Bird

Ask a bird specialist.

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

I have a parakeet who has lost or picked off all of her

Customer Question
Hey. i have a...

Hey. i have a parakeet who has lost or picked off all of her breast feathers and they wont seem to grow back even with molting/conditioning food

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the parakeet's name and age?

Prissy -- about 5

Veterinarian's Assistant: What is the parakeet's name?

Prissy

Veterinarian's Assistant: Huh?

Her name is Prissy

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about PRISSY?

She lives with 14 other parakeets in a large aviary - other birds seem unaffected. She does have a male partner, but i've never seen him pick at her

Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Bird
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Bird Question
Answered in 18 minutes by:
3/8/2016
Bird Specialist: August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist replied 2 years ago
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7,876
Experience: Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
Verified

Hello Beverly, I'm sorry to hear about Prissy. Given that none of the others are showing similar symptoms there are a few possibilities for her condition. One of the first issues I'd address is food. Often feather loss or self plucking like this is the result of what's called hypovitaminosis A, or simply put, vitamin A deficiency Even the foods with additives won't address it; in fact, save your money, none of those things actually work. Why? Because 'keets don't ingest the whole seed. All the additives are sprayed ON to the seeds and get left behind with the hulls as the birds eat the inner piece.

Now, what many owners don't know is that in nature these birds not only don't eat just seeds, but a seed only diet is like a human eating nothing but, let's say, french fries. It's a high fat diet with minimal nutritional options, but just like we like our high fat, good tasting foods despite them being bad for us when it's all we eat, birds aren't different.

Birds also have the option in nature to fly miles throughout the day in search of food so the high fat seeds are metabolized quickly. In captivity there are no miles of foraging to be had.

Ideally, domesticated birds are better off on a pelleted diet supplemented by fresh foods like kale, carrots/carrot tops, sweet potatoes are really well received (I use all natural baby food when converting rescued birds to a pellet and fresh food diet)

Dark green, dark orange foods are generally good options, but yes, they require a lot more attention from the human in purchase and prep and yes, there will be plenty of waste, especially at first.

ANY pellet diet is better than no pellet diet - but the better ones are the no added colors or flavors, again, like we humans should have.

So, to address your issue immediately, if possible separate at this one from the others so you can focus on her supplementation. If she's bonded with her male he should come too to prevent stress.

There are recipe ideas for conversions that actually work here:

Click

Since you've caught this early it shouldn't be a habit yet and you might see results in a matter of a week or two. Keep trying.

Other issues might be internal parasites or infections such as bacterial or fungal which really can't be treated without Rx's. No pet store med will actually work on birds and can often kill them. Unfortunately there is no 'truth in advertising' with regard to our animals like with humans.

Having her isolated from the others will also give you opportunity to note her droppings. If they are watery, yellowish or otherwise discolored, or have an odor it's time to see your avian specific vet. These are symptoms one cannot ignore.

Check back with me as you go through your options ok? I'll work with you all the way

Ask Your Own Bird Question
Bird Specialist: August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist replied 2 years ago
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
S. August Abbott, CAS
Ask Your Own Bird Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a bird specialistLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask August Abbott, CAS Your Own Question
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7,876
7,876 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author

August Abbott, CAS is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Thank you so much!!! I love this service. It has given me peace of mind and extremely valuable information at an affordable price 24/7 to care for my beloved pets. THANK YOU

LindaCenterreach, NY

I found my experience with you to be very positive. Not only did the vet answer my question thoroughly, he left me with a better knowledge to follow up with my vet.

MarilouEast Taunton, MA

I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there.

Alice H.Jacksonville, Fl.

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

August Abbott, CAS

August Abbott, CAS

Certified Avian Specialist

7,876 satisfied customers

Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author

Anna

Anna

Bird Expert, Biologist

1,383 satisfied customers

Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.

Dr. Pat

Dr. Pat

Avian Veterinarian

621 satisfied customers

25 years as avian-only veterinarian

Joan

Joan

Vet. Tech.

112 satisfied customers

Vet Tech

Dr. Angela

Dr. Angela

Bird Veterinarian

77 satisfied customers

Member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians. Extensive avian clinical experience.

