Alexandrine losing feathers

emkava

New member
Aug 4, 2020
4
0
Sydney, Australia
Parrots
3 x alexandrines
I have 3 alexandrine parrots. I raised 2 of them from babies - they are now 6 years old. They are all fed a varied diet of sunflower seed and numerous fruits and vegetables. About 12 months ago the young male started to lose his feathers. He lost his tail first (since regrown) and then all feathers on his chest. There is soft down forming on his chest , but it never results in any feathers growing. I took him to an avian vet who did blood tests and a physical examination, and assured me it was just a normal moulting cycle.This was about 8 months ago. As this has been going on for more than 12 months , I’m sure this is not the case. He eats well and seems happy, but I am very concerned about the cause
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,700
4,303
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
It is very helpful to have some understanding of where is this huge World you live as the Weather conditions in your area does effect when your Parrot should be normally molting. At least a region.

Is it possible that all three Parrots are sharing the same cage?
Being the third Parrot out could be contributing to a possible behavior problem, What kind of interaction do your Parrots have?

Sunflower seed should not be the foundation of any Parrot's diet, at best a small segment of a very wide cross-section of seeds, grains and nuts. The veggies should represent the majority of the diet. Here again, a wide cross-section of veggies should be provided with a limited amount of fruit.
 
Last edited:

Jottlebot

Member
Aug 29, 2012
507
10
Shropshire, UK
Parrots
Orange-winged Amazon - RIP Charlie,
Spock - Common Mynah,
McCoy - Alexandrine
Hmm... more information would definitely be helpful. Is he one of the hand raised 2 or is he a younger bird? If he is when did you get him?

I guess the options are:
1. A normal moult, that seems to have become abnormal
2. He is plucking
3. The others are plucking him
4. He has an illness that is causing them to come out
5. Hormones, always hormones!
Or I suppose 6. A combination of the above.

I have a male Alex and I know of another male Alex who both pluck themselves on their belly and legs during hormone season. They pluck out nearly all the green feathers and just leave the downy white ones behind. Mine plucks up to his mid-chest area and he also plucked almost all the red from his wings! When they moult they all fully grow back though. My boy did this this year for the first (and I hope only) time, he is 4 this year.

When it started did you find damaged feathers? That would give you a clue about whether it was plucking or not. I found damaged feathers and also just the tops of feathers that he had bitten off, but not pulled out yet. You don't see anything like that in a normal moult.

The length of time he's been without his chest feathers does seem too long as in 12 months he would have gone through a hormone and moulting cycle.

When you said they the downy feathers are returning does that mean he was completely bare at one time? Could something have caused him a lot of stress in a short period of time? Maybe he's plucked and then just had a very light moult so he hasn't re-grown many feathers?
 
OP
E

emkava

New member
Aug 4, 2020
4
0
Sydney, Australia
Parrots
3 x alexandrines
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply.
He is one of the 2 hand raised. We have had him and the female for about 6 years. We have had the older bird who is in a large aviary with them for about 9 years. The aviary is 3.4M h x 3M x 5.5 metres.
I have tried to upload a photo without success.
His chest has never been completely bare - just seems to be stuck at the downy stage.
He has a very good diet and the other birds look in perfect health. He seems quite well in himself ~comes to me, feeds from my hand .
I can’t think of any incident that would have caused him stress. Is there any particular food or medication that you know of that assists in replenishment of feathers?
Thank you again for your advice
 
OP
E

emkava

New member
Aug 4, 2020
4
0
Sydney, Australia
Parrots
3 x alexandrines
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Hi Sailboat,
Sorry, I hadn’t seen your message when I made my earlier reply.
The parrots are all housed together. The aviary is quite large. They eat a combination of grey striped sunflower seed, millet, whole oats , safflower seed plus corn cobs, apples, blue berries , grapes .
We are in Sydney. It is winter here at the moment. The lowest temperature we would experience would be about 7 degrees Celsius at night .
We have never found broken feathers in the aviary so I don’t think he is plucking his own feathers, and I have never witnessed the other birds do this to him.
Thank you for taking the time to advise
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
15,700
4,303
Western, Michigan
Parrots
DYH Amazon
Thank you for your reply.

That would place you well into your winter months and your temperature would imply that your relative humidity is likely low, possibly around 30 - 40 percent? Commonly, Parrots will be adding to their volume of feathers during this period and commonly do much better with the humidity nearer 50%

If at all possible, strongly consider removing your younger Alex from the larger cage. It is very possible that this one is at the bottom the the pecking order and 'maybe' being plucked by the others or self-plucking. Separating will allow you to observe this Alex closer.

Really need to reduce the Sunflower and Sunflower like part of the diet with a much wider blend of other types of seed. Also, increase the 'Veggie' selection and easy off the fruits a bit more.

If changes are not seen over the next few weeks, its off to the Avian Vet.

Again, thanks for the reply.
 
Last edited:
OP
E

emkava

New member
Aug 4, 2020
4
0
Sydney, Australia
Parrots
3 x alexandrines
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
Thank you. We will do all you have suggested. We will halve the amount of sunflower seeds and increase their vegetable intake. I don’t think that the feather loss is a result of the other 2 picking on him because.i have never seen evidence of this, but I will take your advice re segregating him for a few weeks.
Hopefully we will see a turn around within the next month.
Once again ,thank you for taking the time to reply
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top