Why Are My Cockatiel’s Feathers Falling Out?

As you get used to your cockatiel, you may occasionally find a few feathers of your bird at the bottom of the cage. This can be scary in some cases for someone who has never had a cockatiel before, but often this is not such a big deal. So to the question, Why Are My Cockatiel’s Feathers Falling Out? We will talk in the following articles.

Why Are My Cockatiel’s Feathers Falling Out?

Why Are My Cockatiel’s Feathers Falling Out? A cockatiel’s feathers usually fall by a maximum of 2 times a year due to the molting cycle. This is a completely normal process by which cockatiels generate newer and stronger feathers. It may also be due to an infection or disease or if the cockatiel is bored. The feathers may regrow with proper treatment but маy be needed veterinary care if symptoms worsen.

Let’s take a closer look at why your cockatiel loses its feathers and a few steps you can take to help when something like this happens.

4 Reasons Why Cockatiel’s Feathers Are Falling Out

There are many reasons why your cockatiel may experience feathers falling out at certain times.

You do not need to worry because they are not very serious in most cases.

However, there are times when cockatiel can have an infection, so it is essential to note the causes and some of the signs to watch out for with each of them.

Some of the most common reasons why your cockatiel loses its feathers are:

1. From Molting

The most common reason for cockatiel feathers falling out is molting.

Although there are times when your cockatiel will shed a few feathers, that is perfectly normal.

This feather molting time Opens in a new tab.usually lasts two months and involves the gradual loss of most feathers as new feathers grow.

If molting is the main reason your cockatiel loses feathers, you should be able to see the pin feathers or some spiky new growth where it will not be able to solve the problem.

But if you see that your cockatiel continues to lose its feathers even after the mоlting process, then there is probably some other reason for the loss of feathers.

2. From Infections and Parasites

Do not think that just because cockatiel has many feathers to help protect itself, but this does not mean that skin diseases and parasites can not cause many problems.

Although these are rare cases, it is still possible for your cockatiel to be attacked by lice, fleas, and other small insectsOpens in a new tab.. In the process, they can also lose some of their feathers.

If your cockatiel starts to lose feathers around the head or near the neck, this is a sign that they have a fungal infection like ringworm.

Check for other signs as your cockatiel may have an internal problem. For example, diarrhea is a common sign that something is wrong with your bird.

In some cases, fungal infections and parasite infestations cause the cockatiel to itch and scratch. As a result, it is not uncommon for the cockatiel to become frustrated enough to pull on its feathers to make the process easier.

Your veterinarian may do some tests on your bird to see precisely which pest they are bugging before providing treatment to fight that parasite or that specific infection.

3. From Feather Disease and Psittacine Beak

If your cockatiel had any beak abnormalities that you notice along with the loss of feathers, they could have a psittacine beak and feather disease or PBFD.Opens in a new tab.

This type of viral disease can be potentially fatal to your weak or young bird, so it is something they need to take seriously.

Also, if you have a cockatiel around a bird that has PBFD, you may need to talk to your veterinarian to get the cockatiel vaccinated against the disease.

If your cockatiel has PBFD, the best idea is to isolate it from all other birds so that the virus cannot spread.

Even after your cockatiel is better, you may need to keep it isolated from others for a while longer in case they are still sick.

4. From Self-Mutilation

Most of the time, the loss of feathers in your cockatiel is due to molting. But it can also end with some other options.

However, if you can not find out why your cockatiel is shedding its feathers, it may be due to anxiety or boredom.

Consider whether you have recently changed anything in their routine.

Like us humans, cockatiels can be more emotionally sensitive than others. As a result, something as simple as a small change in their daily routine or diet can upset the bird.

If something is changing in the daily life of the cockatiel, then this is a sign that you need to give it time to adjust.

But if they do not seem to be getting better, then it’s time to go back and see if that will make the cockatiel more comfortable with their surroundings.

In some cases, you may need to be aware of your cockatiel and determine if anything is bothering your bird.

Boredom can cause your cockatiel to self-mutilate when you do not pay enough attentionOpens in a new tab. to them or toys to play with.

This is most often seen in a cockatiel who is left alone in the cage all day at a time while you are at work. This can make them bored, and they will look for something to do to keep them busy.

Finding some new toys or having someone play with them during the day can help your bird to be happy and resolve this issue.

Is It Normal For Cockatiels To Fall out Feathers?

Loss of feathers is an entirely normal process most of the time. For example, if your cockatiel loses feathers because it is molting, then this is normal. Molting is the most common reason your cockatiel loses its feathers, which is entirely normal.

So if you keep a cockatiel as a pet, you will not need to worry if you notice a few feathers falling from them.

Please pay attention to how your cockatiel will react when it loses its feathers. If you notice a few small feathers coming where the old ones got lost, this is a sign that your cockatiel is molting.

Also, if your cockatiel stays alone all day and there are few toys, they will probably start to lose feathers due to boredom.

When the cockatiel is itching and often scratching, this may mean that your bird has an infection.

It all depends on the overall situation around the cockatiel and what can be causing them to act this way.
Please pay attention to your cockatiel to see what signs they are giving to you.

If you’d like to learn more about how to help your cockatiel, check out this article: How To Help A Molting CockatielOpens in a new tab.

Do Cockatiels Shed Feathers?

As we have already said, cockatiels will shed their feathers 1-2 times a year. Healthy cockatiels will not mоlt more often than this. The timing will vary depending on the age and environment of the cockatiel. On average, you may find cockatiels entering a molt before and possibly after mating season.

