Ask Lafeber


November 2, 2018

My parrot red head likes to scratch my skin really hard to the point of bleeding

Hi i do have a parrot a little one red headed. i rescued him ( pepe) a little over a year ago. he was in really bad conditions so for his own good i did trim his wings. since then after being in a cage for i dont know how many years he jumped on my shoulder and really enjoy been there. i can not leave him alone cause he started to cry right away. -the point is he uses his beak to scratch my skin around my neck or arms in a frenzy. he scratched me and you see him eating or something alike -could it be a vitamin deficiency???


Hi Gloris,

Pepe may only be trying to preen or groom you and when he feels imperfections in the skin like a freckle or mole or even goosebumps he tries to remove it as if it was a parasite. If you were another bird, they remove the sheaths of new feathers coming in or remove parasites from each other by preening each other. You might try keeping a toy or favorite treat handy and giving him that to occupy his beak so he does not chew on you. If he has never gone to a Vet, it is a good idea to take him to an Avian Vet. If Pepe needs a beak trim, the Vet can do that. You can then give Pepe toys to chew on to keep his beak from being so sharp. It is important for Pepe to eat a nutritionally balanced diet – if he only eats loose seeds, then he may have a vitamin deficiency. Please visit our page on feeding your birds to learn more about diet.

Bird Food Guide

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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