Blue Front Amazon - female - excessive molt

by Ginny
(St. Peters, MO)

Captain January 2010

Captain January 2010

My 15 yr old BF Amazon is molting excessively and continuously since November (all over her body). She has never done this before. Could there be a medical reason or is this normal? None of my other birds has ever done this. She has lots of pin feathers coming in.

Comments for Blue Front Amazon - female - excessive molt

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Jun 28, 2010
by: Ginny

Thanks all - she is one of 14 birds I have so I know about all the nutritional issues, etc. I have a great avian vet (close to my home) - one of the best. He said she is fine and all her feathers are in now. She didn't lose all her feathers - it just seemed to be continuous. She has not lost more and has always been completely feathered - it just seemed to be excessive. She eat a little seed - not much - eats pellets and all fresh veggies and fruit and some nuts - she has regular showers, covered at night, new furnace/ac and humidifier. All the obvious issues are in place. I still do not know what made her molt like this. I found out from previous records that she is 20 years old. I've only had her for 4 years and this had never happened.

Feb 17, 2010
Amazon molt
by: The Avian Vet

There are medical causes for this. Certainly nutritional deficiencies can do it too. What does your bird eat? It could also be normal. If your bird has not had a check up within the last 6-12 months, then I recommend that you have her seen by an avian veterinarian.

Dr B

Feb 13, 2010
by: Ginny

This bird came as a boarder and they never picked her up. That was three years ago. She was on a seed diet and had no toys. Now she eats pellets, fresh veggies, fruit and gets palm oil a couple of times a week and other nutrients. She is one of 14 birds so she gets a lot of bird food - not people food. She gets a cooked mix in the morning consisting of all good grains, etc. She also gets her showers and the temperature in the house is 71 degrees - no drafts - sun in the window in the morning. She loves all her toys. She is out of her house most of the day. The one thingI'm wondering about is that she had a pine cone and she ate all the pine seeds and I put another one in the cage and she immediately ate those. I didn't give her anymore because I read somewhere afterwards that some birds can get sick from those - it was bought at a bird store - not a pet store. I am planning to take her to the avian vet. We have one close to me and he is one of the best in the midwest. I just wondered if anyone else is experiencing this. I will advise when I learn of the problem. I have 2 other amazons, a couple of greys, and a moluccan and a B&G macaw and smaller birds also. They are all in excellent feather condition. None of them are doing this. She is lighter than any of my other birds and has been this way since she came to me.

Feb 12, 2010
Blue Front Amazon - female - excessive molt
by: Linda

Perhaps you are keeping your home too warm. A nice 70-73 degrees is a good temperature. Yes, it may feel a little chilly, and too much heat causes out of season molts which uses a lot of a parrot's energy resources. If your home is drafty, then be sure to cover bird at night to hold in his body heat.

It is not normal for a bird to have a full molt in the winter. Our amazons lose a feather here or there, but not many and not an entire molt.

It may also be a good idea to take your bird to an Avian vet in your driving area to have him checked for possible infections as this can also cause excessive molting.

Diet is a very critical part of bird husbandry, and unless yours is eating a high quality organic pelleted diet and NO TABLE FOOD OR OTHER HUMAN FOOD, his diet is lacking important and crucial nutrients for healthy skin and feathers. Some fruit and veggies can be fed, but they can be no more than 10% of a bird's diet. People food is like potatoes, bread, and other products that contain a lot of fat and salt. Salt kills quickly, and fat kills slower and just as surely.

Normal molts take place in March/April time frame in the States, and one in winter can cause birds to contract pneumonia.

So, take bird to Avian vet for an exam, and get started on changing him over from an all seed diet to a much healthier one of organic pellets. Tracie carries several kinds out here, and the change takes time, so do not be in a hurry to do this. If you need to know how to change diet, here is a link to an article written by an Avian Vet on the subject:
Switching Birds to Pellets article

Let us know how everything goes and hope your bird is okay.


Feb 12, 2010
by: Hillary

My Amazon molts all the time. She throws a feather or two a day from no particular area, just a shoulder here and a tail feather there an a head feather ort wo a day, Spring is coming.

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