moluccan cockatoo bites wing feathers

by bob defulgentis
(Naples, FL)



My Salmon crested Moluccan Cockatoo (Molly) is 12 yrs old. I have had her since she was one. She was raised for 6 of those years with two other cockatoos. Now she lives with me and occasionally visits her former cagemates.
Ever since I got her, she has been biting her wing feathers, only those that allow her to fly. Most of her wing feathers are intact. She does not bite any other feathers.
she eats a very varied diet, gets plenty of fresh air and sunshine.
she has a nice sized cage and gets lots of attention.
It just seems like she doesn't want to fly.
What can I do, if anything?

Comments for moluccan cockatoo bites wing feathers

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Apr 05, 2010
my bird is plucking her self
by: Laura

My bird is 7years old and we play with her for 4 to 6 hours a day every day I want her feathers back. I feed her oatmeal seeds fruits etc. Her name is cuddles

May 13, 2009
Egg laying and the effects?
by: Anonymous

My parents lost there cockatoo yesterday (had her for 18+ years)and we think it was due trying to lay eggs? She wasn't herself 5 days ago (no yelling, talking) she stayed on the bottom of the cage. My mom took her to the vet and he helped push an egg out and gave her a shot to help stop the egg making process. Yesterday she was worse and then she was brought back to the vet and he gave her antibiotics (2 shots) she screamed and then passed??? One of the eggs that he pushed out the first time broke inside of her??? Please advice if you can. Appreciate your time!

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Sep 17, 2008
molly laid another egg
by: Bob Defulgentis

egg number three this year and she is as happy as can be

Sep 10, 2008
Moluccan Cockatoo egg laying
by: The Vet

I don't think anyone has an answer to that question. Most large birds in pet situations do not lay eggs. A few are like Molly and lay regularly or at least intermittently. We do not know what always turns this on. We recommend not to pet them in ways that is stimulating such as on the lower back over the tail. We also recommend that their light cycle remains 10 hours a day. If your bird is eating 80% good pellets such as Harrison's, then there should be no side effects from egg laying.

Dr B

Sep 09, 2008
by: bob defulgentis

thank you dr b, however, Molly has never had her wings clipped. she clips them herself. she gets a very good diet, fresh vegatables, pellets, seeds, etc. she gets a bath frequently, she gets lots of attention, I trim any broken feathers. Today she laid her 6th egg. In 11 yrs she has laid 6 eggs. Her two former cagemates, a moluccan named tiel is 12 and the other cockatoo, a citron is 10 and neither has even lain one egg between them. Why is Molly so fertile? and the others not?

Sep 06, 2008
Moluccan Cockatoo chewing feathers
by: The Vet

Every Moluccan that I have ever met has feather damaging behaviors. They all do it for different reasons. Most often it is a medical problem that just has not been diagnosed yet. However, one of the most common reasons I see birds do this to wing feathers I from a bad or improper wing clip.

There are some suggestions I have.

1. Avoid wing clips in the future. At least until this problem is resolved, or have them done correctly.
2. Trim any frayed feathers that could be causing her discomfort.
3. Bathe him every day as a distraction. Use water one day, Bird Rain the next. This is a moisturizing bath spray for birds.
4. Most importantly, teach her to forage. The Captive Foraging DVD is great to begin learning about the concept of foraging. (Tracie sells it here on this site.) Take it the highest level and eventually have her eat only by foraging, with no open dishes of food.
5. Be sure she is eating a good diet. The best way to feed is 80% pellets, preferably Harrison's. The remainder can be any healthy treat, preferably fresh vegetables.

Dr B

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