Bird Care Hurricane WV
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Creature Comforts—Flowers and Feathers
By Carolyn Barry
If you’re pulling out your hair over a bird that’s plucking its feathers, try bringing your bird flowers instead—flower essences, that is. Feather plucking is often a manifestation of deep-seated emotional issues, so the trick is to get to the core of what’s bothering your feathered friend. Exotic birds like parrots and cockatoos are more prone to nervous plucking than most birds and may respond well to flower essences.
Sandra Snell, DVM, a holistic veterinarian in Sycamore, Ohio, begins by recommending Bach’s Rescue Remedy (a mixture of five essences) but she sees better results when she makes up individualized combinations based on the bird’s emotional issues. Whatever combination you use, Snell recommends giving four drops four times a day, either directly in the mouth of the bird if it’s hand tamed, or in its food or water. Rubbing the essences on the beak or misting the bird will also work.
Other possible remedies, courtesy of Nancy Buono, a Bach Foundation registered practitioner based in Long Island, include those listed below. Flower essences aren’t a one-hit solution, but they have helped plenty of bird lovers and their feathered friends get to the root of the plucking problem.
Crab Apple, which helps balance obsessive tendencies and over-concern with cleanliness
Cherry Plum, which helps the bird regain self-control
Agrimony, which restores the flow of energy and may help the bird accept its feelings and heal more quickly
Impatiens, which restores a sense of patience that can facilitate healing
Walnut, which helps calm birds easily affected by their surroundings
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