conure losing his tail feathers

by Sharon
(New Hampshire)

I have a green cheek conure that I have had for about 2 months that has lost about 3 or 4 of his tail feathers. He is about 2 1/2 years old and was attacked by a cat and his leg was hurt. We did take him to a vet and he was put on antibiotics and pain meds. It has been about 3 or 4 weeks since it happened and his eating and behavior seem fine.

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Aug 05, 2010
Red Bellied Conure
by: Anonymous

I have two 4 month old red bellied conure and I noticed a couple of days ago that one lost a tail feather and found this at the bottom of the cage. Again today when playing with them, notice that one of the conures lost another tail feather. They were in the cage and it just came out. I am concerned about my baby conures. Is this normal?

Editor's note: You must start a new thread by posting this as a new question under Parrot Questions if you want people to answer this. You answered another question with your question.

Aug 04, 2010
conure losing his tail feathers
by: Linda

Cat attacks and the following infection is usually life threatening to a bird. Cats have many virulent bacteria in their mouths and claws, and birds usually die from these attacks with or without medicine. I strongly suggest you take him back into the Avian Vet for a followup visit to make sure he is clean of infection, and this would include some simple blood tests to make sure there is nothing else going on.

As Tracie said, it is not unusual for birds to lose tail feathers after an attack like this or during an early onset molt brought on by the trauma. Your bird could still be in danger, so get him back into the Avian Vet's soon as you can to see if all is well.

It is wonderful that he is doing so well, and we hope he continues to come back after this ordeal. It is always wise to put cats and dogs in another room when birds are out of their cages just in case bird falls to the floor while trying to fly. Dogs can be trained to leave them alone, but birds are prey for cats, so not much one can do there except make sure they are never alone when bird is outside his cage.

Thanks for writing,

Aug 03, 2010
Conure losing tail feathers
by: Tracie

Could you clarify what you are hoping for Dr B to tell you? Birds often lose their tail feathers when they are attacked.

FYI, Dr B never wants to replace a vet visit, if someone's bird needs to be seen in person for a diagnosis. By the time he reads your question, when you reply to this with a question, my be days and your bird may need to be seen before then.

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