Eclectus plucking or molting?

I have a 2 year old Eclectus female and am concerned about the amount of feathers on the bottom of her cage lately. We've had her about 8 months and she has not molted with us, and as she is our first bird I'm unsure of what it looks like.

We've recently moved so I'm also afraid she may be stressed out. Her tail feathers are a bit chewed up but she has no bald patches. Most of the feathers around her cage are the downy kind but recently there was a tail feather and about 3 smaller feathers. I don't know how to tell if they've been pulled out but they are not broken at all.

Although she has a cage she is never locked in it but prefers to sit at the top. We rotate her toys and have started some small foraging toys with her as well. She's alone about 6 hours 4 days a week.

Any help/advice at all would be greatly appreciated. I can't for the life of me find anything on how to tell the difference. We're waiting back from an email from the vet (she was there recently with a clean bill of health) as well.


Thanks!
Laura

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Sep 01, 2009
Molting
by: Linda

Laura, we are happy to hear from concerned people like yourself! This may be your bird's first full molt, and ALL the feathers are changed out before it is over. As Tracie said unless you start to see bald patches, this is probably a regular molt.

One thing I heard was that your bird is alone too long for too many days a week. You might want to consider getting another Eclectus to have in a separate cage so they can keep each other company. I'm not sure how female Eclectus get along with other females, so you may wish to get a male. I'd talk to a breeder or two about how she will get along with a new bird. They may suggest a completely different species for her friend. Birds alone too much become bored and depressed just like people, so you may want to consider adding another bird to your household if you can possibly manage it.

The molt can take a while, so just keep an eye out for bald spots, even small ones. Tepid to warm showers using a plant sprayer bottle will help new feathers to come in and make her more comfortable as well. Also, moving has caused extra stress, and in time, she will feel comfortable in her new home. The other bird idea will work for the good of both birds if you can do it.Also, look at the things Tracie pointed out as her ideas are on point and will help you in understanding your bird(s).

Linda

Sep 01, 2009
Eclectus plucking or molting?
by: Tracie

Laura, you are a great parrot owner!

I can't say for sure that your bird has not started plucking, but if you can not see where the feathers are missing from, then it is likely a molt. Sometimes it looks like a cat got in our bird cages when our birds are molting! LOL

If you do feel like your bird is stressed, you might want to get Pluck-No-More to add to it's water to ease the stress. This is a non-toxic formula that often helps birds calm down that are stressed.

We do have articles on our Parrot Training page on feather issues, training and diet that you might want to read also.

I hope your avian vet gets back with you soon and relieves your fears. Thanks for writing!

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