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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 24358
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a 4 year old orange canary who is molting

Customer Question

I have a 4 year old orange canary who is molting specifically around the neck with a bulge on the one side. Singing is decreased. This has been happening over last 4 weeks and singing has decreased in last 2. He is still eating and flying around, but now has begun shaking quite a bit.
The cage sits in a window that gets full sun almost 3/4 of the day and is then covered at night. No drafts.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. It's unclear what you mean by a "bulge on the one side". Are you referring to his crop? His behavior is consistent with a molt particularly if he has become protein, calcium, and vitamin deficient using up these nutrients in order to grow new feathers.
It's important to supplement his seed. Please see here for a good overview of diet for Autumn: http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/canaries-feeding/808 For now add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to his water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make his water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to his water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores.
Although an attractive idea, it's best not to place cages next to windows due to the temperature swings occurring there.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is the shaking and fluffed up feathers also consistent with this behavior? How long does the molt usually take? It could possibly be his crop, but I am not 100% sure. Is it okay to supplement with fresh kale and carrot for Vitamin A?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Shaking and fluffing are nonspecific symptoms of illness. Malnutrition underlies illness in pet birds all too often. Please see here for ideas about feeding Autumn: http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/canaries-feeding/808
Molts vary between weeks and months - usually 6-12 weeks for the entire process to complete. Kale tops and carrot are terrific. I feed hard boiled egg yolk, the tops of all types of green vegetables, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, and even tiny pieces of meat.
Please continue our conversation if you wish.

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