NOTE: This article is a departure from my usual writing in that it is predominantly my opinion and lacks a lot of scientific evidence to back it up.
Feather plucking is something I’ve always been curious about. There isn’t much research into it and no magic bullets. But if you search the internet for it, you’ll find dozens of proposed remedies, none of which have any scientific backing.
With one exception. Here’s one study that finds a modest decrease in plucking by using environmental enrichment.
In the present study, environmental enrichment increased behavioral diversity of birds, although they continued showing feather plucking behavior. […] sometimes environmental enrichment techniques cannot completely but just reduce the display of abnormal behaviors, as such behaviors can be persistent […]Effects of environmental enrichment in a captive pair of Golden Parakeet (Guaruba guarouba, Psittacidae) with abnormal behaviors—Ornithology Research—Sep 2015
If you’ve ever worked in a shelter or with a bird rescue in recent years, the incidence of feather plucking appears to be quite high, especially with cockatoos, macaws, and african grey parrots.…