Kakariki losing feathers around the neck and falling from perch
by Gavin Kay
(Chatham, Kent, UK)
Hi, We took our 1 year old Kakariki to the vets recently due an inability to stay on the perch when sleeping, it is also losing feathers from around the neck area and having difficulty in flying probably due to the loss of feathers. When purchased he/she was a great flyer, easily outpacing our other bird.
We keep it with a 3 year old King Parrot, in separate cages although they do 'visit' when they are both let out together. He will quite happily go for a walk around the house although he stumbles quite a lot when doing this.
We have tried keeping them separate in a different house for while didn't improve the condition either as we thought it may be bullying from the King Parrots side.
After our trip to the vet, he thought it was calcium deficiency so we have been putting drops into water as well as adding another cuttlefish and nutrient block but still no improvement over the past few weeks. He has learnt to hold on to the cage while sleeping so this has cut down on the falls but of course it has not fixed the underlying cause.
Aside from taking him back to the vets and letting them keep him for a few weeks there isn't much else we can think of doing. The cages are cleaned out very regularly (at least one major clean including scrubbing the bars per week and once every 2 days clearing the bottom of the cages). The size of the cages are more than large enough - 5ft high, 3.5ft wide by 2.5ft deep.
The only other thing I have read is that mites could cause this problem but would they also cause the falling from the perch and the other problems mentioned?