That only changes for:

  • Captive cockatiels- Not follow a typical hormonal pattern in response to their mates and can molt at random times.
  • Some species of cockatiel will shed their feathers less frequently or at different times.
  • Cockatiel with less light exposure – The cycles of sunlight and day and night also affect when the cockatiels molt.

There are many benefits to good and healthy molting, such as:

Feathers Regeneration

Cockatiels shed their feathers to remove old or damaged feathers. Cockatiels also shed certain feathers to rejuvenate themselves. If they do not do this, their feathers will become frail, misshapen, and messy. This can inhibit their ability to fly or clean themselves.

Keeping Warm Or Cool

Depending on your climate at home, cockatiels can also shed a few feathers to keep warm or cool down with the seasons.

Making Nests

Cockatiels can also shed certain feathers to line their nests. This creates padding and provides a cradle structure for their young. If your cockatiel has eggs, a small amount of plucking or shedding should expect.

Why Do Cockatiels Bite Their Feathers?

Cockatiels bite their feathers most often as a means of grooming. Cockatiels clean themselves by lightly chewing on their feathers in an act known as preening.

Here are some positives from this:

  • Removes debris and parasites.
  • Coat them in oil.
  • Realigns the feathers.

If you’ve bonded with your cockatiel, there are cases where the cockatiel is attempting to groom you as well. Again, this is a sign of affection and bonding between individuals.

Cockatiels groom themselves often during the day. It is therefore normal to find a few feathers under their perch. The downside of all this is if your cockatiel exaggerates with grooming. It can cause excessive feather loss, stress on the hair follicles, Irritation, infection, wounds, and baldness.

Can You Treat A Cockatiel With Feather Damage?

Treatment and dietary changes can help cockatiels regrow their feathers in some cases. For example, boosting the nutrients that their body can draw from will help feathers to reform. However, this can sometimes be unsuccessful. It’s better to quickly get on top of your cockatiels, surprise molting, or plucking.

Self-plucking can be a problematic behavior to stop once the cockatiel has fallen into the habit. Therefore, using a collar/vest against plucking may be necessary.

My Cockatiel Losing Feathers Around Eyes

It is not uncommon to notice how feathers fall out around your cockatiel’s eyes. This can happen for three reasons:

  • Sinus infections – cockatiels can get nasty sinus infections that can cause feathers to lose.
  • Eye Infections – Bacteria can infect the surrounding feathers and skin causing it to fall out.
  • Skin irritation – Your cockatiel can rub the face of objects to reduce irritation. But this can damage the feathers.

It is best to ask your veterinarian for an antibiotic in such cases. This will not prevent the cockatiel from rubbing against the face, but it will alleviate the Irritation.

My Cockatiel Losing Feathers Under Wings

Cockatiels have long and powerful feathers in the circumference of their wings. They are known as flying feathers. For your cockatiel, these are key factors in its ability to fly. These include both lift-off and navigation. If your cockatiel loses these feathers outside of molting, this can cause significant damage.

Cockatiels may self-pluck the smaller feathers on the underside of their wings. This self-mutilation can be caused by skin irritation or stress. In addition, infections, diseases, and poor diet can cause feathers to fall off on their own.

Check for any irritants or sores on the wings. If you look fresh and spoiled, your cockatiel may be harming itself. On the other hand, if the area looks inflamed, a veterinarian may be the best solution.

My Cockatiel Losing Feathers On Head

Grooming and preening are also critical social behaviors among cockatiels. Unfortunately, transmission can be detrimental to the receiver. One of your cockatiels may lose feathers on the head, neck, and in some hard-to-reach places. This can usually mean that its cage mate is over-grooming it. But, on the other hand, it may be due to the stress between the cockatiels that they cause:

  • Dominance issues.
  • Hormone-related tension.
  • Boredom.
  • Too small a cage.

Separating the cockatiels is the best solution. But, depending on why the cockatiel is zealously over-grooming its cage mate, it may begin plucking its feathers.

How To Stop A Cockatiel Plucking Feathers

Most cockatiels will not stop plucking behavior on their own. Therefore, you will need to check why cockatiels behave this way and resolve the issue.

Speak To An Vet

It is advisable to consult a bird veterinarian while dealing with your cockatiel problems. He will help you in:

  • To reduce the causes.
  • To find out if the feathers fall by themselves or are forcefully removed.
  • He will prescribe medical treatment to heal the damage.
  • While a diet imbalance might be correctable on your own, plucking behavior is not so easy to eradicate

Improve The Cockatiels Environment

In the meantime, the best course of action is to limit stress. By providing alternative outlets for your cockatiel’s energy, you can divert attention away from this behavior of your cockatiel. This includes:

  • Improving nutrition.
  • Providing new toys and enrichment activities.
  • Maintaining a routine.
  • Adjust the environment of your cockatiel to make it more comfortable.
  • More interaction with them.
  • Frequent cleaning of the cage.

Keeping Your Cockatiel Healthy

The loss of feathers in the cockatiel will be expected for the most part. However, they have to go through this molting process to get new feathers, and that way, they will feel better.

This is nothing to worry about, even when your cockatiel picks at the feathers. It is just them helping it along.

If you suspect another reason why your cockatiel is losing its feathers, it is best to talk to your veterinarian to see if an infection or disease is causing the problem.

Cockatiel Enthusiast

My name is Bojan. I have been around Cockatiels for the past 7 years. I love writing about Cockatiels and helping people understand how these beautiful birds live, what they like, and how to provide them the best possible care.

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