Factors associated with feather picking were compared between case and control birds, and included bird characteristics, owner characteristics, some aspects of human/bird interactions, and environmental characteristics (Tables 1-4).
Feather picking was associated significantly with several variables.
Feather picking in pet psittacine birds often is a frustrating condition.
20) which indicates these birds may be at risk for feather picking secondary to lack of mental stimulation.
21,22) Because long-term histories were not available for these birds, it is not possible to determine if they were feather picking before or after being rescued.
The present study was similar to others in finding that risk of feather picking is similar in male and female birds.
Feather picking increased with bird age in the univariate analysis, but not in the final model after adjusting for species.
Exaggerated or frustrated reproductive behavior has been suggested as a cause of feather picking in birds that may have no outlet for these instincts.
Non-ABVP diplomates were significantly more likely than ABVP diplomates to list feather picking as the number one behavior problem.
Screaming was reported in 17% of the birds in the survey (35/203), and feather picking was reported in 13% of the birds (27/203).
Veterinarians reported that the 4 most common behavior problems that they treated were feather picking, chronic egg laying, aggression toward humans, and screaming, in that order.
Owners may be more likely to assume that feather picking has a medical component and, therefore, seek a veterinarian's advice more readily for this problem.
Feather picking was the most common behavior problem reported by veterinarians and the third most common problem for owners.
6) In the present survey, the owners were less likely to seek help from their veterinarians for these 2 problems when compared with feather picking.
Owners may interpret feather picking and chronic egg laying as medical conditions in need of a veterinary visit, which may account for why veterinarians reported seeing these problems more frequently.