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Yet another MOLTING question . . .


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Since about a week ago Elvis has been losing feathers like crazy. He's lost 2 red tail feathers and some medium sized grey feathers and as always millions of downy feathers... Okay, well not millions but you find them everywhere and when they follow you to work, it seems like millions... Anyways I initially thought he was plucking them but after watching him they are coming out quite easily with no force needed on his part, but what I am wondering is it normal for him to chew them after they come off? He didn't chew the tail feathers but after he gets the other feathers off he sits and chews them for a bit and then lets them fall to the ground, to the amusement of the cats. So is this normal and is he just molting or should I be concerned?


Elvis is 7 months old and will be 8 months old on the fourth of January. His behavior hasn't changed at all. He seems a little more itchy than normal but we've been working on that, much to the dismay of Elvis. He does not care for baths but he sits in the hot steamy shower with me every morning before work. He has a large macaw sized cage with tons of toys and perches (even a heated one) and has a large 4 foot manzanita play perch in the family room. Whenever myself or my husband is home his cage door is open and he is free to go about his business. So I do not think he is bored, or unhappy. He's even been nicer to my husband lately. He steps up real nice for him and hasn't bit him with intent to harm in quite some time. So all in all, everything is peachy.


Basically I'd like some reassurance that everything is kosher with my little baby because he's looking pretty raggy. I will post a link to some photos shortly after I post this. Look for them in the Photography forum. Thanks for stopping by and sorry about the rambling.

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Everything you describe and I mean EVERYTHNG points towards a bird who is having a major molt. If your bird has molted before but never this much, consider this molt as the one that's referred to as the *first major molt*. Your bird will molt less from now on but each one will be heavy like this one. Yes, it's extremely common for them to chew on both the solid feathers and the fluff feathers. Many birds will not only chew on the solid feathers but will afterward hold them and start scratching their heads with them. Some birds take the white fluffy feathers in their mouthes and roll them around between their tongues and upper beak somewhat like a person who does that when gum has lost all of it's taste and texture. The *millions* of white feathers that you see are all the soft breast feathers that fall off quickly and make a mess because of their weight because they can easily float around. Want a tip concerning the mess---after he drops all those white feathers in the cage botton get a mister and very lightly dampen them so they won't float. Just a few spritzes are necessary.

So, I'll use you words

* everything is absolutely *kosher*<br><br>Post edited by: Dave007, at: 2008/12/24 01:58

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My pleasure. While molting, you'll see lots of preening because he's helping the dead feathers to fall out quicker because those dead feathers that take a while to fall out sometimes irritate the bird. Spray your bird with water while he's going through this. Yes, the skin is drier than normal and also itchy. The water will relieve the itching.


Ps--the reason that some birds scratch their heads with the solid feathers is because the head is also itchy.<br><br>Post edited by: Dave007, at: 2008/12/24 02:39

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