Questiong concerning cordon bleu finch feather loss

by Chris

We have three finches in a 15 x 15 x 15 cage. They are a society finch and two cordon bleus. However, recently the female cordon bleu has recently lost feathers from the top of her head and around her neck. She appears healthy and I have not noticed any fighting when I am home between the finches.

Also, we noticed that she has a yellow growth (looks like possible excess skin growth) on the nap of her neck. Something that we would not have noticed if she still had her feathers. But being unfamiliar with bird anatomy to know if this actually normal. But as I stated earlier they all seem healthy and we let them fly around the house for a few hours every weekend and do not notice a decrease of activity.

Any insights or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.


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Feb 09, 2011
Questiong concerning cordon bleu finch feather loss
by: Linda

Chris, thanks for writing because you do need a bit of help. Your cage is too small for more than two birds, and actually should be much larger say almost twice as large for two. Finches cannot be housed in three's as they pair off and much jealousy and problems occur with the third bird.

Get another cage for the Bleu because the other finches are hurting him. The build up of material may very well be scabbing from being bitten by the other birds. If Bleu shows any signs of illness like listlessness, off feed or gastric upsets then he'll have to be diagnosed and treated by an Avian Vet in your area. Keep a close eye on him once he's housed in his new cage.

The Bleu will do fine in his own cage, and I recommend you not leave them out together too long either. The feathers on head and around neck are where finches pluck and bite each other, so your Bleu is in danger because the rough stuff can end in death for the Odd man out bird.

Keep us posted on outcome,

Feb 09, 2011
Finch feather loss
by: The Avian Vet

First, the cage you have them in is too small for even one finch, let alone three. Second, these species of finches should not be kept together in the same cage. What you describe is likely mate aggression or contra specific aggression, i.e. the two species are not getting along. Separate the different species, get the society a friend or two, and take the one with the plucked head to see an avian veterinarian. The growth on the head is likely related to chronic irritation.

Dr B

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