I adopted a blue and gold macaw bird, she is 20 years old and plucks…

I adopted a blue and gold macaw bird, she is 20 years old and plucks all of her Breast feathers and seems to itch a lot. Is it possible she has giardiasis? Please help!

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Kelly Furgason
6 years ago

Hi Dallas,,,

Just to add to the great advice Micha gave….When you adopted her, did she pluck prior to your adoption? Does your macaw have any enrichment in her area (chew toys, things to destroy, healthy foods,etc) Is she in a cage all day, or is she out and have a place to hang outside of her cage? A large majority of plucking is due to stress and boredom.  Micha’s advice was awesome and I also suggest taking her in to an avian vet to make sure she is parasite and disease free.

Good luck!!


6 years ago

The sad reality is that plucking (and other forms of self mutilation in parrots) can be due an almost limitless supply of reasons. It can stem from lack of enrichment (boredom), stress, mental disorders (like depression and anxiety), malnutrition, or any number of medical reasons, including but not limited to allergies, mites, pain, hormones, etc.  It could very well be due to giardiasis, but in my experience, this usually causes them to pluck directly over the crop area. The only way to try to diagnosis the cause for the plucking is to rule out ideas with a qualified avian vet.… Read more »