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Old 08-24-2010, 09:24 PM
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How to tell if it is molting?

So I'm wondering, how do you tell if it is plucking or molting? I read a few sites, but they all seemed to be about the first molt and not the years later molts(She is 9).

Rosie has been kind of sensitive for the past week or so, wanting to be fed like a baby and coddled. She has lost a little weight(still within healthy limit, but needs to not lose any more), but I attributed this to either the change in diet or the extreme heat we have been having.

Now she has a lot of random feathers coming out. She is a neck plucker, it is all I've ever seen her pluck, but what I'm seeing now is random and spread out. She lost a couple large feathers right before she started acting funny, now there are little feathers and medium feathers.

How do I know if she is molting? This is only my second summer with her and last year was a very mild summer(barely ever went over 90F, while normal summers easily get to 105F+ with humidity)... she lost a few feathers here and there and wasn't plucking, so I assumed she was shedding some old and growing some new.

This time it is a lot more, but we just came out of a heatwave. I'm wondering if this is a molt? If it is, I should be feeding her different, right? How do I know for sure? Also, any suggestions on foods to help? Should I be giving her egg?
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:21 AM
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Re: How to tell if it is molting?

I want to know the same thing ... Scarlett had a patch on her chest where the feathers were all messed up, I'd always thought it was congealed fruit mush, but a little while ago when giving her a shower I purposefully made sure that area got plenty of water, and now that it's clean, you can see down poking out from between her feathers. I am scared I stressed her out too much with the harness training :-( But I have also been seeing loads of down floating all over the house the last few weeks, and a few actual feathers, too. Is she moulting? It's almost spring. My cat definitely is, there is white hair plastered over every square centimetre of the house.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:18 AM
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Re: How to tell if it is molting?

Heres a link to some info and intresting facts on molting

All About Your Parrot's Feathers - The Causes Of Molt, Feather Problems And What You Can Do About Them
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:12 PM
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Re: How to tell if it is molting?

Thanks, that had a lot of good info... I'm curious now if it would be normal for multiple bird species in the same house to molt around the same time? Ginger is going through her first molt and finally growing back some primary feathers she lost in an accident. Norma has also been creating a lot of dander lately and I know it is the end of her breeding period. And even Hardy has lost a couple of feathers recently and he is looking really good, but I attributed that to his new diet(he was only being fed higgins fruit to nut, thats it... and is now on a pellet+fresh foods diet).

I've also been curious as to if Rosie was in her breeding period. She went through about a month of acting like she had PMS.

I'm still lost to if she is molting or not... but I guess only time will tell? The question is, should I add some egg or anything to her diet, just incase? She could stand to gain the weight anyway.

I'm still new to learning about the best way to care for my parrots, so to quote the list and answer each number... does this look like they are getting what they need? Rosie has been with me 2 years, but Hardy and Norma have only been with me for ~2 months and are from not-so-good backgrounds.

Quote:
1) Feed a name brand, pelleted diet. We have only recently began switching to a pellet diet and they are offered a spoon of each brand to see which they prefer. They get Harrison's, Lafeber, Roudybush, and Mazuri. They appear to prefer the Harrison's and we are about ready to commit to it. They get more fresh food than pellets though, a rainbow of veggies/fruits/grains/sprouts and the CAG gets some yogurt/egg/bone

2) Spend more time interacting with your pet.As soon as I get home from work they are let out to socialize and roam about. Norma likes to watch me make their dinner and Rosie likes to ride my shoulder all night. Hardy just walks about the outside of his cage, he doesn't like being messed with but I'm trying to get him used to hands.

3) If you would become bored sitting all day in a cage similar to your petís , the parrot will become just as bored and frustrated.They get as many toys as I can cram into their cage without scaring them or limiting space. They get a lot of shredding and foraging toys because they are their favorites.

4) Expose it to more natural sunlight or Grow lights (Full-spectrum lamps, UVA & UVB) that are set to be on in sync with natural day length.They basically live in a sunroom, but I worry that might not be good for them either.

5) Be sure room temperature is neither too warm, too cold or too dry.
Keep a non-toxic potted plant growing in the room. If the plant is not thriving, your parrot wonít either. My favorites are chemically untreated, ornamental pepper plants.This is why I worry about the sunroom, it gets quite warm... though it gets quite warm in every room in my house and the sunroom isn't any hotter than my own bedroom is when I get home from work. I don't run the AC much, it is set to 82 most of the time. We live in a very hot and humid climate during most of the year and you just get used to the 100F weather with 70%+ humidity. It is a PITA, but I try to make sure they are given the same comforts as me(fresh cool water, fresh cool foods, shaded areas, fans. They also have an air purifier)

6) Keep the pet where it has visual contact with family members it is bonded to.They are basically in the center back of the house and can see almost all movement in the house. The house has an open floor plan and then they are also let out to follow me all they want. Only Rosie follows me though.

7) Be sure it has a large, spacious cage with climbing areas. Cages are never too large.I'd say they have decent room, though I always want to give them more. One day I shalt have an aviary, but for now I think they are ok.

8) Have plenty of large diameter perches going at different angles.check

9) Do not place its cage near air vents or in stressful areas of the house.check

10) Allow the bird (with properly clipped wings and no predatory dogs or cats) to spend time on top of its cage or on a T-post.

