Scarlet Macaw Loosing Down Feathers
(Rockland County, NY)
Hello, This past July I acquired a 2.5 year old female Scarlet Macaw. She was on consignment by her owner who could no longer care for her.
I had met with the previous owners and it was obvious that they loved her dearly however she was not on an appropriate diet. She also had no clue how to crack a nut (they always gave her shelled, if at all) or play with toys.
She has come a long way and made good friends with my Green-Wing. She is happy with her new life and continues to improve every day.
My question is this:
I have noticed over the past four or so months that she seems to shed allot more down feathers then my other birds. Nothing visible, from looking at her, she appeared to be in perfect feather. But between seeing the evidence in and around the cage and when she is showered it is pretty clear she is loosing significant amounts of down feathers and some contours.
At her last check up about two months ago my vet said quite confidently it is because she is underweight. She was underweight when I got her (but was in perfect feather) and has gained some since then.
About a month ago she developed a small bare patch on her chest where only down is visible. She also has had increased dander. I live in a cold climate and this time of year I only shower my birds once a week for fear of catching a chill. I have increased her showers to twice a week and has helped with the dander but the bare patch has not changed or perhaps got slightly larger. The feathers she has look sleek and healthy and her skin looks good. I am confident she is not plucking.
She is on a Pellet/Nut/dried fruit diet with fresh fruit & vegetables as a supplement along with cooked foods such as Goldenfeast's Asian Medley. She is a bit picky as to what she eats and we are working on that.
She is also under full spectrum lighting for 6.5 hours per day.
Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated as I am growing more concerned.