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Old 03-06-2013, 10:02 PM
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Breaking feathers!

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My 14 month old female Eclectus parrot's feathers are all breaking off!
I read somewhere that they molt sometime in the spring...but the feathers aren't falling out normally...their breaking! All of her tail feathers has broken in half (it looks like she doesn't have a tail!) and just today one of her flight feathers broke.
Their's no blood feathers so there really isn't much to worry about there. She eats mostly peas and rarely eat seeds (sometimes I'll give her some safflower seeds, sunflower seeds and corn). I used to give her more cheese and eggs so it might be diet related. Maybe more protein and calcium? What I should do? is it just a part of her first molt?

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Old 03-06-2013, 10:05 PM
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Re: Breaking feathers!

Does she play rough at all? Does she rub her feathers against toys or the cage bars? It might be normal baby play/breakage and as she matures, she may learn to take better care of her feathers as an adult?
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:37 PM
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Re: Breaking feathers!

She eats mostly peas? That doesn't sound right. Cheese and eggs? That's not really part of the eclectus diet either, aside from one egg with shell once a week or so.

Never give your bird cheese or other dairy products (aside from egg with shell). Your bird needs to have a diet consisting mostly of fresh fruits and veggies, and perhaps 1 tbsp of seeds a day (usually given in evening). Start giving her whatever fresh fruits you can find, eclectus love mushy fruits like banana, papaya, kiwi, dates, etc. She may not eat it all immediately if you haven't been giving it to her, but she will eventually get into it.

As for the breaking feathers...I could be wrong, but I'm 99% sure she is the culprit. She's just barbering her feathers. It is a preliminary stage to plucking the entire feather out. Make sure she has enough wood and other such things to chew on. If she is flighted, then try to make her fly around a bit more. She needs to burn some energy. An ekkie on a bad diet will start plucking. And an ekkie that is not able to burn enough energy will also start chewing on feathers to burn that energy off. These birds fly miles a day in the wild. In our captive homes, they still have a ton of energy that they need to burn, despite their serene demeanor. Try to exercise her more and fix her diet for one.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:47 PM
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Re: Breaking feathers!

Yikes! No cheese, please. There are much better sources of protein. Even the peas she eats contain protein. Lentils and garbanzo beans are easy to sprout and can be fed even before they sprout if you soak them for 12 hours then rinse well. Broccoli provides protein and so do leafy greens. I chop greens fine and mix them with chopped green apples and minced celery because they will stick to the apples and celery. If you think about Mexican cuisinne you know that they combine rice and beans or corn (tortilla) and beans for a complete protein. But, don't confine her diet to just protein sources. She needs lots of fruits and vegetables, including dark orange foods, along with a good source of protein.

14 months is right about the time Eclectus start to molt all their large feathers. Her adult feathers will be stronger than the baby feathers she's been breaking.

But, she may continue to break tail feathers for the next year or so because youngsters are more active than adults. Eventually she'll just sit around and look pretty, but don't rush it. If she has the habit of flying daily now she'll be more likely to keep it up as an adult.

Last edited by sodakat; 03-06-2013 at 10:49 PM.
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