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Your Cockatiels Health Ask questions about your cockatiels health here.

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  #1  
Old 02-27-2017, 06:26 PM
chrissy055 chrissy055 is offline
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Default How long for Molting?

Hello,

Our 5 month old female cockatiel is going through her first molt. So far it has been going on over a month and still going lol. How long does a molt last?

Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:18 PM
Dressagebird Dressagebird is offline
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It can take quite a while, and it can seem like longer when you're always vacuuming up feathers. I think it's fine as long as the bird isn't showing any signs of illness or stress.
When my bird is moulting I am extra careful to provide lots of dark leafy greens, carrot and sweet potato. I also like to give millet sprays to distract from the annoyance of the new feathers.
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Old 02-28-2017, 02:13 PM
chrissy055 chrissy055 is offline
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Thank you!
 
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:07 PM
EllenD EllenD is offline
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Well said by Chrissy, it can go on for quite a while. I myself can speak from very recent experience, I have a female cockatiel that is now between 7-8 months old, and who started molting almost 3 months ago. She is just now pretty much finished, but it was the overall worst bird molt I have ever seen in 31 years of owning birds! She basically molted all over her body at one time, which is really uncommon and worried me. She was absolutely miserable with pin feathers on every part of her body at one time. She loves for me to give her scritches and every time she is anywhere near me she automatically lowers her head so that I'll scratch her head, neck, face, and under her chin. She loves it. But I couldn't scratch her at all during this molt because there were so many pin feathers that weren't ready to go yet. I tried to break them up for her but she would just scream in pain. I finally got concerned at just under the 2 month mark and off we went to my certified avian vet.

I love my avian vet, he is board certified and owns macaws and African Grays himself, he has owned birds since he was a teenager and boy does he know his stuff. He takes blood from all of my birds, even my little budgies, by simply picking them up with his left hand, puting his index finger and his middle finger around the bird's head to keep it from wiggling, then he just inserts the needle in the bird's neck, takes the blood, and pulls the needle out...No sedation, no numbing shot, the whole process takes all of 30 seconds. And besides a little drop of blood on the bird's neck that clots in a minute, none of my birds have ever made even a peep or moved a muscle right before, during, or after he's done it. And not one of them has ever been upset at all afterwards (I have been many times though, lol). So needless to say that I trust my avian vet very much.

I took my cockatiel to see him about this painful, itchy, never-ending molt she was going through, I was concerned about a genetic disease, possibly PBFD, after all, she was only 5-6 months old when it started, who knows what may be wrong. My avian vet reassured me that some birds have very long, trying first molts, some birds have very long, trying molts in general. It's just how it is and it doesn't mean that there is anything wrong or abnormal with my bird. He made a comparison that was interesting, uh, well, yeah it was interesting, but it also made perfect sense. He compared a bird having it's first molt to a girl getting her first period. A girl's first period may be very heavy and very painful, and it may just be a one-time thing or it may be that all of her periods for the rest of her life are very painful and heavy. Either way it doesn't mean that there is something wrong. I understood what he meant and he got his point across, albeit with an unconventional approach, lol.

As already mentioned, as long as your bird isn't in a lot of discomfort and she doesn't show any other signs or symptoms of illness then she should be fine. If you are worried about it you can always take her to your avian vet just as a precaution, better safe than sorry. If your bird is in discomfort there are a few things that you can do that will not only make her feel much better, but can also help to speed up her molt..

Whether your bird likes showers, baths, or spray bottle mists, increasing her WARM baths/showers to once a day or once every other day will help with the itching and will also help to move the process along. After your bird dries there are some natural sprays that can really help her feel better by eliminating her pin feathers itching and being painful by moisturizing the keratin sheaths around them. Any spray you use must be specifically for birds or bird-friendly/bird-safe...I use a spray made by Ecotrition called Bird Bath and Molt-Ease. It's wonderful stuff that I buy at Petco in quite a large spray bottle for $9.99. It's located on the shelf with the bird baths, toenail clippers, cage liners and cage bedding, and cage/poop cleaners. It contains not only aloe vera and lanolin, but it also contains natural Purcellin oil, which is the same oil excreted by a bird's preen gland. I spray this VERY LIGHTLY all over the areas that have pin feathers. A little goes a long way, it's an oil so if you spray too much it can make their feathers greasy, but I find that if I spray it very lightly from a foot or so away and only spray it on the pin feathers (careful to avoid the birds face/eyes) it's not greasy at all, and my bird got relief instantly. After I used it for the first time my bird suddenly stopped preening herself for the first time in a month. She had a bunch of little, extremely hard pin feathers on the sides of her face, under her eyes and beside her beak, under her chin/beak, etc. that were driving her crazy, she was constantly using her feet to scratch them. So I sprayed a little of the Ecotrition Molt-Ease on my finger and then gently rubbed it onto the keratin sheaths around the pin feathers...Worked great!

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Old 03-02-2017, 06:28 PM
chrissy055 chrissy055 is offline
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Wow thanks EllenD!! I will def get some!
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Old 03-05-2017, 03:02 PM
Hugoagogo Hugoagogo is offline
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Thanks also for the information being new to this I was not sure if my Hugo was indeed sick or just molting. He is only 5 months old and small feathers every day and a few broken tail ones that eventuallly fall off. Should I be cutting these bent ones off or leaving them ?
I will also be watching to see if he bathes more often as I have placed a large shallow bowl in his cage that he regularly dunks his head into.
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Old 03-06-2017, 02:33 PM
chrissy055 chrissy055 is offline
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@Hugoagogo,
I am a new bird owner myself but I would say def leave them. Ava has them as well and they fall out on their own time. I give Ava a bath every other day to help with her molting and she loves it. She won't go under running water and hates getting the spray bottle. She will only sit on my hand over the sink and I have to pour luke warm water over her.

I'm saving her pretty tail feathers that fall out so I can put them in a picture frame displayed as a bird.
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Old 03-07-2017, 09:57 AM
Fran.bath89 Fran.bath89 is offline
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That's a great idea Chrissy! And good advice don't cut off the broken or bent feathers Hugo they will drop eventually.
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