boredom of the chicks
The best way to resolve this problem is to tie pieces of string about 15mm (6") long, onto the bars of the cage. You will need to tie them on tightly, as the birds will pull the string every which way for hours. Make sure the string will not shred into a fine mass of threads which can catch a claw.
I find that this is enough to stop boredom however some people use toys with bells and swings and all sorts of things.
Published Joseph Gallea 15th July 2005