The goals of this study were to estimate the prevalence of feather picking (FP) in Italian pet parrots and evaluate the risk factors and possible ethological correlation. A web survey was created and addressed to owners of all species of companion parrots, distributed through on line parrots association websites, social networks and by mail. The survey was available for compilation from June to October 2014. In 292 compiled surveys, 20 different parrots genera were indicated; Psittacus spp. (24.3%), Agapornis spp. (19.5%), Nymphicus hollandicus (18.0%) and Amazona spp. (9.0%) were the most represented species. Our study showed a FP prevalence of 17.5%, with the highest prevalence in Agapornis spp. (26.3%) and Psittacus spp. (22.5%). Living with other parrots was positively associated to FP (p<0.05), such as being fed in neonatal age and weaned by the breeder and not by the final owner (p<0.001). Moreover, 2.9% of non-FP parrots and 10.0% of FP parrots lived always caged (p¼0.06). A significant difference in the feather picking site was detected (p<0.001). The most affected body region was the chest (58.8%), followed by the rump (41.2%) and under wing regions (25.4%). At the same time, we conducted another study to better understand some information from the hand-raised parrots through a comparison with the parent- raised parrots. We recorded 1488 parent-raised parrots, and only 1.3% were affected by feather loss. This finding confirm that FP is be considered a multi-factorial behavioral pathology in which factors of different origin may cause behavioral disorders associated to self-injuries.

Feather picking in pet parrots: sensitive species, risk factor and ethological evidence

COSTA, PIERLUCA;MACCHI, Elisabetta;TOMASSONE, Laura;RICCERI, FULVIO;BOLLO, Enrico;SCAGLIONE, Frine Eleonora;TARANTOLA, Martina;DE MARCO, MICHELE;PROLA, LIVIANA;BERGERO, Domenico;SCHIAVONE, Achille
2016

Abstract

The goals of this study were to estimate the prevalence of feather picking (FP) in Italian pet parrots and evaluate the risk factors and possible ethological correlation. A web survey was created and addressed to owners of all species of companion parrots, distributed through on line parrots association websites, social networks and by mail. The survey was available for compilation from June to October 2014. In 292 compiled surveys, 20 different parrots genera were indicated; Psittacus spp. (24.3%), Agapornis spp. (19.5%), Nymphicus hollandicus (18.0%) and Amazona spp. (9.0%) were the most represented species. Our study showed a FP prevalence of 17.5%, with the highest prevalence in Agapornis spp. (26.3%) and Psittacus spp. (22.5%). Living with other parrots was positively associated to FP (p<0.05), such as being fed in neonatal age and weaned by the breeder and not by the final owner (p<0.001). Moreover, 2.9% of non-FP parrots and 10.0% of FP parrots lived always caged (p¼0.06). A significant difference in the feather picking site was detected (p<0.001). The most affected body region was the chest (58.8%), followed by the rump (41.2%) and under wing regions (25.4%). At the same time, we conducted another study to better understand some information from the hand-raised parrots through a comparison with the parent- raised parrots. We recorded 1488 parent-raised parrots, and only 1.3% were affected by feather loss. This finding confirm that FP is be considered a multi-factorial behavioral pathology in which factors of different origin may cause behavioral disorders associated to self-injuries.
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http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1828051X.2016.1195711?needAccess=true
Avian behaviour; behavioral disorder; feather picking; parrot; psittacine
Costa, Pierluca; Macchi, Elisabetta; Tomassone, Laura; Ricceri, Fulvio; Bollo, Enrico; Scaglione, Frine Eleonora; Tarantola, Martina; De Marco, Michele; Prola, Liviana; Bergero, Domenico; Schiavone, Achille
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1612073
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