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Home > Birds > 6 Common Reasons For Feather Loss in Parrots: Avian Facts & FAQs

6 Common Reasons For Feather Loss in Parrots: Avian Facts & FAQs

Feather Loss in Parrots

Owning a pet parrot can be a rewarding experience. Parrots have long lifespans, are fun to watch, and are easy to maintain. These aspects make them great companions. However, one common problem that they face is feather loss. Feather loss can be a terrifying experience for inexperienced owners, and it’s not always easy to find the root cause. If you notice feather loss in your bird, keep reading while we look at several explanations for this phenomenon so you can help keep your bird strong and healthy.divider-birds

The 6 Reasons For Feather Loss in Parrots

1. Molting

Molting is the most common cause of feather loss in parrots because it happens naturally. Once or twice per year, your parrot will need to shed its worn feathers and replace them with new ones. Molting will leave plenty of feathers on the floor of the cage and will also cause some birds to preen more frequently, making it look like your pet is pulling out its feathers. In reality, it’s straightening the feathers so they perform better.

parrot inside cage
Image Credit: schubbel, Shutterstock

2. Poor Nutrition

Poor nutrition is a serious problem that can cause feather loss in your bird. Without proper nutrition, the molting process will not go smoothly, which can create quite a bit of stress for your parrot. Poor nutrition can also rob the body of what it needs to create strong feathers, which will cause them to be thin and fragile. These fragile feathers will fall out easily, resulting in significant feather loss. A well-balanced diet with seeds, fruits, vegetables, and commercial pellets will provide your pet with the proper nutrition.

parrots eating food
Image Credit: Dewald Van Rensburg, Pixabay

3. Feather Plucking

Feather plucking is when your bird starts to pull out its feathers instead of preening and cleaning them. It often starts due to stress from poor nutrition, a noisy environment, difficulty molting, and more. Feather plucking can result in large bald patches on your bird, so it’s important to take it to the vet as soon as possible to see about a remedy.

Blue fronted amazon parrot, feather picking
Image Credit: Martinique Assink, Shutterstock

4. Not Enough Attention

If your parrot isn’t getting the attention it craves, it can become depressed, which often results in feather plucking. Your bird will try several methods to get your attention before resorting to feather plucking, so it’s important to spend plenty of time with your parrot so you can read the signs if it’s getting upset. Many parrots like to dance, so providing them with soft music with a strong beat can help them have some fun, which can reduce the urge to pluck feathers.

sick african gray parrot with plucked feathers
Image Credit: Michelle D. Milliman, Shutterstock

5. Lack of Stimulation

Another reason your parrot might be losing its feathers or is plucking them out is that it’s bored. Parrots require plenty of mental stimulation to keep them happy, and the best way to provide this stimulation is to allow the birds plenty of time to roam around and explore outside the cage. Allowing your bird time out of the cage can help keep its spirits up and will give it something to do so it doesn’t resort to feather plucking or other negative behaviors.

Plucked African Grey Parrot
Image Credit: Ian Fox, Shutterstock

6. Skin Disorder

Itchy, dry skin resulting from excessive humidity, chemicals, and even dust can cause feathers to fall out prematurely. It can also cause your pet to start plucking its feathers. Keeping humidity levels within normal range and frequently cleaning the cage is the best way to avoid feather loss from skin disorders. Most experts also recommend avoiding scented candles and air fresheners.

Parrot Skin Problem
Image Credit: Linda Bestwick, Shutterstock


Will My Parrots Feathers Grow Back?

Shedding and regrowing feathers is a natural part of life you’re your parrot. Even birds with significant bald spots due to plucking will usually grow their feathers back relatively quickly once you can resolve the problem that’s causing the plucking. However, if you don’t notice the feathers growing back within a few weeks, we recommend taking your pet to the vet to have it looked over to see if there is an underlying medical condition.divider-birds

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of reasons your parrot might be losing its feathers, but if it’s healthy and happy, then there is a good chance it is only molting, especially if you spend a lot of time with it and let it out of the cage to roam around and get some exercise. If you have one or more barking dogs that spend a lot of time in the same room as your parrot, that can add stress, which might cause your pet to start plucking its feathers. It’s best to move the cage to a quieter part of the house where your bird can relax. We also recommend making sure your pet is getting high-quality nutrition from a varied diet of seeds, fruits, vegetables, and commercial parrot pellets to make sure it has the nutrients to stay healthy.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this short guide and have learned something new about your pet. If we have helped you understand your pet better, please share this guide to common reasons for feather loss in parrots on Facebook and Twitter.

You May Also Like: 20 Best Parrots to Keep as Pets (With Pictures)

Featured Image Credit by: Charlotte Bleijenberg,Shutterstock

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