can't seem to keep feathers on body

Hi, I have had a blue parrolett since it was a baby about three-four years now. In the last year, she continues to appear like she is molting. her feathers look very unhealthy, actually bald in spots. I give her vitamin drop daily, and spray in areas in case she is biting herself. she does not get alot of touch. can't seem to be bothered. can you give me any insight as to what i can do for this situation. thank you, caring bird owner

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Jun 11, 2010
by: Jill

I took Zoe the parrotlet to the Avian vet today. She has dermatitis which is a bacterial infection. This is the reason for her loss of feathers. I was given an antibiotic, vitamin for her food or water and medicine to spray her with twice daily. She will have a check-up in two weeks. I was able to ask him about the change from food to pellets. Interesting he told me the opposite of what I read on website. I am to mix the seed and the pellets together. of course, more pellets than seed. And to feed her pellets in morning only then the combination in afternoon. Thought you might all be interested. Because she has had this bacterial infection for awhile it could have caused her some liver damage. SO WATCH YOUR BIRD.. and thanks for your advice.

May 27, 2010
can't seem to keep feathers on body
by: Linda

Yes, as Tracie said, you must take your bird to an Avian vet in your area immediately to rule out infections BEFORE you begin to change her over to a healthy diet. Diet is one of the most crucial issues relating to healthy skin and feather production. A bird on an all seed diet even with vitamins in the water is literally starving to death. The organic pellets are recommended because they contain no dyes, preservatives or pesticide/fertilizer residue. You must feed bird proper diet to ensure she gets healthy and remains that way. Starving birds have unhealthy molts, and they are also more prone to bacterial/viral infections, so a trip to the Avian Vet is the first thing you need to do, and it needs to be done as quickly as is possible.

Your bird is suffering, and if you really do care about her, then get her the medical help she needs and get her onto a healthy diet. NO PEOPLE FOOD, TABLE FOOD, SALTY, SWEET OR FATTY FOODS is a must for a healthy diet. Birds are like children, and they will eat anything we give them as they trust us. Please understand that your birds trusts you, and do not let that trust be misplaced.

Sick birds have to go to Avian/Bird doctors just like people when they are sick. Birds also have to be eating a diet made for birds. The vitamins are synthetic and are not even digested properly by the bird's body, so you can stop wasting money on them and get her onto a healthy diet of organic pellets and organic fruit and veggies for no more than 10-15% of the diet, meaning only a few times a week on the fruit/veggies.

Thanks for writing, and let us know what vet has to say and how the change over to organic pellets is going.


May 26, 2010
Bird with feather loss
by: Tracie

I am so glad you wrote and asked this question. Dr B can not help you, because what your bird needs is an in person physical exam for your bird by an avian vet, not a regular "dog" vet.

VERY IMPORTANT...Vitamins in water can kill birds. Your bird needs to be on a healthy pellet diet, like Harrison's or Roudybush pellets. If the bird is eating properly, 80% pellets and 20% healthy treats, it will not need vitamins added to it's water.

We have an article on Switching Birds to Pellets that will be helpful for you read.

Your bird could just need a better diet, but it may have an internal infection or other health issue. The only way to for sure treat the real problem, is to have it examined by an avian vet.

If you do not know of an avian vet, you can look for one on our Find an Avian Vet page. We have many vets listed on the page that our readers have suggested, but we also have a couple of links at the top of the page that take you to other sites where you can look for an avian vet in your area.

Please let us know how it goes.

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