Feather Factory

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!

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6 Comments

Filed under Birds, Gizmo

6 responses to “Feather Factory

  1. Aha…. interesting & useful information! My rosella ‘Skender’ has been going through his first moult for about 2.5 months now and it seems he is almost finished except for some very silly looking feathers on top of his head. It looks like he has a Mohawk haircut!
    Your bird is gorgeous!!!
    Btw do you trim his nails? Skenders are looking a bit long but he isn’t friendly enough to hold in my hand 😦

  2. Les

    loves it picture taken eh…..what a poser 🙂

  3. Gizmo is very cute… and how colorful she is! I’m glad she’s okay and will soon have all new feathers. She does look like she’s wearing orange pantaloons!

    I help Mooky remove some of the sheaths around his neck and if I touch one that is too sensitive he says, “NO!”

  4. Ankur

    Hi, pleasure knowing you through your blog..I need an advice.. I have black headed caique and of lately I found lots of her body feathers near the cage and her underbelly lost of most of hair… I have never seen her plucking…I am jot sure as what to do…there are no again vets here..she has been eating ok…not screaming..plays as well…eats seeds..apples…chicken sausages and few other things….

    • HI Ankur,
      My best advice to you would be to check out the website shadypines.com
      My friend Gloria breeds caiques in Florida USA and she knows everything there is to know about them. She is not a vet, but is extremely knowledgeable and happy to share what she knows. You should probably tell her your pet’s age and where you are from, as well as a little about what she eats. Has she ever lain an egg? Mine yanks out her stomach feathers when she sits on eggs (unfertillized).
      Hope that helps!
      Sonja

      • Ankur

        Hi sonja
        Since apologies for the late reply.
        Thanks for the invaluable information provided by you.
        I will mail her with details.
        Have a nice Christmas and new year.
        Sincere regards
        Dr sethi

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