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Old 06-29-2013, 01:16 PM
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What to expect during a molt?

Hi folks,

I took Alice to see the local avian vet this week: I had some concerns about tatty looking feathers and potential over-preening and he gave her a confident all clear, pointing out that she's mid molt with plenty of new feathers coming through, and that it could take up to a couple of months to go through a complete molt. So nothing I'm particularly worried about but it did make me aware I know comparatively little about molting, and I was wondering how other forum member's birds go through their molts?

As far as Alice is concerned, I noticed when I got her she was primarily losing pink feathers, then she had a lot of pin feathers around her neck: now when she preens she'll dislodge a few feathers a day from her back. So do molts occur in localized patches or could it be that the area where a new feather comes through irritates her and she dislodges others in the area as she fusses over an itchy new feather? There are no pin feathers on her back as yet but it's only the last few days she's been losing feathers from that area.

Is there anything I can do to help with pin feathers where she can't reach them? I tried gently rubbing the tips as per an article I read online, but she made it very clear she wasn't keen on that, and she trembles with fear if I go anywhere near her with a water spray so that's out for the time being.

I presume if she loses feathers accidentally a new one starts growing in its place immediately? She's clipped on one side and doesn't fly very well so we've had a few crash landings!
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:45 PM
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Re: What to expect during a molt?

My two budgies get REALLY crabby . They up to the brim with sass. . Though with a few scritches from me they mellow down. . I put in their bath tub more often in their cage too
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:09 PM
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Re: What to expect during a molt?

Some pin feathers are not ready to be 'cracked' and my bird gives out a yelp if I pinch one too hard. The longer, drier pin feathers crust off when you pinch it so maybe wait and try again till the pin feathers are ready?

Will your bird let you take her to the shower with you since she hates misting? Maybe let her watch you in the shower a few times so she knows its safe.

Other than that, just offer a bowl for bathing and foods rich in protein such as almonds, chicken meat or boiled eggs. Granted I don't have a large parrot like you so I don't know what else would be beneficial to them during molts. Good luck!
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:29 PM
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Re: What to expect during a molt?

Unfortunately even leaving the living room is a big no-no at the moment, so showers are out for the time being. She's a really shy bird who's only just getting the hang of her new home, so going into an uncomfortable molt is not the greatest timing!

We're building up the repertoire for food at the moment, and she likes almonds. I'm not a meat eater myself so chicken is out, but I'll give eggs a go.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:32 PM
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Re: What to expect during a molt?

During a moult, birds use a lot of calcium, so feeding calcium rich foods is a good idea and since she doesn't like being sprayed, take a pot of water to her & dunk her or give her a large dish of water to bathe herself in.....

During her moult, all of her feathers will be replaced.....
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