by Lil
(Ontario Canada)

I have a GCC who is 4 years old, every fall his feathers fall out on his head and he gets black spots on his side wing feathers. I'm not talking a few fethers falling out either,He is extremely bald. It starts around mid August, and continues gradually filling back in right around christmas.

I have taken him to an avian vet, and he recommended a food supplement that I sprinkle on his pellets, but Oz still goes bald for a little while every year. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly apprecited.

Comments for Lilrip

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Sep 24, 2009
Green Cheek losing feathers in the fall
by: The Vet

Certainly nutrition can play a role. I recommend that you switch your bird to a pellet diet, Harrison?s is the best, and discontinue the supplements.

It is also possible that this is not nutritional. Infection with a virus could be possible. For example, PBFD or Polyomavirus. Also fungal infections can present this way.

It sounds like a seasonal problem, so, I think hormones can be playing a role.

Endocrine problems are also possible. Although very rare, thyroid abnormalities are thought to occur in birds.

Environmental issues also contribute. Since it is in the fall when the temperature is going down, it may be that you are turning on your heat and this is causing some dry skin.

My recommendations:
Give regular baths, 2-3 times weekly, more in the cold months when the skin is dry. Alternate with plain water and Avi-x Bird Rain on different days.

Add a humidifier to the bird room.

Switch the diet to Harrison's High Potency.

Take your bird to an avian veterinarian again (board certified if available), request testing such as cultures and a skin biopsy. Take him in when the head is bald. Also investigate if he is showing signs of sinus infection.

Provide a full spectrum light. ZooMed Avian Sun Lamp is the best one. Give him 4-6 hours daily of full spectrum light.

Dr B

Sep 20, 2009
by: Linda

If your bird is eating an all seed diet, he needs to be changed over to an organic high quality pelleted diet like Harrisons. They also make a Birdy Bread Mix that our birds love and will help in the changeover. All the supplements in the world cannot take the place of good old fashioned nutrition. Tracie carries both the Harrison's pellets and the Birdy Bread Mix out here. Also buy and use the organic red palm oil, Sunshine Factor in the bread mix along with two whole eggs or just two egg whites. The changeover takes a while and has to be done gradually by putting a shallow layer of seeds on bottom of feed dish and the pellets on top. The birdy bread can be used to get your bird acquainted with the taste of the pellets. If you have any problems with the change, go out to, and they will be very happy to help you with this. It can take a month or more to get bird off seeds, and the time varies with individual birds. If your bird just refuses to eat the pellets, buy some organic apple juice (make sure no extra sugar has been added as sugar is poison for birds), take an eye dropper or small syringe and put a few drops on his pellets. This is how I got my Amazons to eat theirs, and they have been eating them now for many years along with the Birdy Bread as treats a few times a week. Get the size of grind for your sized bird as the larger course grind is for the larger birds like Amazons and Greys.

The molt you are describing is not normal, and getting bird onto a proper diet may just help a lot. The organic Red Palm Oil that goes in the Birdy Bread mix is very good for feathers and skin as well, and there are 3 types so birds don't get bored with the same taste. As I said, Tracie carries everything out here, and you just may finally see him come through his molt quicker without going so bald. It normally only takes a month or so for a complete molt, so proper nutrition may be the answer.

Thanks for writing and keep us posted,

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