My red rump grasskeet has patchy molt on chest

by Tina

My grasskeet is an opaline red rump female, a year old, not eggbound, green with orange on the head and some yellowish on the back. She's molting on her chest. She has clear eyes/nose/ears. No vent issues so far. Feet, nails and beak are normal. Eating/drinking and acting normally. No weight loss, no discharges, no diarrhea/vomiting. She plays with her toys, spends several hours a day out of her cage, receives normal sunlight thru two windows in the room in which she is kept.

Molt *or pluck tho I haven't seen her pulling her feathers* started about two weeks ago and it only on the chest area so far. I bath her with me, plain tepid water, a couple times a week. She's on a pelleted name brand diet and receives occasional healthy table scrapes like cooked plain pasta, fruits, dry cheerios. She is in a room with two american parakeets who have their own cage and also show no signs of illness or molt at all. Just trying to make sure I'm not looking at a sick bird or is this her first molt?

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Jan 27, 2010
Missing feathers on chest
by: The Avian Vet

If you are seeing that feathers are missing, then this is not a (normal) molt; it is very likely feather damaging behavior. You need to have your bird examined by an avian veterinarian.

Please read my Feather Damaging Behavior article for more information.

Dr B

Jan 26, 2010
My red rump grasskeet has patchy molt on chest
by: Linda

Birds normally don't molt during the winter. They molt at the end of summer or sometimes into the fall and then again when winter is over in March/April. So, I'd suggest taking her to an Avian Vet in your area to rule out infections or other physical problems.

The diet is good if you are feeding organic pellets and organic fruit and veggies no more than 10% of overall diet. The table food needs to be stopped as the pasta is bereft of any nutrition, and the cheerios are full of salt and cardboard. Feed only the pellets and some organic veggies like baked sweet potato, squash, dark green lettuce, no spinich as this interferes with calcium uptake. Tracie has some organic pellets here shaped like o's, and our Amazons love them along with their Harrison's. These would be a healthy replacement for the cheerios and can be used as treats or as part of the pelleted diet.

So, your bird needs to be seen by an Avian Vet. Also, if you keep your house too warm--over 70 degrees, it can cause premature molts as the house becomes hot and dry. You can add moisture to a room by getting a larger shallow container that holds water and put some smaller rocks in it and fill to just above the rocks with water. As it evaporates, it will put some much needed humidity during the winter and summer.

Make sure the container is shallow enough so if a bird accidentally gets into it it won't drown. Also make sure they don't get in it because some minerals are poison for the birds. Don't use humidifiers as these have been known to cause pneumonia. The same with the cold water machines. The forced air sending the cold water outside causes a draft on the birds. You're doing good on the baths though using a plant sprayer bottle would work better, and you can spray cage area down a little every day. Don't get birds too wet, just a nice misting every day will help with the humidity.

Thanks for writing,

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