11) Expose the bird to TV programs it seems to enjoy.We don't have TV, but there are 5 of them altogether, so I think they can keep each other entertained?

12) Give it plenty of safe objects to gnaw on and crack open.check

13) Turn the lights off at night.check

14) Donít throw a cover over your pet or move its cage when it squawks.check

15) Keep your parrotís environment as dust free as possible by frequently changing your HVAC filters and using high efficiency ones; and by vacuuming frequently (with the parrot out of ear range).check, and boy do they create a lot of dust at times!

16) Mist your parrot off frequently with a plant spray bottle. If the bird is fearful and cringes back, begin slowly and offer it food rewards and encouragement. If it enjoys bathing, give it a shallow pan to bath in.Rosie takes a shower with me every now and then, she isn't fond of being sprayed. Norma and Hardy and I are still working on bonding and I already know they hate being sprayed, so I try to offer them a bowl/pan of water instead.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:41 PM
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Re: How to tell if it is molting?

If what is written in the article is true, temperature plays little or no role in the molting process, it has more to do with hormonal changes, and those changes are a direct result of the amount light that a bird is subjected to :
It may surprise you that deep inside your parrot there is a clock. All birds have one. It is called their diurnal, circadian or photoperiodic clock and it keeps track of the hours of the day. It is also a calendar (circannual) clock, in that it keeps very accurate track of the month of the year.
The clock is like a personal secretary. It informs the bird when it is the right time to breed, the best time to change feathers (molt), and, in some bird species other than parrots, the best time to fly south for the winter (no, birds don’t fly South like Daffy because they are cold).
The bird’s circadian clock ticks from birth. But to remain accurate over time, it hands need to be fine-tuned from clues obtained from the environment around it. It receives these clues in the form of sunlight and the length of the days. The process of resetting the clock to exact time is called entrainment.
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Last edited by Bobby34231; 08-25-2010 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:08 PM
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Re: How to tell if it is molting?

hmm... so the fact they are in a room that is lit by the sun would help keep this clock tuned? The length of the days are beginning to change here, sunrise has gone from 530pm to 630pm, sunset from 830pm to 730pm(so basically the days are 2 hours shorter now). The place where they are is strictly lit by the sun. It has a ceiling fixture, but I hardly use it.

I'm still wondering if I should be adding some egg to her diet. I know eclectus need to be on a lower fat diet, so I try to reflect that. If she has been in mating and now molting season... she probably needs the extra fat?
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:20 PM
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Re: How to tell if it is molting?

Quote: Originally Posted by Rrrma View Post
hmm... so the fact they are in a room that is lit by the sun would help keep this clock tuned? The length of the days are beginning to change here, sunrise has gone from 530pm to 630pm, sunset from 830pm to 730pm(so basically the days are 2 hours shorter now). The place where they are is strictly lit by the sun. It has a ceiling fixture, but I hardly use it.

I'm still wondering if I should be adding some egg to her diet. I know eclectus need to be on a lower fat diet, so I try to reflect that. If she has been in mating and now molting season... she probably needs the extra fat?
I give my flock hard boiled eggs (With Shell) at least a couple times a week, good protien from the egg and calcium from the shell, I've noticed they like it even better when I serve it a little warm instead of cold, I also mix a small amount of Yogart and some chopped greens such as kale or spinach, you can start with just egg and add things as you go to see what they like
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:18 PM
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Re: How to tell if it is molting?

Quote: Originally Posted by Bobby34231 View Post
I give my flock hard boiled eggs (With Shell) at least a couple times a week, good protien from the egg and calcium from the shell, I've noticed they like it even better when I serve it a little warm instead of cold, I also mix a small amount of Yogart and some chopped greens such as kale or spinach, you can start with just egg and add things as you go to see what they like
Yes, they all get a dark green veggie of some sort every day, then Norma(CAG) gets either egg, yogurt, or a chicken leg/wing every day. Hardy(LCA) gets some egg or yogurt every few days and Rosie(VME) gets some egg or yogurt every now and then. Because the digestive system of an eclectus is elongated and so very different than all other parrots, they can't have as much fat and don't handle enriched foods or dyes well. Everything I've read has said a diet of 5-6% of fat is recommended and egg shouldn't be given more than twice a month unless breeding or molting.

They get a fistful of sprouts, every day, that I grow myself. I try to represent every color of food in their bowl. A red, a green, a yellow, an orange, and a white(aka a starch such as white potato, brown rice, brown pasta, etc).
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:14 AM
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Re: How to tell if it is molting?

Quote: Originally Posted by Rrrma View Post
15) Keep your parrot’s environment as dust free as possible by frequently changing your HVAC filters and using high efficiency ones; and by vacuuming frequently (with the parrot out of ear range).
Are you really not allowed to let birds listen to the vacuum cleaner? Scarlett always talks profusely when the vacuum cleaner is on, I probably wouldn't vacuum as often if I didn't get the reward of a talkative bird! Other things that make her talkative are showers, rock music and excited children. Should I keep her away from these too? :-(

Oh and the website was really good, thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-26-2010, 07:00 AM
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Re: How to tell if it is molting?

They probably say that because they assume most birds are afraid of vacuums, just like most animals are. It probably has nothing to do with anything other than keeping the stress level down.

My birds don't give a flip if I vacuum around them, never have. I'd say keep doing it.
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