Parrot Bird Molting: Symptoms, How Often And When?


It’s a fact of life that all of our feathered companions have to go through “P.M.S.” multiple times a year! For want of a better word, I’m referring to “Parrot Molting Syndrome!” It denotes mental and physical changes that might lead to behavioral issues.

Why Do Birds Molt?

Why? It is quite taxing on the body to replace every single feather! New pin feathers are irritating and, if stroked incorrectly, may be unpleasant. During this period, the body requires additional nutrients, mainly fatty acids and minerals, particularly calcium. So it’s a period of adjustment that may be made easier with your assistance.

Let’s have a look at the molting and feather production dynamics. Feather accounts for 10% to 20% of body weight. Which necessitates the consumption of particular nutrients. The majority of birds in our houses are malnourished – it is still the biggest cause of mortality among companion birds – and you may be unaware of it! The essential amino acids lysine and methionine, as well as choline and riboflavin, are particularly crucial.

When Do Birds Usually Molt?

Long molt intervals, inability to generate new feathers and feather defects and deformities may all be signs of nutritional inadequacies. Some birds seem to be constantly molting, whilst others go through a visible molt once or twice a year.

Parrot Molting Season

During the frigid winter, most birds develop thicker plumage than in the summer. Softbills that are exposed to too much artificial light will undergo an additional or protracted molt. It may be beneficial to cover the cage at night. Parrots molt year-round rather than seasonally, however it is more noticeable in late summer.

Parrot Molting Behavior

When Amber, my 4-year-old Blue and Gold Macaw, molts, you’d believe she was “P.M.S.ing!” She’s suddenly grumpy, angry, and cranky.

Heavy molts DO have an effect on personality! Along with the grouchiness, you may notice a reduction in playing or conversing. Your bird may demand more of your attention in the hopes that you will assist in preening the impending pin feathers. Bathing more often is also beneficial during molting. Expect to notice a lot more dander and “floaties” in the air, as well as a lot of feathers that have dropped.

How To Help A Molting Parrot?

When trimming wings during a molt, keep an eye out for blood feathers on the wings. Clipping a feather with a live blood supply might result in continuous bleeding, necessitating the feather’s removal to halt the bleeding.

If your bird’s wings are cut mid-molt, bear in mind that a touch-up trim may be required later to protect your bird from becoming overly flighted. Remember that molting is a normal process that all birds go through in order to replace worn-out feathers with sparkling new ones! It’s natural to feel irritable and cranky throughout this period. Help by preening pin feathers, bathing them often, and supplementing their nourishment.

Parrot Molting Diet

Because protein makes up about 90% of a feather, molting is a good time to increase your protein intake.

Shredded chicken, hard-boiled egg whites, tofu, cottage cheese, and yogurt, as well as lentils, whole grains, and nuts, are all acceptable additions. Grain and nut fatty acids are also required for healthy skin and feathers. During molts, I normally use additional flaxseed oil. Ensure that excellent pellets are provided on a regular basis, as well as plenty of vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, yams, pumpkin, maize, and swiss chard.

How Often Do Lovebirds Molt?

Mature lovebirds often molt twice a year. The general molting season occurs in spring and autumn. Diet, amount of daylight hours, and ambient room temperature are all elements that may help determine when each bird will molt.

Young lovebirds aren’t always that predictable. Lovebirds do not have a specific “season” in which they rear their young, therefore they are accessible at any time of year. A newborn lovebird’s initial molt is determined by two factors: its age and the season. Baby lovebirds molt for the first time between the ages of 4 and 8 months, most usually around the age of five or six months. The temperature and number of daylight hours (both season indicators) impact whether a newborn molts at five months or closer to seven months. Molting cycles govern and are impacted by the elements that control adult lovebird molts as the baby grows and reaches around one year of age.

Causes of Lovebird Molting

A lovebird’s molt may be caused by circumstances other than those listed above. Stress or disease might induce a bird to molt when it is not supposed to. A poor diet may have an impact on feather health, leading to an atypical molt.

Is My Bird Plucking Or Molting?

Feather plucking (when a bird rips off its own or another bird’s feathers) is sometimes confused with molting, however, this is not the case. Plucking has nothing to do with molting. A trained avian vet should check any of the aforementioned illnesses to establish the specific reason and how to treat the symptoms.

How To Know If My Lovebird Is Molting?

Lovebirds often lose little, white “fluff” feathers all year. This is totally natural (if it is not excessive) and should not be the reason for concern. When some of the bigger feathers (the same color as the lovebird’s body) are discovered near the bottom of the cage, the lovebird is officially molting.

At this time of year, “pin” feathers are also common. Pin feathers are new feathers that grow to replace molted feathers. They’re still in the waxy protection casing in which they mature, so they appear like pins protruding out of the other feathers. These waxy containers will be opened by lovebirds to display the fresh feather. Because single pet lovebirds struggle to preen their own faces and the backs of their heads, pet owners are more likely to notice these “pin” feathers on their birds. Bonded lovebird couples will preen each other to aid in the development of these new feathers.

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