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1 June 2014 Nonmedical Factors Associated With Feather Picking in Pet Psittacine Birds
Lori A. Gaskins, Laura Hungerford
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A nested case-control study was performed to determine nonmedical risk factors associated with feather picking in psittacine birds. Forty-two case birds, reported by their owners to pick their feathers, and 126 unaffected birds were compared. The odds of feather picking were higher in 2 species categories, African grey parrots (Psitticus erithacus, adjusted odds ratio [ORadj] = 8.4, P < .001) and cockatoos (Cacatua species, ORadj = 12.7, P < .001). The odds of feather picking also were higher for birds that were out of their cages more than 8 hours per day (ORadj = 7.4, P < .001) and for birds that had been taken in by the owner as a “rescue” (ORadj = 4.7, P < .01). The odds of feather picking decreased by almost 90% (ORadj = 0.1, P < .005) for birds that interacted with people at least 4 hours a day. These findings identify characteristics that practitioners may want to include when asking bird owners about behavioral history and may be useful in focusing future research regarding this behavior.

Lori A. Gaskins and Laura Hungerford "Nonmedical Factors Associated With Feather Picking in Pet Psittacine Birds," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 28(2), 109-117, (1 June 2014).
Published: 1 June 2014

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