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Anna
Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11513
Experience:  Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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Why is my canary losing a lot of feathers only on his neck

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Why is my canary losing a lot of feathers only on his neck which is now bald.
Hello,

There are several reasons that canaries lose their feathers on the heads and/or necks. Two of the most common are nutrient deficiencies and insufficient light.

Many commercial canary foods are not adequate, and it's a good idea to add some fresh foods. Eggs are especially useful when birds are losing feathers. Try giving your canary some mashed boiled egg with the crushed shell.You can add a few pieces of finely chopped green vegetables such as cucumber and cabbage.

Canaries need full-spectrum lighting (like the sun) every day in order to produce vitamin D in their bodies. Sunlight coming through a window doesn't work because the glass filters out some of the important rays. Without enough vitamin D, the canaries can't utilize calcium properly, and feather loss on the head or neck is one of the first signs. You can buy full spectrum lights in most home improvement stores. Pet stores also sell them in the reptile section. If you live in a warm southern climate, you can set the cage outside in the sun for an hour or so, but watch carefully to be sure they don't get overheated and that no predators bother them. You can read more about birds' light requirements here:

http://www.finches.org/f-light.mgi

If an improved diet and lighting don't help, you'll have to do a little detective work. Mites, lice, and other parasites can cause feather loss. If you examine your canary very carefully, you may be able to see these tiny bugs. Skin infections can also be to blame. If your canary is rubbing his head on perches, cage bars, or anything else, that's a sign of itching. That could mean there's either an infection or a parasite. There are also internal parasites, such as worms or protozoans, that can cause such feather loss. A few diseases do, too. If you suspect any of these things, you should take him to a vet for examination and diagnosis.

All this information may be overwhelming. You might want to start with improving the diet (especially adding boiled egg) and providing the full-spectrum lighting.

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your canary will soon grow new feathers.

Anna

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