I have a twenty year old African Grey who has been a pleasant family member her whole life. I would like to break her lifelong habit of removing her flight feathers, and your site has given me the renewed vision to tackle that kind of training.
She developed this grooming fetish the first time the breeder clipped her wings. She didn't like it. Those feather were "bad". When she was young she let them grow in to some extent, but she would eventually pick at them until the shaft broke and the feather was ragged. Those feathers were bad too. I think she can still grow them, because as she sits preening herself now, she has about 3 flight feathers and 1 tail feather. I haven't seen a fully grown red feather in ages. Otherwise she is perfectly content, likes to be handled, and seems healthy.
I guess the first step is to visit the vet. But how, oh how, can I address the habit of mutilation?