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Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11461
Experience:  Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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She's loosing feathers around her neck and you can see her

Customer Question

She's loosing feathers around her neck and you can see her pink skin. It seems like she has some feathers missing around her wings too. I'm seeing an unusual amount at the bottom of her cage, This is all very abnormal for our canary.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: Her name is***** and she's one.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Ginger Catherine?
Customer: She usually sings so lovely in the morning and she is not today.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Anna replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in birds. I'm sorry to hear that Ginger Catherine is having some difficulties. I'm working on some information for you, and will be back with it as soon as I have it typed up. I appreciate your patience.

Expert:  Anna replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for waiting. First of all, it is normal for canaries to not sing whenever they are losing feathers for any reason.

This is the normal time of year for canaries to molt. If she was very young last year at this time, she may have not molted. That being said excessive molting around the head and neck can be caused by some conditions we need to be concerned about.

Three of the most common are drafts in the area of the cage, 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 Ginger Catherine some mashed boiled egg with the crushed shell.You can add a few pieces of finely chopped green vegetables such as cucumber and cabbage. Greens, such as spring mix or herb mix sold for salads are also good. If you are feeding a seed diet, it would be best to change to pellets. Here is an excelelnt article on feeding. There are also links there to the reputable makers of pelleted foods:

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 and 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 on still days, but watch carefully to be sure she doesn't get overheated and that no predators bother her.

Check the are near her cage for drafts. An air conditioner /heat vent is a common culprit, but an open window can also lead to a draft on breezy days.

Mites, lice, and other parasites can also 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 she is rubbing her 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 feather loss. A few diseases do, too. If you suspect any of these things, you should take her to a vet for examination and diagnosis. If she suffers appetite loss, lethargy, or any other symptoms along with the feather loss, it will be important to see a vet as soon as possible. This link will take you to a directory of bird vets:

You can read more about feather loss here:

If you have more questions, just let me know. I hope Ginger Catherine will be fine.


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Expert:  Anna replied 11 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?