You can find feathers all around the cage. What exactly is going on?
Despite understanding in theory that their birds will molt new owners are frequently shocked and startled by suddenly finding the cage floor covered in feathers. The fact that their cockatiel may possibly be lethargic, grumpy, and out of sorts during the molt may either worry the dog owner into thinking that the bird is ill or cover up an actual sickness. Though it needs a bit of supportive care, a bird is not ill. You will need to mist it a little more often, then add extra protein to its diet (feathers are nearly pure protein), and value its demand for extra rest.. Bean mix and hard cooked egg are both good sources of protein. You ought to watch a molting bird vigilantly though. The strain of the molt may cause a latent disease to flare up. Usually do not hesitate to call the vet if you think you have reason to suspect illness.
A cockatiel molts at about 6 month, at about a year, and then about one per year thereafter. Between 4 and 6 weeks the molt generally lasts. Sometimes environmental conditions cause variations in the pattern of molting. Tiels kept in warm climates with little seasonal variation might have a subtle molt where they lose a couple of feathers at any given time over summer and winter. Birds in more temperate areas with more pronounced seasons generally have a more pronounced molt. Sometimes a molt does not appear to go right. There are several diseases that affect feather growth and birds experiencing an abnormal molt should find the veterinarian.
The quality and condition of the feathers is strongly influenced by several factors. Diet is probably predominant. My rescued tiel, Rocky, came if you ask me pale-coloured, ratty-looking, with feathers that were crossed with stress bars (improperly developed areas due to stress, malnutrition, an such like.), and broke easily. After three years of a good diet with plenty of protein during tons and molts of vitamin A sources he wouldnand # 8217; as the same bird t be recognized. His gray is dark and velvety, the light top of his central tail feathers is a lovely silver, the yellow of his face and the underlying yellows beneath the grey elsewhere are rich and bright, and the orange cheek patches are deep pumpkin orange (in fact the high levels of carotene in his diet are betrayed by the bleeding of his cheek patch feathers into the rest of his face and#8212; a bit too much of a great thing that will be corrected next molt). The feathers are flexible and strong, he hasnand # 8217; t broken a single feather in 24 months.
Another dandruff in cockatiels is the powder down. Powder down comes from special feathers that are made to disintegrate into a fine dust which cockatiels, cockatoos, and African greys use to waterproof and condition their feathers. These birds are always rather dusty and the powder will get all over your things. Daily misting with plain water may help keep this at a bearable degree. In extreme cases an air purifier is effective. I bought a great air purifier for pet dander at Air Purity. Do not use the feather conditioning sprays. A cockatiel never was never intended by nature to have oil on its feathers. A cockatiel in great feather condition may have a soft gloss, not just a hard shine.
Another vital variable for feathers is use of either natural sunlight or full spectrum light. Birds kept only under ordinary artificial lights become soft – feathered and dull. This might be due to the production of vitamin D by the interaction of sunlight and the preening oil on the surface of the feathers. You can learn more about this at the National Cockatiel Society. Since birds inevitably ingest a number of the oil as they preen they furnish their very own Vitamin D in precisely the correct type and amount. (Vitamin D is really a fat soluble vitamin that will build up to toxic levels within the body when supplements are overused. I would NOT advocate giving D supplements to a bird vitamin unless proscribed by way of a veterinarian
). Finally, bird need their feathers to be kept by regular baths at their best. I often provide a bath dish in the cage and mist my birds daily with plain water. Tiels have definite preferences about there bathrooms. Some like misting (use a clean plant sprayer which has never held any compound), either a soft fall from above or a firmer spray from the sides or below while the others simply enjoy still water. A soaking from the dish sprayer will delight some and terrify others. Many enjoy a lukewarm shower making use of their human friends. Water temperature is just a matter of individual preferences. Some like lukewarm, the others like quite warm. Never use truly hot water and#8212; even when it doesnandt actually burn off the bird will strip the natural oils from the feathers. My Biscuit actually favors really cold water (not ice water, but as cold as a Brand New England well will run in early summer. I either need to give her mate his own warm dish or before the water warms up he can wait. Bath dishes run the gamut from glass loaf pans to metal pie plates to terra cotta plant saucers (disinfect carefully since they are porous), to Biscuit’s favorite and a crisp outer cabbage leaf set concave side up with about a quarter cup pool of water in it. Anything perhaps not too slick, safe, and big enough or difficult to clean is going to do.
Help! My bird has dandruff!
You will find 2 things that new cockatiel owners might mistake for dandruff. One is as the feather matures the feather sheathes that cover the growing pinfeathers and flake off. Tame birds enjoy it if their persons gradually preen these away in areas the bird can perhaps not reach such as for instance the back of the neck and head. Be gentle, a pinfeather that is still growing is painful and sensitive. Your bird will let you know in no uncertain terms that you did something wrong in you hit one of these. Usually do not be intimidated though. Their mates are scolded by paired birds in the same way violently when they make a preening mistake then immediately beg for more preening