Concern about my bird’s feathers 🪶


Well-known member
Mar 26, 2022
Hello! I have a 7-8 month old, male cockatiel named Kiko.

I have some concerns with his tail feathers.
I have attached a pic of his tail, and a side pic of his wing feathers (he is clipped, but we did not clip him.) also his tail in the pic looks weird because it was wet (he was sitting on his water bowl)

When we got him, he was around 2-3 months old. His tail feathers were long, but a lot of them were broken/chewed by him. After around 1-2 months, his long tail feathers were gone and every time new ones grew, he broke them off. To this day he does this :(

Kiko has not molted yet, but when he does, I am guessing all of his long tail feathers will grow, but I know he will ruin them. I have tried to distract him with toys, playing with him, and sometimes treats. But his tail feathers are not staying long.

Any advice from you guys? I heard younger birds or baby birds do this and overtime they stop. Is this true? As for his wing feathers, he doesn’t have any long ones to break off but he has broken like 2 blood feathers on his right wing before.

He’s a very healthy bird and doesn’t have any medical issues, but this behavioural problem is very frustrating because i don’t know what can be done to stop him. I also know that diet is important for strong feathers and for his overall health, but I am currently still trying to get him hooked on veggies. I have wasted a lot of chop so far 😭

Thanks to anyone who replies! ❤️


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Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
It’s very common for young birds (definitely cockatiels) to have a ratty broken tail until their next molt. Kiko may well grow in a nice full tail this time or next time around.

His tail will not GET long until he drops the short broken feathers with his next molt and grows in long ones. The feathers don’t grow all the time; they grow to the proper length and then stop growing. The bird keeps those feathers for several months and then they fall out and new feathers (start out short pinfeathers) grow in their place. And then at molting time those fall out and are replaced.

Just keep feeding him his chop and know you are giving him good food! This will help him to be healthy. He’s pretty now; just think how nice he will look once he has a long tail!


Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
Yes! The short, broken feathers fall out at the next molt and new long ones grow in.

I don’t think you need to worry. Your bird will have a beautiful long tail soon.

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