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Moulting

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When birds moult do the feathers, the old feathers that is, irritate them?

 

I've just watched Shinda chew off a tail feather, he didn't pluck it, he chewed it off at the base :? I didn't stop him because I wanted to know what he was doing and how it would end.

 

Could this be because it was a feather ready to come out, or maybe one he's damaged during one of his many slides down the cage?

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Ok, thanks MMM :)

 

Do you know though if moulting causes the old feathers to irritate as they loosen or is that not what happens, do the feathers just drop out without the bird even feeling it?

 

Mind you, if that were the case I'd have thought he'd have actually pulled it out rather than chewed it off still leaving a bit of feather behind.

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He chewed it of over the course of about five minutes. He'd stop then suddenly turn around again quickly and start chewing again so maybe there was some irritation there.

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Chewing a feather may be a one off thing, but if it happens often the you need to check that he has enough (useable) calcium in his diet, also be sure the birds are getting a good 12 hours a night uninterrupted sleep.

 

Moulting is the natural process for the gradual replacement of old, tattered, or damaged feathers with new feather growth, this process can last for several months, with the larger parrots taking longer to complete their moult.

 

Parrots will only moult out several feathers at a time so that flight is not inhibited and not every feather will be replaced in each moult.

 

Flight feathers may only be replaced every other year,most birds moult gracefully going unnoticed by their owners, while a few may have a somewhat scruffy appearance.but it is not natural for a bird to have bare or bald spots during moulting.

 

The easiest way to know for sure whether your bird is moulting or not, is to check for the appearance of pin feathers.

 

(Pin feathers, also called blood feathers, will emerge encased in a sheath called a quill).

 

While birds are moulting they need extra moisture to prevent the feather sheath from becoming dry and hard.

 

Bathe or spray your bird daily with plain warm water. This will also help alleviate some of the itchiness birds experience during this time.

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Many thanks June :)

 

Calcium. I put Zolcal D in their water every day and I give them egg (scrambled or boiled, with all the shell mashed in) three times a week. I give them a chicken thigh with a little flesh on it once a week.

I give them walnuts and almonds every day and they have fresh fruit and veg every day including oranges and tomatoes (I don't give oranges every day, three times a week).

 

I spray them every day without fail.

 

They USUALLY have twelve hours sleep a night although sometimes this is reduced.

I'd say that five nights out of seven they are covered over for twelve hours in the lounge with just the side light on in there. The tv is often on low if one of the kids are in but not always. I'm usually in the other room on the computer.

 

Should I maybe look into putting them in a small sleep cage at night? It would have to be a small cage and would have to go in my room for it to have any benefits over being in the lounge. That really is the only way they'd have complete silence and darkness for a full twelve hours.

 

I've seen a few more non-flight feathers about than usual, in fact Mojo was playing with one yesterday on the table.

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