Orange Wing molting

by Lois Jones
(Hummelstown, PA)

My orange wing in going through the worst molt I have ever seen in the five years that we have had her. She is delightful and we got her when she was about 8 months from a reputable breeder.

I cannot get her to eat anything other than seeds, we are currently feeding her a safflower seed mix and she dotes on peanuts. She will not eat any kind of fruit or vegetable.

I am afraid that she might have some sort of deficiency. She will not eat any kind of seed bar that we put in her cage. Any suggestions? thank you, Lois Jones

Comments for Orange Wing molting

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 13, 2008
Orange Wing Molt and Seed Diet
by: The Vet

Yes, your bird does have significant nutritional problems. The best and only thing you can and should do is get her to eat Harrison's pellets. No matter what it takes, or how much she protests, you need to make this happen. Any bird will eat pellets; it is a matter of how you switch them and being persistent without giving in.

Peanuts are a very bad treat. Especially the ones in the shell. There are potentially toxic molds on the shells and the peanuts are loaded with fat and there is no nutritive value I them at all.

The first thing you should do is take her to an avian veterinarian for a complete work up. This will rule out serious medical problems. Then you need to concentrate on feeding her better.

Please read the "Switching Birds to Pellets" article to help you switch your bird. (You can find that in Tracie's bird training articles.) To help determine if she is eating, I recommend that you purchase a gram scale so you can monitor your bird’s weight and use paper in the bottom of her cage so you can monitor the droppings. First, you need to stop giving peanuts. These are very high in calories and if she is eating these she will not eat between feedings because she will not be hungry.

You need to reduce the amount of seeds you are giving. Only put 1 table spoon in the dish, twice daily. Next you need to find at least one non-seed food that she will eat.

Put her on a routine of feeding – seed in the AM, seed in the PM – only 1 tbsp at a time. Then a small non-seed treat in the middle of the day.

Once on this routine, stop the morning seed. Give only the afternoon treat and the evening seed. Then after a few days, stop the evening seed and only give the mid-day treat. All of the while have pellets in the high dish at all times.

Follow the other recommendations on the attachment and you bird will eat pellets.

Finally, get him a full spectrum light - the ZooMed lamp is the best. This will help him too. And bathe him regularly with Bird Rain from Avi-x. All of this will keep his feathers in good shape and reduce the stress at molt times.

Please let me know how she does and if I can give you more information on how to switch her.

Dr B

Click here to add your own comments