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Old 02-26-2019, 01:31 PM
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Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

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Hello, I have a 11 mo. White Bellied Caique. She's been really healthy/happy since I got her. For about a month or a little less I've noticed some bare spots on her wing joints (elbows).

She had been sleeping in a tent so I took that out thinking she might be rubbing it. I took her to the vet and the vet gave her Vet-Omega and tested for mites which there were none. Now I notice some bare spots (has darker colored fuzz) on her chest.

She looks pretty terrible but acts like she feels like a million bucks. Playful, happy, normal acting, kinda crazy like a normal Caique. I'm just not too experienced with molting but could this just be her first molt?

The vet seemed to think so because her feather loss appears symmetrical (that's what she said). She eats Harrison's+Zupreeme. And I bought some Nekton Bio for Feathering to put in her water/food just to see if it helps.

I don't see her picking feathers, just kind of preening herself.

Thanks for any insight!

** Admin if you believe this will get more responses in a different forum, please feel free to move it. Thank you!








Last edited by Crash_Davis; 02-26-2019 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 02-26-2019, 02:39 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

It's not just the elbows, the backside, legs, belly and a part of the chest are also very thin (no down left, very few surface/outside/cover feathers).


Is your vet a birdspecialist? (A CAV.)

Because either she is explosive molting or she is plucking.
(I think it might be the latter, I do not see any pinfeathers appearing anywhere.)



(are you sure she is a female?)
With 11 months of age puberty should still be years away, so she cannot be broody already - but... great you got rid of that hut anyway!
Birds do not "go camping" ever- and it takes up space where you could hang more toys.


I see only one?
No fouraging? Just pellets?



Caques are ADHD-birds (attention span of about 2 minutes per item) and need many, many different toys and things to keep them busy. That cage seems a bit bare and boring to me...


Of course: I only see a part of the cage, and it is very, very clean - that is a good thing , but no parrot is happy with just one toy, try to have 10 or so in there and change them a lot! every other day or so add a new one, shuffle them around etc..
Anything you can do to make life interesting when you are not playing together.



My grey will only (over)preen like this when she is stressed (a lot) or bored to the max.

Last edited by ChristaNL; 02-26-2019 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:10 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

I echo CristaNL, need lots of toys of different typesReally like this article. Except the part on snuggle soft toys and snuggle huts. That info is wrong and will lead to threads jamming the digest system. The rest was excellent. Really helped me categorize the toy types the appeal of different toy types. And how great to have one of each type in cage.
https://lafeber.com/pet-birds/parrot...to-chew-today/

Those wing areas are typically pluck sites, as is belly. But a good avain vet would do blood work and rule out viruses.
Don't add anything to water. Feed lots of veggies. And ten hours of sleep and lots of out the cage time.
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:53 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Quote: Originally Posted by ChristaNL View Post
It's not just the elbows, the backside, legs, belly and a part of the chest are also very thin (no down left, very few surface/outside/cover feathers).


Is your vet a birdspecialist? (A CAV.)

Because either she is explosive molting or she is plucking.
(I think it might be the latter, I do not see any pinfeathers appearing anywhere.)



(are you sure she is a female?)
With 11 months of age puberty should still be years away, so she cannot be broody already - but... great you got rid of that hut anyway!
Birds do not "go camping" ever- and it takes up space where you could hang more toys.


I see only one?
No fouraging? Just pellets?



Caques are ADHD-birds (attention span of about 2 minutes per item) and need many, many different toys and things to keep them busy. That cage seems a bit bare and boring to me...


Of course: I only see a part of the cage, and it is very, very clean - that is a good thing , but no parrot is happy with just one toy, try to have 10 or so in there and change them a lot! every other day or so add a new one, shuffle them around etc..
Anything you can do to make life interesting when you are not playing together.



My grey will only (over)preen like this when she is stressed (a lot) or bored to the max.
She was DNA sexed female. I will add toys, most of the toys are over on the other side of the cage. I do change them out but I could probably add a few more.

I don't know why she'd be plucking unless she is just totally bored while I am at work but whenever I check the camera she has her butt in the air inside her food bowl. She has one dish with Harrison's and one dish with Zupreem and some foraging type foods. I will feel bad if she is plucking but I just never see her do it and honestly I don't see a lot of feathers on the bottom of the cage, so it is weird.

One thing that has always made me wonder was she doesn't play with toys that much even when I put new ones in there. I will try some more to see if I can get her playing. She's out of the cage and on us at least 4 hours a day, much more time on the w/e's. She's pretty spoiled but I have worried about diet too but what everyone is telling me is Harrison's is the best.

Last edited by Crash_Davis; 02-26-2019 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:47 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

It can be difficult to get them to engage in toys. We talk about that a lot here. Try a cup full of plastic bottle tops, an old paper back books she can shred, float bottle caps in a shallow dish and put a few seeds in the floating caps, some burds love to untie knots, make a preen toy out of a paper bag that you cut into strips, you can try noise making toys like plastic measure spoons from dolor store, hang a plastic cat ball with zip ties , ect just get creative. I put seeds in an empty water bottle they love the noise and rolling it around trying to get seeds out. Try leaving on cartoons on low volume for her to watch.
PS I have a plucker rately catch get at it.....
You can also try some probiotic you add to food, or feed a tiny amount of yogurt with live cultures once and awhile.
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:56 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

You really try your best, I can read that.

do not forget: birds do not sponteaneous start to play with toys, a lot of the time you have to teach them first what they are there for.
Once they 'understand' what a shredding-toy is for you do not have to 'explain/ demonstrate' each and every one, but sometimes a they need a little help
(and if you have a bird like I do..they need a LOT of help/ some birds never had toys growing up, so they really, really have *no* idea what to do with them)


You have that lovely bouncy-ball thingy...fill it with paper and hide some seeds or pellets in there for a fouraging-adventure or maybe add some straw in the mix for texture etc.etc. -> you can change that toy into anything you want it to be
stuff it with sticks/twigs to make it a chew toy ...


Harrisons is great...unless you have one that is sensitive to either peanuts or wheat or corn (it happens -> that will make them itch like crazy, just like humans with hayfever).
But we can always look for that if toys/ keeping busy aren't the problem.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:40 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Plucked feathers or no, Newt is still a little cutie pie, I love her darling beaky face!
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:07 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

Hi, check the fallen feathers for signs of being chewed! Are the roots fully intact?
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:22 PM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

I will look closer. If she is plucking, anyone had any luck with anything besides adding toys??
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:28 AM
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Re: Feather Help, Molting or something Else?

I did add something to the diet (one of the forummembers tipped me): it is a keratin-coated oat. Sunny did not have any reserves left in her body to build good quality feathers with after god-knows-how-long being fed a crappy diet.
(Her feathers were stiff and brittle like dead twigs and splintered when you tried to bend them.)


I do not think your bird is that far gone -- she gets good quality food from you, so that is most likely not the problem.


Try to change one thing at the time... first focus on keeping your birdies beak busy when you are there and especially when you are away.
(You are a smart one, having a camera to check up on her!)

If that does not do the trick we can look elsewhere.
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