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Old 04-17-2019, 08:17 AM
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Do budgies lose tail feathers when they molt?

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My young budgies (probably hatched right around the new year) are presumably molting now (based on the little fluffy feathers they're shedding all around their cage). Last night, and now this morning, I've noticed one tailfeather dangling loose from my green budgie's tail. Do I need to be concerned? Or is this normal for molting?

Last edited by fiddlejen; 04-17-2019 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:26 AM
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Re: Do budgies lose tail feathers when they molt?

This is normal for all parrots molting. Here is a picture of my cockatiel when he was a baby and then 1 year old, you can see all of his tail feathers molted out to grey ones. He also lost lots of pearls (speckling) on his back. Eventually all feathers will be molted out it just takes time. Totally normal!

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Old 04-17-2019, 08:31 AM
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Re: Do budgies lose tail feathers when they molt?

Sounds pretty normal to me! During a molt, you’ll likely notice each budgie will loose several tail and wing feathers (though they should not loose their entire tail or wing) and TONS of body feathers. As long as they have no bald patches forming, it’s perfectly normal for them to loose a lot of feathers at once, especially at a year which is likely their first molt ever. You may also notice over the coming weeks some porcupine looking spikes (called pins) and/or shorter than normal feathers on long ones like tail feather, which are the new ones growing in. Depending on your relationship with your budgies, if you see a obviously loose tail feather, you can try to give a gentle tug and see if the feather is ready to go (only if you have a good relationship with your bird, never do this if your bird is timid or afraid of you). I do this ever once in a while to my bird when I notice a wonky feather that’s clearly ready to come out. 9/10 it is ready, and the remaining time he lets me know my mistake!
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:23 PM
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Re: Do budgies lose tail feathers when they molt?

Thank you for your helpful responses. I feel very reassured. (The feather does not come loose with very gentle brushing at it. Tugging is not really an option. ) Thank you!
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Old 04-18-2019, 07:16 AM
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Re: Do budgies lose tail feathers when they molt?

I'm glad that my house isn't the only one that looks like a pillow was ripped-open and dumped out...And I'm also glad that my birds are not the only ones who look like they just came through the war!

FYI, just in-case you happen to ever experience this as well in the future, birds also have the ability to "drop their tail feathers" when they are frightened or they get stuck in something, so if your Budgies ever suddenly lose their entire tails, that's why, and it's okay...I stepped on my Budgie's tail when I was a teenager accidentally, I lifted my foot up, he took 2 steps forward and his entire tail dropped to the floor...They're amazing little dinosaurs...
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Old 04-18-2019, 07:52 AM
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Re: Do budgies lose tail feathers when they molt?

Hence why I have 2 large air purifiers and even cleaning bird room all the time filter get almost clogged up weekly. If it wasn't for that, my place would look like I had pillow fights everyday. My female Cockatiel lost all her tail feather when she was a babie still as she didn't know how to land right. She would land on her butt a lot. Thankfully she learned and all molted back find since.

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