My parrot Gizmo has always had beautiful feathers. She is dressed like a little clown, with a white shirt, orange pantaloons, a black hat, and a green back.
A few months ago I noticed a lot of feathers at the bottom of her cage each night, and that her beautiful white chest and pantaloons were thinning out. Gizmo has never been a feather-picker, so I was very worried. She was eating and drinking well, preening, playing and singing.
I took her to the vet and apparently she is going through a tougher-than-usual moult (where birds’ old feathers are replaced by new ones). The vet said she was probably uncomfortable with the feather loss and all the new feather sheathes sprouting up all over her body, but she kept her happy demeanor the whole way through. She’s almost done with this moult, still looks a little ratty, but better.
These two pics show the missing feathers on her chest and legs. It was actually worse, these photos were taken after she started growing them back in. Notice the little sheathes the new feathers are contained in (you can see them very clearly in the yellow neck area).
In order to get the feathers to open up, Gizmo must gently open all the sheathes with her beak (the sheathes crumble into pieces if you gently move them in between your fingers – birds like this help on places they can’t reach, like the top of their heads, but you have to be careful not to take too much of the sheathe off or the feather may bleed – only experienced bird owners should try this).
Below is how Gizzy looks normally. All dressed for the party!