Indian Ringneck Losing Head Feathers

by Crystal
(Surrey, BC, Canada)

Hi there, My indian ringneck is only about 5 months old, and lately she's been losing feathers off her head ONLY. The rest of her feathers on her belly, wings, back, ect. are completely full and look perfectly healthy, but you can start to see her skin on the top of her head and around her eyes, and her head just gives off a "scruffy" appearance now.

She's not plucking ( would be sort of hard to pluck her head feathers out anyway... haha ), I've made sure to watch her while she's preening and she's not pulling feathers out. My other birds don't touch her (they're scared of her...), so no one else is plucking them out. I considered maybe it was a vitamin deficiency, so I've been sneaking some liquid vitamins into her water, and she does drink it. I've always given her a diet consisting of both seed and pellets, along with fresh fruit and veggies daily. I considered mites/bugs, and checked her head thoroughly, but there's nothing... her skin looks perfectly healthy. She also doesn't rub her head against her cage or anything like that. I don't think she's molting since she's not losing feathers anywhere else? Although she's getting to the age of her first big molt, but I just don't see her losing feather anywhere else, so it seems strange...

Any ideas on what might be happening? :(

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Aug 06, 2013
Indian Ringneck Losing Head Feathers
by: Linda

Tracie's advice about Avian Vet is sound advice, and I also have an idea. Your bird is being plucked by one of the other birds. I've had much experience with this particular problem, and when feathers on top of the head are disappearing and bird is in cage with other bird or birds, one of them is doing it. You may never SEE it happening, and it is happening just the same.

Please separate the plucked bird out into her own cage and see if the problem does not get better. You may think the others are afraid of her, and what I know of the more aggressive breeds of birds is one of them is hurting her. This could become far more dangerous than just plucking, so get her out of the cage with the other birds. Perhaps your cage is too small for multiple birds in which case this leads to plucking and outright killing in time. The other possibility is she is ill and not showing symptoms as yet.

So try putting her into another cage and give feathers time to come back in. You may also need to take her to an Avian Vet because sometimes a bird who is either sick or getting sick will be the target of the other birds it lives with. In the wild, sick or injured birds are either driven out of the flock or killed. Your bird may have a physical issue that has not shown itself, and the other birds will already know there is a problem. So, have her examined for infections and have basic blood work done to see how organs are functioning. The Ringnecks are very aggressive birds, and having more than one to a cage is a set up for just this kind of thing, so keep that in mind as well.

Let us know how things are going.


Aug 05, 2013
Bird lost feathers on head
by: Tracie

This could be a bacterial infection or something else. The only way to determine what is going on is to take the bird to an avian vet. Stop the liquid vitamins, you can cause organ failure and kill your bird that way.

Please use this Find an Avian Vet link to find an avian vet for your bird so it can be examined to determine what is wrong and what the potential treatment might be.

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