Sooner or later, the owner of a parrot will encounter a situation where feathers begin to fall out.
This can occur both for natural reasons and because of health problems.
We will help you to understand why your feathered pet molts and is it possible to prevent molting.
Feathers fall from a parrot: why and what to do
To help the bird with feather loss, it is necessary to understand the causes of this problem. We will consider 8 of them, including natural molting, stress, an unfavorable ecological situation, unsatisfactory conditions of detention, viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases.
Natural molting is characteristic of all birds. During it, the old feathers are replaced with new ones. In parrots, it occurs twice a year. However, if you properly care for the bird and create all the optimal conditions for it, then natural molting is almost imperceptible.
First, the fluff is removed, and then the feathers fall out. The duration of this process lasts about a month. If the bird feels good at the same time, then in its behavior there are no significant changes – it still flies and behaves calmly.
The first molt, which occurs at 3-4 months of age, is called juvenile and lasts longer than all subsequent ones, about 2 months. During it, a parrot can feel bad, look depressed, and feathers and fluff fall out in large numbers.
The pet will need to be helped to survive the period of natural molting by supplementing its diet with vitamins and minerals, protein foods and creating the necessary humidity regime in the room where it is contained. Such actions will significantly reduce the duration of the update feathers.
Shock molt (stress in a parrot)
Stress is another common cause of abundant feather loss and poor parrot health. Shock molt occurs suddenly and is characterized by the fact that the feathers fall to shreds, as a result of which the body is covered with well-marked bald spots.
Stress can occur for many reasons:
- due to a change of residence, furnishings or owners;
- prolonged noise, for example, during repair;
- the appearance in the house of other pets, children;
- tense situation in the host family;
It is important to establish and eliminate these reasons. The parrot should be intensively fed with vitamins and minerals, and the cage should be heated with a lamp – during stress, the bird has irregularities in thermoregulation, and it needs to be additionally heated to protect it from the common cold.
This type of molting is the most dangerous for the bird. French molting occurs on the tail and wings. At the same time, feathers are not updated – new ones grow slowly, grow short and underdeveloped, do not appear at all.
The bird begins to fly or stops flying at all. At the same time, it is clear that not the old feathers that have already outlived their fall out, but the young ones. This is evidenced by the remnants of blood on the rods.
The reasons for this molting may be an excess of vitamin A or a deficiency of vitamins K and E. Unfortunately, this problem is not amenable to treatment.
A lack of vitamins and a uniform diet can also provoke baldness. If you are sure that your bird is healthy, and you know that you were not very responsible for drawing up its menu, then you should replenish the feeder with apple, carrot, egg white, multivitamin complexes daily.
Allergic reactions can occur when you have switched from one feed to another, installed a stick made of another wood or material, changed the filler. Allergies also often lead to feather loss.
If you recently replaced something in the cage or in the bird menu, try returning everything to its previous settings. Perhaps it was the changes that caused baldness. It will not be possible to establish an allergy in a different way.
Parasite damage (ticks, fungi)
The defeat of parasites is characterized not only by baldness, but also by symptoms such as ulcers, peeling, and scabies on the skin. Often you can notice blood on the bird’s body, small holes.
Since the presence of parasites is usually accompanied by itching or pain, the parrot behaves uneasily, often touches the feathers with its beak, plucks them, itches on its feet.
If peeling is detected on the body against the background of feathers, one should contact a veterinary clinic where they will perform the necessary analysis to establish the presence of a fungal infection and prescribe competent treatment with modern antifungal agents.
If small droplets of blood, bites and small insects are seen on the body, then, most likely, these are ticks. To find them, a white sheet is placed at the bottom of the cells, and then after a while they carefully consider what fell on it.
Getting rid of ticks is also done after the recommendations of a veterinarian. Usually, treatment consists of using special sprays and combing. The cell is subject to mandatory disinfection.
Disruption in the hormonal system often occurs in parrots who live alone and miss. Out of boredom, they begin to pluck feathers on their bodies.
In this situation, there are two ways to help:
- buy your pet a friend or a soul mate;
- give special drugs that are recommended in a veterinary clinic.
Quite often, the owners of the pet are to blame for dropping feathers, who do not properly take care of it and ignore recommendations on the conditions of detention.
Unsatisfactory conditions include the failure to comply with the advice on the minimum area for one individual and, as a result, overpopulation of the cage or selection of a too small house for the bird.
Adverse conditions also include:
- dry air, if, for example, the bird’s dwelling is located near a battery or heater;
- improper lighting – Parrots should not be kept under fluorescent lights and flickering light.
To avoid the problem of feathers falling out, you should familiarize yourself with the information on the content of your pet’s breed representatives and try to bring them back to normal.
Feather loss prevention
In order to prevent unnatural molting, certain preventive measures should be observed:
- Feed the parrot balanced, with the inclusion of feed and products with vitamins and minerals necessary for its normal development and vital functions – fruits, vegetables, chicken protein, acquired vitamin-mineral supplements.
- Create optimal conditions for a pet – choose the right cage in size, maintain the necessary temperature and humidity in the room, perform regular cleaning and disinfection.
- Protect your bird from stress – Protect from noise, contact with other pets, unpleasant odors, smoke, etc.
- Avoid boredom and feelings of loneliness. If possible, get a friend or a couple. If there is no such desire, then give the pet more attention, play with him, talk, train.
Thus, a parrot can molt for several reasons, which include both natural processes and the deterioration of health caused by diseases, poor living conditions, allergies, and stress.
It is important to establish the cause of baldness and try to eliminate it or conduct timely treatment prescribed by a veterinarian.