Dr. Bruce

Dr. Bruce

Veterinarian

49 satisfied customers

15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian

Theresa

Theresa

Veterinary Technician

28 satisfied customers

Several years experience in handling, care, and health of our feathered friends

< Previous | Next >

Related Bird Questions
We have two female Spice Finches. Today we noticed that one
We have two female Spice Finches. Today we noticed that one has lost its tail feathers and is not able to fly very high. She has been sitting on the food cup and peaking over the edge of the cage to s… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
He has some darker feathers on his head ( they used to be
He has some darker feathers on his head ( they used to be lighter) and some intermittent dark feathers through out his plummage. He had a bought if eye infections about 3 -4 months ago. Could that be … read more
Anna
Anna
Bird Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
1,383 satisfied customers
This is too weird lol I am in australia ,y female eccectus
This is too weird lol I am in australia ,y female eccectus seems to have feathers missing on her breat and neck the skin look as if it might be infected or have little puss bits where her feathers gro… read more
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin
Veterinarian
DVM
3 satisfied customers
Hi, I have 2 young cockatiels (about 8-10 months old), one
Hi, I have 2 young cockatiels (about 8-10 months old), one of which seems to be molting much more heavily than the other one. There are spots under his wing where the feathers are very sparse, almost … read more
paws_and_claws
paws_and_claws
19 satisfied customers
My parakeet acts just fine, but she is really losing her feathers.
My parakeet acts just fine, but she is really losing her feathers. Should I be doing something for her? She seems to be losing more feathers than I think should be related to moulting sp?). Thanks! Ma… read more
Anna
Anna
Bird Expert, Biologist
Bachelor's Degree
1,383 satisfied customers
I have a canary that is seems perfectly healthy except that
I have a canary that is seems perfectly healthy except that his molting seems extreme. He's completely without feathers around the neck and under the wings. Otherwise he eats fine, sings, is very acti… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
7,876 satisfied customers
parakeet: irritated..able to pick at that area herself..treated
My mom's parakeet appears to have an infection above it's cere. It is red and irritated as if it has been picked at, but I know that is not the case unless she is able to pick at that area herself. I … read more
Dr. Pat
Dr. Pat
Avian Veterinarian
Doctoral Degree
621 satisfied customers
I have a lovebird that shares a cage with another lovebird
I have a lovebird that shares a cage with another lovebird and noticied this morning that it has a bald spot just below the neck area I guess it would be considered the breast area. I have noticed pas… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
7,876 satisfied customers
Hi,I have a rainbow lorrikeet.It is just over 12 months old.We
Hi,I have a rainbow lorrikeet.It is just over 12 months old.We bought it when it was 10 days old.As her feathers grew her flight feathers grew as well as her tail feathers but about 4 months after thi… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
7,876 satisfied customers
parakeet: top of her wing dropped out to expose a 1/2 inch..grow back
Our female parakeet is approximately two years old. Two weeks ago, the feathers at the top of her wing dropped out to expose a 1/2 inch by 1/4 bare spot. It appears that feathers are just starting to … read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
7,876 satisfied customers
my cockatiel lost many wing feathers & is not able to fly now. Is this molting
My one year old cockatiel lost many of her wing feathers. She is not able to fly or hover-she drops quickly to the ground rather than flying. Her wings look as if they were just clipped & she has not … read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
7,876 satisfied customers
A skin bump has appeared on my parakeets wing. It is protruding
A skin bump has appeared on my parakeet's wing. It is protruding through the feathers. It's not cut or bleeding, it just looks like a bump, and is red/discolored. The bird acts normal. Can you help?… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
7,876 satisfied customers
My English parakeet is constantly making a squeaking noise.
My English parakeet is constantly making a squeaking noise. She seems to be eating and drinking fine. There is a new male parakeet in the cage with her that had diarrhea. I have been giving them Furaz… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
7,876 satisfied customers
I have an English Zebra Finch that is missing its flight feathers
I have an English Zebra Finch that is missing its flight feathers on only ONE wing. He is unable to fly. I've owned him for 6 weeks, and while I do see small feather shafts at the base of his wing, I'… read more
John
John
Zoo Curator/ Consultant for exotic vets
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
70 satisfied customers
parakeet: real tree, water fountain, and feeding station
My parakeet is about 2 years old. She is in an aviary room that is 10ftX8ft with 3 cockatiels. they have many perches including a real tree, water fountain, and feeding station. They eat mainly seed d… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
7,876 satisfied customers
My male zebra finch who is 2 years old has started losing ...
My male zebra finch who is 2 years old has started losing his long tail feathers. I noticed a month ago they were missing than they grew back. I just looked at him today and noticed he's missing them … read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
7,876 satisfied customers
My periwinkle parakeet lost his coloring; he turned ...
My periwinkle parakeet lost his coloring; he turned completely white. He is three years old. His coloring is now beginning to return. He became lethargic; sitting in bottom of cage and unresponsive. T… read more
John
John
Zoo Curator/ Consultant for exotic vets
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
70 satisfied customers
I have a conure and his beak is splitting in a layer. It
I have a conure and his beak is splitting in a layer. It looks like a new beak is growing under the old one and it is very sharp. Is this normal? He seems healthy otherwise and there is not an avian v… read more
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS
Certified Avian Specialist
Doctoral Degree
7,876 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x