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Old 01-17-2019, 08:05 AM
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Is my Grey plucking or molting?

I recently adopted an African Grey. She is my first Grey. We get along incredibly well. After she came home, I noticed that she had a bold spot on her neck, under her beak (you cannot see it unless she stretched out her neck), and also it looks like some of the feathers on her feet are missing. The feathers on her neck look like they are growing back.

About two weeks ago I noticed that there were a couple of feathers at the bottom of her cage. This was in the morning when she woke up. The person at the rescue said that it would be expected for her to pluck some feathers as all the moving would undoubtedly cause some stress (I'm her 3rd home, 4th if you count her foster home). A week after the first time I found feathers, I found a couple more. This morning I found another. In total she has lost 7 feathers in the month that I've had her, and they are all found in the morning when she wakes up.

Is this normal? She's on a healthy diet (pellets, fresh fruit, nuts, etc). She seems very happy to me and I think she's adjusted very well to her new home. She gets about 3 hours of out-of-cage time in the morning, and 4-5 hours in the evening (at her prev home she was only let out a couple of hours after diner because they had dogs that needed to be crated). Could they be feathers that she had picked on before, so they were damaged and are falling now? Could she be molting?

Thank you in advance for your help.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:33 AM
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Re: Is my Grey plucking or molting?

Welcome, hope we can assist with your determination of the feather loss cause. Are you able to upload pictures, often worth a thousand words!

Let us know if you have images but are unsure how to post!
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:23 AM
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Re: Is my Grey plucking or molting?

Molting is possible, so do not panick

Are they the serious flightfeathers?
Or just down?
(they drop the primaries all year long here, it's just maintenance. Usually just 2 per wing any given time)

(sorry, I just love greys.)
With every grey I took in I noticed they needed a couple of weeks to settle in and about 3 months before they were really comfotable with everything.

I am glad you two got on from moment zero...that is a great start!
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:05 PM
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Re: Is my Grey plucking or molting?

Just to point out that all parrots have a narrow band of featherless skin, at the base of the neck, it remains so for the life of the parrot. Many vts are not aware if this, and might declare the parrot to be plucking in that area.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:09 PM
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Re: Is my Grey plucking or molting?

Hi everyone. Thanks again for your help!

I attached a photo of her neck and also of a few feathers that she has lost. All the feathers I have found are from her tail.


I was actually planning on adopting a different bird before I met her. People kept saying the bird will chose you, and I thought it was nonsense until I met her. She immediately started playing with me, stepped up on my hand with no issues and was behaving like she'd known me for years. The woman who was fostering her was really surprised by how quickly she took to me. Like I said, besides losing feathers she's been doing very well. She's not afraid of anything and loves exploring my apartment. I've had people over for dinner, and she hangs out on the dining room table with us.

I really hope she's not plucking.
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Is my Grey plucking or molting?-20190117_194408.jpg   Is my Grey plucking or molting?-20190117_194222.jpg  
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:54 PM
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Re: Is my Grey plucking or molting?

It looks to be an odd place to pluck feathers from.
That said it does not look like molting to me.
It won't hurt to have her looked at by a CAV.
My grey plucks her feathers and barbers them as well. The feathers she plucks are from her chest. The pick of your grey's neck look like it's on the side of her neck which is just barely reachable for her beak.
To have such a small localized are of plucking could indicate something internal is wrong with her, I would have it checked out.
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Old 01-18-2019, 12:09 AM
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Re: Is my Grey plucking or molting?

Very wise to allow the bird to "choose you!"

Agree with texsize, a visit to a certified avian vet would be a great idea. Hopefully nothing of consequence!
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:00 AM
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Re: Is my Grey plucking or molting?

Yup...you sound like a match (instant okay and stuff). Nice work you two



She has some nice feathers growing in at the neck and yes...if my greys shed the red ones it's usually like that: they ploink down a few smaller red ones.... nothing for a few weeks en then some of the large ones and then nothing again.


It seems like normal molt to me (with greys you never know, but 'so far so good')
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Old 01-18-2019, 05:16 AM
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Re: Is my Grey plucking or molting?

id get a CAV check in case there is an issue, agreed it doesnt appear to be plucking from the little i know about it. As new feathers are nearly in it may just be a 'slightly odd' moult.
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Old 01-18-2019, 07:54 AM
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Re: Is my Grey plucking or molting?

That area on her neck doesn't look like molting at all to me, it looks like a specific patch where she's plucked-out the feathers and some of the down...When they are actually "molting" it's typically uniform and all over, and even if they are molting one single area, it happens slowly so you don't get distinct, almost bald patches like that...And just the way the down feathers are kind of hanging there is a sign that there's a problem...

I'd get her to your CAV and have her checked out, could be due to pain in that area, an infection like a yeast/fungal infection on her skin, etc.
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