Some of you may have experience dealing with a bird who plucks. It can be a very difficult habit to break, especially if the habit has been occurring for years. So I’d like to introduce my little guy, Demon:
He came to me in a really bad way. His last owner fed him seeds and got him drunk on more than one occasion. She thought it was funny to watch him stumble around. We suspect that he was also abused because of his reactions to men, but that’s a story for another day.
Today, I’m going to show you how to make a little sweater for your plucker or even just for aesthetic. They look soooo terribly cute after all. ❤
So, we’re going to start with a sock that you no longer want but you think will look great on your little birdy (this is a regular woman’s sock but for smaller birds you might try baby socks and for larger birds maybe try some leggings). I know these colors aren’t especially flattering on a boy bird, but he looooves bright, vibrant things. So I chose pink for Demon. Cut enough of the sock that it will reach from your bird’s neck to his feet. It doesn’t have to be exact. Trust me, he’ll shred it in short order.
Here were have my cut segment. Just long enough to stop above Demon’s little chicken legs.
Now we’re going to cut two holes into either side of the sock. I like to do this along the fold so I know it’s even on both sides but, again, don’t worry about getting it perfect.
Two holes done! Sorry my hands look so gross. I have lots of animal cuts on them.
Now for the hard part: getting it on your bird. You don’t want to scare him, so I would advise going slowly. Try holding a treat and get him to poke his head through. This may take several efforts. You really don’t want to ruin any trust that you’ve built with your bird, so I must absolutely advise patience during this part. Give him treat after treat after treat. Make this a positive and rewarding experience for him so he doesn’t dread it the next time.
Once he’s poked his head through, try stretching the sweater over his wings. I’m lucky because Demon actually helps me out in this regard. I stretch the sweater over his wing and he pokes it right on through. For someone who doesn’t have that kind of luck, very gently take the wing and try to coax the bird to move it. Don’t force the wing. Don’t grab the wing. Your bird won’t like that and you will likely get a nasty bite.
Just be patient. If you can only get his head in, that’s okay! Try again tomorrow or the next day. Eventually, your bird will look forward to it. Once you get it all the way on, make a big deal. I like to exclaim to Demon how pretty and handsome he looks. Now he’ll screech at me as soon he gets his sweater on: “PRETTY BIRD!” And I’ll give him a treat. It’s a game to him. And it does cut an awfully dashing figure, don’t you think? ;P
Do note that the sweater will need to be replaced often. The bird will likely pluck at it and it’ll get dirty. I like to just cut Demon’s off – CAREFULLY! I wouldn’t recommend trying to remove it without cutting because you can hurt their wings.
Another thing to note: watch out for dangling threads! This can be incredibly dangerous for your bird if it gets tangle around a toe or other extremity. He may resort to biting that appendage off if he can’t get away from the string. Just cut off loose threads or take the sweater off completely. It’s not worth risking your bird’s health.