We had been noticing that our Umbrella Cockatoo Marshmellow was plucking her feathers. At first we were told that this was part of a hormonal issue but after a while we realized that what started for one reason had now continued for another (habit plucking).
We had been noticing that when she would pluck she would pull her feathers out from the root and then chew on the sheath around it. We noticed that this sheath was very similar to a straw in texture and feel. We came up with an idea for a toy the FunTime Birdy Senior Porcupine that would incorporate the straw idea by placing straws inside a hole in a wooden block . When we gave this toy to Marshmellow we noticed that she immediately started chewing the straws. We also made the Senior Last Straw which is larger and made for larger Cockatoos and Macaws.
We are so happy to report that Marshmellow loves these toys so much that she has forgotten to pluck her own feathers. We give her a bath each morning and the next thing we know she is chewing the straws and then the wood.
We decided since plucking is also a prominent behavioral problem in African Grey parrots we would make the Junior Porcupine which is a smaller version of these two toys.