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Old 09-27-2018, 10:34 AM
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Exclamation Is this plucking or molting?!

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Ok, full disclaimer - Cairo is our first bird. I do believe we are incredibly ignorant in some areas, regardless of me reading everything I can online.

I've attached a photo of the suspicious areas, mainly his chest and left leg.

He has been losing more down feathers, but I honestly thought it was part of molting. I gave him some egg once every couple of weeks, in the hopes of helping him molt easier. His neck started to look a little sparse (I started thinking we might eventually have a case of Mojo Molt). Then this evening, we had another shower (he gets one every 1-2 days). And he allowed me to touch him during his bath time today (not a touchy-feely bird), and I noticed this.

Has he started plucking? Is this molting? I tried searching for pin feathers, but couldn't see the stereotypical signs (but maybe I'm looking for more blood feather maturity than tiny baby pin feathers). Do you guys see anything that indicates it's not plucking? He did get microchipped a month ago.

What do I do to help him?
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Is this plucking or molting?!-img-20180927-wa0007.jpg  
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:57 AM
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Re: Is this plucking or molting?!

Hello! I’m not very experienced with birds either but I don’t think that’s a molt - it feels like could be something else. Possibly plucking, maybe. (again, not very experienced).

Bumping this kinda to help you out! Hope you find out what’s going on!
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:18 PM
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Re: Is this plucking or molting?!

Bumping u up
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:55 PM
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Re: Is this plucking or molting?!

It appears just to be a wet bird whose bare belly is exposed. I don’t think it’s anything, at first glance. I see it with my boys neck sometimes.

Are you seeing any feathers at the bottom of the cage? If so, post a picture of the base of the feather.
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Old 09-27-2018, 05:00 PM
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Re: Is this plucking or molting?!

To clarify a little, all parrots have something of a ridge down the middle of their bellies that lacks feathers. You see it orominently in your photo as a folding or concaving of the feathers into what looks like a part. When wet its not unusual for it to part and eee bare skin.
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:24 PM
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Re: Is this plucking or molting?!

No normal/vaned feathers anywhere, which is why I thought perhaps it wasn't plucking (I've been hyper aware that as an ekkie he might start plucking or barbering, so I've been keeping a close eye on the state of his feathers). I was just so shocked to see his bare skin (I never gave my childhood chickens a bath, so I didn't think it was normal to see so much skin).

If it's normal, phew! I'll let the little guy know he's being a good boy and to keep up the good work of preening himself.
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Old 09-27-2018, 09:37 PM
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Re: Is this plucking or molting?!

Yeah if you don’t see any feathers anywhere, it can’t very well be losing feathers

Don’t stress TOO much about plucking. When it happens, it’s ALWAYS because something has completely gone off the rails, dramatically and drastically so: Worst diet ever, painfully stressful environment, illness.

There’s a reason for it when it starts, and when that is caught early can be reversed easily. The problem comes when the issue isn’t addressed for years. At that point it becomes habit and you’re not likely to fix it.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:21 PM
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Re: Is this plucking or molting?!

If he is fairly wet, this is normal.
Otherwise, it could be over-preening/feather chewing, or feather loss. If you aren't seeing the feathers, the bird could be eating them gradually/chewing them to dust, or they may have fallen out and failed to grow back in. It may also just be how she was standing--my "Too" sometimes makes her feathers look really unflattering (based on how she holds them) and other times, she looks totally filled out.
My bird has over-preened over the years (especially during her transition from her old home to mine) but that isn't the same as plucking. My bird had a similar look when I got her. If your bird is not wet, DO get blood-work, as over-preening can be a sign of underlying medical conditions...That having been said, all birds should have blood-work done before they are noticeably ill---it provides a baseline for future reference.

Last edited by noodles123; 09-27-2018 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 09-28-2018, 05:19 AM
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Re: Is this plucking or molting?!

Yep, it was a pretty thorough shower, and I petted his chest which parted the feathers; I actually ran out of the bathroom dripping wet with him, calling for my partner to snap a photo for this forum.

The lack of feathers lying around boggled me - I thought for sure I was missing something (I was thinking all sorts of crazy thoughts of 'Maybe I just have been oblivious and missed them' despite me being the only person who cleans his areas every day). As a country girl living in a city, he's my sanity, so I realise I'm a bit paranoid when it comes to his health.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:16 AM
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Re: Is this plucking or molting?!

Not paranoia at all. There's just something about the look of a wet ekkie in particular. I remember the first time I gave Bixby a good soaking. I messaged a friend in a near panic because I was freaked out by the amount of skin I saw! Lol! (And keep in mind, I'd had a cockatiel for a good 18 years before getting him, so I wasn't a parrot newbie.) She had to talk me down, explaining that such was normal with soggy ekkies. (Strangely enough, it's different with Maya. Her feathers seem more water-proof or something. I can rarely see skin on her. But Jolly's appearance when soaked more closely resembles Bixby's. I wonder if that's just a Maya thing, or if female ekkie feathering is just fundamentally different from their male counterparts.)
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