Birds regularly lose their feathers when they are molting. This allows them to lose their old ones and make way for new ones. However, you should be familiar with your bird’s molting period and when it is. You will also be familiar with the signs that your animal is molting. If it is not time for your bird to be molting or the loss of feathers is different than normal, you likely have something else going on.
Here are a few of the other reasons why your bird may be losing its feathers.
One of the reasons why your bird may begin to lose its feathers is because of parasites. Birds can pick up these parasites if they go outside or interact with other birds. If they do neither, the chance of a parasite is extremely low. When birds lose their feathers due to parasites, they are often left with thick, scaly skin in the area the feathers were. A veterinarian will have to test the skin to confirm a parasite is present and then treat the parasite. Once treatment is complete, your birds thick skin should begin to flake off before new feathers begin to come in.
Bacterial or Fungal Diseases
Another reason why your bird may be losing its feathers is because of bacterial or fungal disease. Unfortunately, it can be hard to differentiate between bacterial and fungal diseases and self mutilation. This is because a bacterial or fungal disease can cause the bird’s skin to itch so much that they begin to pluck the feathers out themselves, making it look like self mutilation. However, a vet can look at the skin and take skin samples, helping you determine if medication is needed to treat the bacterial or fungal diseases or whether your bird needs a new routine to stop self mutilation.
It is important that a bird get all of the vitamins and nutrients they need to thrive. Without this, they may not properly grow and thrive. If their diet has deficiencies, you may also see the bird begin to lose its feathers. A vet can go over the dietary needs of your bird with you, helping to ensure the bird gets all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs.
The last reason a bird may be losing its feathers is due to behavioral issues. This may be self mutilation because of boredom or it may be another bird that is picking on your bird. If another bird shares a cage with the bird losing its feathers, separate them. From there, watch the affected bird carefully. If the bird is self mutilating, he may be bored and needs more stimulation. If he seems to heal up when separated, the other bird may have been bored or territorial and may have been picking on the bird.
When your bird is losing its feathers, is not feeling right, or just needs routine care, bring him or her into Camino Seco Pet clinic in Tucson, Arizona. We are a local veterinary clinic that treats dogs, cats, exotic animals, pocket pets and birds. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your pet.