can cbd oil be used for feather picking in parrots

Ask Lafeber

I’ve had my Severe Macaw since 1994. He started plucking in 2016. Medical tests are done, he’s on Haliperidol (spelling??), which helps some. Has CBD been tested with parrots to help with anxiety?


Feather destructive behavior is a very complicated issue. Even with having testing done initially, it is worth revisiting because there have been some new advances. Sometimes it is only caused by an emotional issue. In these cases, it is normally something that happens suddenly, and immediately following a change in the bird’s life. However, more often there is a medical cause. Because that can take time to diagnose and treat, the feather plucking becomes a habit, so the bird needs to be treated and cured medically, and then is sometimes fitted with a collar while the feathers grown back, to help him break the habit. If you start off with a collar, you are only treating the plucking and not the cause. I’m not sure if medical tests have been run yet, but the bird needs blood tests and probably a feather biopsy. There is a possible link between feather destructive behavior and Avian Bornavirus so this test is highly recommended. It is expensive to do a lot of testing, but unless the physical cause is diagnosed and treated, the collar is only a temporary solution and the bird will just start again once the collar is off. There are mixed results with anti-anxiety medications, and again, those are only going to be effective if the cause was only a behavior issue. Dr. Tully did talk about CBD in some of the past webinars, and he said studies have started, but there are no findings yet as they are in the early stages of the study. You might also ask your Vet about the Greywood Manor Teas for birds. Dr. Lamb has used these, but she does not recommend using them without a recommendation of which one and how much to give, from your Avian Vet. I would recommend that you as the owner do as much research as possible, and definitely use a Vet who is Board Certified in Avian Medicine. Feather destructive behavior has been widely researched for decades, and there have been many new findings, particularly the possible link to bornavirus. But your Vet needs to be up to date on all of this, as well as to know exactly how to do the biopsy and testing, because part of the findings have resulted in recommendations on how to collect the samples.

A Zeus and Hera- Feather Plucking Update: CBD Oil

Sorry about the pun, how could I resist? Besides, I adopted pluckers and — they pluck! Who would have thought?

Ok, yes, I knew 2 things when I adopted Zeus and Hera: 1) Once an African Grey has plucked for a month, it is extremely difficult to get them to stop. 2) Once an African Grey has plucked enough for feathers to come in as red feathers, as in Hera’s case, they are NOT red factors. They have sustained enough damage to their follicles that the color alters. Unfortunately, I was correct, Hera had plucked long enough to have damaged her follicles, my distinguished avian veterinarian agreed.

Nevertheless, I Try!

Am I a glutton for punishment? I did have to consider this possibility… I’m asking the impossible, or close to it. But, life is short and it stirs my soul to think that I am helping heal my parrots. What if I could help Zeus and Hera stop plucking? How amazing would that be? I’d feel like a million feathers!

And, as long as I am a parrot-person, as long as I’m passionate about parrots and I’m writing about them, I’m going to work towards helping them out.

So, I’m Trying CBD Oil ️

We’ve created Tink’s CBD Oil because our Green-cheeked Conure had seizures (caused by nerve damage, which is why she was given to us). You can read about Tink and how the CBD oil has helped minimize her seizures here.

CBD oil is to be good for helping parrots that are hyper or nervous: maybe they have separation anxiety when you go to work the way some cockatoos can. The idea is to give them just a drop or three, depending on the parrot’s size/weight, in order to assist their coming back to balance.

Tony Silva Has Found That CBD Oil Is Helping His Hyacinth

This is a photo of my mentor, Tony Silva, my daughter Xelha and I. Tony is using Tink’s CBD on his Hyacinth Macaw, who he rescued and who had plucked his feathers. Now, if I was as good as Tony then I’d probably have more parrot magic ✨ and my African Greys wouldn’t be plucking – his Hyacinty is doing well! He looks pretty close to ‘normal!’

One of the things that I like about the CBD oil is that African Greys and Macaws require oil in their diet anyway, so using the correct, indicated amounts can compliment their diet. Oil is not beneficial for parrots who are prone to Fatty Liver Disease and should avoid fats or oils. However, if you are having issues with your Cockatoo, Galah, Quaker or Eclectus, you may decide that getting your parrot to stop plucking or reducing their anxiety is, temporarily, more important. In small amounts the effect of the oil should not be huge or too noticeable and you can correct their diet once they are emotionally healthier. In the meantime, an anxious or plucking parrot should be put on a strict diet anyway to help them balance as much as possible.

Need to get some CBD oil for your parrot? Please be sure to follow the directions – CBD oil is not the same as hemp oil, which is beneficial as well but not medicinal, the way CBD is. Message me and let me know that you need to get some and we’ll arrange it for you.

Here’s to happy, healthy parrots!

By Kalyn
Author, The Parrot Bliss Bond, available on Amazon Books & Kindle
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Hello I’ve adopted two African greys I need help to try and stop their feather plucking. I have tried a wide range of techniques and it’s starting to really upset me that I can’t improve things.

Thank you for any help

Hi Holly,
How old are your AG? How long have you had them? Did they always pluck?

Unfortunately, once they start for a month, it is hard to reverse. We started a CBD oil in hemp oil because of our GCC, Tink. She had neurological damage that inhibited her control over her own body; she couldn’t fly and had a hard time walking.
CBD oil is also used to calm stress-related behaviors, like plucking.
I have 4 AGs and 3 of them I adopted as pluckers.
What has helped reduce stress for my guys is a combination of several things- outdoor time, CBD oil and a good diet.

Check to see what is causing your AGs stress. It may be being in their cage, their cage’s location or lack of sunlight (most windows block the UV/UB light they require) and diet- must be fresh vegetables, pellets and nuts/nut fat (not a seed-based diet).
Keep me updated, I hope that helps,