Zygodactyl Footnotes from October 2015

Zygodactyl Footnotes from October 2015

Hello Windy City Parrot


i am visiting friends in Puerto Rico and they have a 2 year old Moluccan Cockatoo. He is very needy.. loves to be petted and is a little neurotic.


The past few months he has been pulling the feathers out to bloody skin and pecking at it around his neck to the point where the Vet put a collar on him to stop more damage. he still tries. he eats well.


They can’t find any allergies or anything medically wrong although this is not America. they don’t have really good vets. it sounds like it may be an easy common problem. but no one knows.. can you help?




Hi Helen


Feather picking and destruction is a common problem, but not always an easy one. Moluccan Cockatoos are a handful, a big one. They are extremely demanding of attention and can yell loud enough to get it.


There are too many variables for me to ask and to get answers for to even steer them toward a solution. The bird is likely hormonal and or bored, a bird like that needs a huge cage at least 40″ wide or larger, plus loads of toys and things to bang around and some to just destroy.


If the bird is tame enough to handle they should only pet from the neck up to avoid hormonal activity. If they can get on a schedule, same time for food, same time for play, same time for sleep, etc, it will be easier for the bird to know what to expect daily and in its life.


How is its diet? Is it getting more than just a seed diet? It should have besides it seeds or pellets a daily dish of veggies, some fruit, pasta. Eggs are good, a piece of chicken on the bone (the drummette) is good.


Variety is healthy and stimulating. If the bird needs a collar to protect some places that are getting chewed up, try a piece of flat fleece, about a foot square or round. Cut a small hole in the top and put over the birds head like a poncho. It will help give the bird something to pick at instead of its feathers, no it won’t like it but it won’t hurt it.


Flat fleece, looks like felt, it is a bonded fabric the bird can’t get any toes caught in, it holds up well to beaks. A cheap thing to try. I wish you, them, the best with their bird.

all the best – Catherine



attn customer service:

I have a few heated perches in my shopping cart – I wanted to be sure that they are not smooth but sand as my birds prefer that. Thank you so much! Also – am I choosing correct size for canary winged bee-bee and Congo African Grey. small and med




Dear Catherine


We do not carry the sand heated perches. We feel that it encourages birds to spend too much time sitting and possibly sleeping on an abrasive perch that encourages callouses, bumble foot or pressure sores.



We carry the grey plastic thermo perches which have a textured surface that allows the birds to be able to sit on them safely. We do have the sanded ones available to us if you cannot locate them and really want them we can get them for you, but they are not as low priced as the grey ones we feature. Sizes. You would choose the small for the canary wing, and the medium size for the grey.


Thank you – Catherine



Hello Windy City Parrot,


I have a female Peach Face Lovebird whom I would love to take out & about with me, but the flight suit I bought for her is far too bulky for her. After doing a bit of research, I saw a picture of a green Lovebird wearing one of your harness’.


peach faced lovebird eating apple


I’m wondering if the petite harness is adjustable since your sizing chart says a typical female Peachy is 55 grams & your petite harness is made for birds 75 grams & above. I am more than willing to purchase the harness with they guarantee that I will be able to put it on my Lovebird. I hope to hear from you soon.


Thank you, Britni Burkett


Dear Britni


The Aviator Harness is not made in a size small enough for a lovebird. They start sized for a bird at least as large as a cockatiel or conure. There is no guarantee that any bird will allow you to put a harness on it, you may have better luck with a very young bird than with a mature bird.


The safest option to taking your lovebird out with you would be in a small carrier. We do have a nice small carrier that would suit a love bird just fine. It can be found at this link. http://goo.gl/SxejYj.


Thank you Catherine



Hi Windy city


I have a yellow-naped amazon parrot that has a health issue that is very difficult to watch. If he exerts himself, (like try to run across the floor to bite my feet) he ends up wobbling around and sometimes falling over, then breathing very rapidly.


Yellow Nape Amazon Parrot taking off


The breathing appears difficult. I have taken him to an avian vet several times with no answers. The condition is getting worse, now he becomes wobbly when simply climbing from his inside perch to perching on the door. The friend that owned the bird has passed away and I don’t know where to turn for help.


I reached out to Phoenix Landing, a rescue group nearby. Unfortunately, I don’t have a way to video this happening, and don’t know if there are other specialists I could ask. The vet offered high cholesterol as a possibility. Have you ever encountered something like this? Or know someone I could ask? The bird had an open band (vet removed it, was catching on cage), so he is around 40-45 the vet guessed. He is a wonderful friend and I want to help him.


Hi Miss Roni


I would advocate that you reach out to http://www.thebirdvet.com/


Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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