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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 06-02-2017, 05:08 AM
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Plucking or moulting?

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Hi Everyone,

I'm a bit concerned about my Alex McCoy. I don't have any experience with a bird going through a heavy moult so I could do with some reassurance and advice.

His feathers don't look very nice, they are dull and look like they are dusty, however when I mist him and he dries off again it doesn't change. I'm also finding between 3 and 7 wing or tail feathers a day, there seem to be more lately. He's also losing the little white down feathers a lot and I find them all over the place! I haven't found any chest feathers. Does this sound like moulting or is this plucking?

A feather will often fall when he is flying so that makes me hopeful it's a moult not plucking?

I've never seen him pull a feather out, but he is preening. I've only had him since March, he's 2016 hatched, but I don't know when.

Anything else you want to know?

Thank you!
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:08 PM
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Re: Plucking or moulting?

Likely molting.

That said, it is not common for any Parrot to loss that number of feathers because within several days, the Parrot would not have any Tail or Wing Feathers. With a healthy Parrot those feathers are only lost in very specific patterns and numbers that 'always' assure the ability to fly!

Having dull coloured feathers after bath(s) is also as rare. Feathers are part of a very complex process of displaying its health to possible mates. Dull feathers state a less then healthy Parrot.

Web search photos of Alex Parrots and compare those photos to you Parrot to determine if the appears of your Parrot's feathers are as bright as those Parrots. Note: Your Parrot is young so its coloration /patterns will likely be a bit different.

Dull feathers can have several sources /causes. One of the big ones is a poor diet.

With any new Parrot, a visit to a Certified Avian Vet (CAV) is recommended and in some cases, a requirement to maintain a Warranty.

Take a long look at the Receipt that you got from where ever you purchased this Parrot. Assure that it has a 'Hatch' date on it and if not, return and get that information. Once you have that information, keep it in a safe place, you have need it at some point in the future. Also, provide it to your CAV so that they can include it as part of your Parrot' Medical History!
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Old 06-02-2017, 01:43 PM
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Re: Plucking or moulting?

Sounds like molting to me.
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Old 06-02-2017, 02:09 PM
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Re: Plucking or moulting?

Thank you both.

SailBoat - he doesn't look anything like as bright as the pictures on the web apart from a couple of his tail feathers. He's lost the long ones, they were broken when we had him. He's lost 2 feathers today, they are quite long, I think they are wing feathers and you can see where he is missing a tail feather and a wing feather (secondary?), he hasn't lost any primaries.

I've seen a couple of pictures of moulting IRNs that look similar to him, kind of dull and almost dusty looking.

I didn't get him from a breeder and I have no receipt or hatch date. I've tried to find breeder info from his ring, but they're not registered with the parrot society.

Sounds like a trip to the vet for a full check up, bloods, etc. I have him registered with a certified avian vet, but haven't taken him yet. I wanted him to be happy in the travel cage first, but I'll up the training and make it a priority.

He eats Harrisons pellets with about 10% fresh veg and sometimes fruit. Do you think this is a good enough diet? I use nuts and seeds for training treats.

Last edited by Jottlebot; 06-02-2017 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:10 PM
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Re: Plucking or moulting?

Thanks for the additional information!

Whoever you got the Parrot from needs to provide you a Hatch Date! The new CITIES requirements are in place and young birds need Hatch Dates as part of the sale of the bird.

That said, they will say that your Parrot is not a CITIES guideline Parrot! Which he is not. But, they are to provide a Hatch Date on all Parrots born on or after 2 January 2017. At that point, they will say that he was born prior to that date. Okay, what date! See the problem! So push them! If they got the bird from a 'Reseller' that Reseller is responsible to provide the Hatch Date of the Parrot. Once again, if prior to 2, January 2017, what date!!!!

Next year, more CITIES regulations will be falling into place. Better to have the information now than to back track later!

General FYI: If you purchased a baby Parrot in 2017, you need to have the Hatch Date on the Receipt!!!
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Old 06-04-2017, 05:11 AM
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Re: Plucking or moulting?

The only thing I can add is molting feathers are being pushed out by new feathers breaking through the skin, so molting feathers has a specific indentation at the end, where the pin feather of the new feather sat.

Also plucked feathers usually show signs of damage at the stem from a beak. If you take pictures of the stem and the end of the stem and post them, we would be better equiped to tell for sure
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Old 06-05-2017, 02:05 PM
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Re: Plucking or moulting?

Quote: Originally Posted by SilleIN View Post
The only thing I can add is molting feathers are being pushed out by new feathers breaking through the skin, so molting feathers has a specific indentation at the end, where the pin feather of the new feather sat.

Also plucked feathers usually show signs of damage at the stem from a beak. If you take pictures of the stem and the end of the stem and post them, we would be better equiped to tell for sure

That's brilliant thank you. I've cleaned the cage for today, but I'll take photos tomorrow!
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:04 AM
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Re: Plucking or moulting?

Hi, I'm not a good enough photographer to take close up photos of the end, but there is a round dent at the very end of the feathers. I would guess it's where it's been pushed out like you said? There's no damage on the stem of the feathers, but on the biggest ones there is sometimes a bit of what I think is skin (which seems a bit gross!), does that sound right?
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:05 AM
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Re: Plucking or moulting?

There haven't been any feathers the last few days! Looks like I panicked about nothing.

Thank you so much for your help. This is a great community
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