African Grey Chicken Scratching A Lot? Here’s Why!

Do you notice your African Grey chicken scratching a lot?

If this is a common scenario you have been noticing about your pet, then you may be a little concerned about it. After all, scratching can mean so many things – and sometimes the cause may be worrisome.

But do keep in mind that there are also simpler and less concerning reasons behind the scratching. So, it helps to understand why your pet does this and if there is anything you must do to address it.

So, if you are wondering why your African Grey chicken does this a lot – or perhaps occasionally – then keep reading to have a better understanding of the common reasons behind this behavior.

african grey chicken scratching

Causes of African Grey Chicken Scratching

Birds love to groom themselves. But more than simply being a tendency, it is a necessity. It may appear as though they are scratching but the reality is that these birds are grooming themselves. 

But the issue is with African Grey chickens scratching more often. It is even more concerning when the scratching is only on a certain part of the body – and if it happens a lot of time. This, in combination with plucking the feathers and pecking are most certainly alarming to owners. This is why it is best not to ignore these situations but to really take a look at why this happens.

Generally, regular scratching and preening are normal as these are ways birds maintain their overall health. These things help them to keep themselves well-groomed and clean. Yet, the problem is with excessive scratching. If you notice your pet scratching itself more often than usual, you may need to check why it happens.

For instance, dry skin can be a trigger to this scratching tendency. Your pet may feel quite uncomfortable and uneasy because of the skin being so dry and itchy. If you see some red marks or scratch marks that appear all the time after itching, it is most likely a problem. 

Furthermore, you may see some signs of dry skin such as when your bird develops some bald spots. When your pet scratches a lot, bald patches may occur, which can eventually turn into a feather-plucking situation. 

But that’s not all – if your African Grey chicken is in a cage with other birds, it may start to scratch others and even pluck the feathers out. So, it can become a real problem that impacts the other birds in the cage.

Another reason behind the scratching is when there are toxins present during preening. You may see your bird fluffing its feathers up during preening, and they may run their beak along the lines or contours of their tiny body. But there is nothing to be worried about in this situation since it is absolutely normal. What it does is to help with pushing the feathers closer to the body. Thus, they stay cool as air is caught between its feathers.

Moreover, your pet forces air out from underneath the feathers, causing them to flatten. But when your African Grey chicken preens excessively, it may be a sign of toxin poisoning that can eventually lead to skin rashes.

Other Causes Of Scratching

Molting is often linked to frequent scratching. But if your bird is molting, then it is nothing to be worried about at all. You should not be concerned since molting is only a seasonal thing, which happens when your pet sheds feathers because of seasonal influences or the weather.

Usually, this happens once a year. It is the process of replacing feathers gradually with new ones. So, before you get worried about your pet, it helps to consider the possibility of molting before thinking that something is completely serious about your pet’s condition.

Now, with African Grey chickens living indoors, it is highly likely that a parasite attack may occur. These parasites linked with scratching include ticks, mites, and lice. It is much like the effect when something bites or crawls on your skin – you will feel compelled to itch. This is why your bird may also scratch because of such parasites present in its skin.

But the thing about scratching too often is that the feathers may eventually fall off. So, you should check if there are mites present that tend to compromise your pet’s immune system. One of the most common mites is the red mites that bite your pet’s skin. There are also scaly leg mites that affect the leg, leaving it swollen and painful. 

And it is also important to give your pet proper nutrients from its diet. A nutritional deficiency is another common reason behind the scratching. When your pet is not in excellent health, such as a vitamin A deficiency, this can result in more frequent scratching, as well as itchy eyes and dry skin. You may also want to check the zinc levels of your pet since when this nutrient is low, a compromised immune system may occur.

With this in mind, you should pay close attention to your pet’s diet. Make it a point to incorporate key nutrients and provide nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, and seeds. 

A dry environment can trigger itching as your pet’s skin becomes dry. This is why you may notice some itching, in addition to bacterial and fungal infections. The skin will eventually have some breaks or cracks, which can increase the chances of a more serious illness.

And it is also worth noting that food allergies can trigger further itching. There is also the issue with exposure to toxic elements in cleaning supplies, as well as mold and pollen. The issue may start out as a scaly beak or itchy skin, which can progress into swollen eyes and cere. 

Wrap Up

An African Grey chicken scratching issue can be due to a number of things. From dry skin, less humidity, infections, and parasites, there are numerous reasons why your pet may be itching and scratching a lot. This is why you should look into the potential causes of this problem and address it accordingly for better results.

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