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I'm concerned about my Kakariki

gabi.01

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Hi. I wanted to ask, how do you know for sure if a bird is molting or plucking? I'm finding small feathers at the bottom of the cage, and the feathers are kind of thinned out around the neck and a bit at the front, and around the head, you can see his skin under certain angles. He's also scratching himself sometimes and preening, and i don't know how much is normal and how much could be due to skin irritation, an infection, other causes. Could it be a mite or could he be plucking? Kakarikis are not very prone to plucking so it might be a mite. His name is Zuko and he's around 9-10 months old. I may be over-reacting but I want to be sure he's ok. Whatever feathers that do fall out seem fine, they're not damaged, although most are small and it may be hard for me to tell.
 

Mizzely

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Usually plucking you'll see their down and/or skin even when no pin feathers are present. Molting you'll see a lot of feathers falling but you'll also see pin feathers. Do you have a photo you can share?
 

SeñorBirb

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How old is your bird? When was their last molt? I don't know much about Kakarikis, but all parrots need chewing toys and enrichment. Do you have a picture so we can see your setup, and a picture of your bird? If it has pin feathers then it might be molting.
 

gabi.01

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the camera on my phone is broken but i might be able to take some photographs. the bald spots are only in certain areas that are usually covered when he's flying and running around the place so i can't get a good quality photo right now. Besides the feather loss, he's acting normal. What does a pin feather normally look like?
 

gabi.01

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He has a few ladders for climbing, a rope toy thing (idk what to call it), a lot of perches, a chew toy, and i made some foraging toys for him out of tissue paper. He also has a rope going across the room to play on, and he spends most of the time outside of the cage now that i'm on my holidays. He enjoys baths as well, so i leave out a bowl filled with water for him. his diet is mainly pellets and fruit, although his diet was seed-based when i got him and i'm trying to get him to eat other things.
 

SeñorBirb

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Pin feathers look like this:
1623340722731.png (not my picture)
That sounds like a really good setup, and it is good that you are getting him to eat other things.
 

gabi.01

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Yeah, he has similar looking ones sticking out from his skin. I thought they were just parts of feathers that fell out or something. It's probably why he's preening so much now, he might be a bit stressed out from the molt. Thanks for helping me out. Is there anything i can do to help him feel more comfortable, like extra baths, more of a certain food, etc?
 

gabi.01

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Ok, so i got a closer look at him, he doesn't seem to have very much pin feathers yet, but there are a lot of these small white spikes that look like shorter ones. i'm assuming that's just the pin feathers which haven't grown in yet?
 

Mizzely

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Ok, so i got a closer look at him, he doesn't seem to have very much pin feathers yet, but there are a lot of these small white spikes that look like shorter ones. i'm assuming that's just the pin feathers which haven't grown in yet?
Yes
 

BirbBrain

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I think that he is molting.
 

barbs0nly

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Hi. I wanted to ask, how do you know for sure if a bird is molting or plucking? I'm finding small feathers at the bottom of the cage, and the feathers are kind of thinned out around the neck and a bit at the front, and around the head, you can see his skin under certain angles. He's also scratching himself sometimes and preening, and i don't know how much is normal and how much could be due to skin irritation, an infection, other causes. Could it be a mite or could he be plucking? Kakarikis are not very prone to plucking so it might be a mite. His name is Zuko and he's around 9-10 months old. I may be over-reacting but I want to be sure he's ok. Whatever feathers that do fall out seem fine, they're not damaged, although most are small and it may be hard for me to tell.
birds lose feathers even when they aren’t molting too! as long as the shaft of the feather doesn’t have blood or anything on it and they haven’t been acting distressed i wouldnt worry. you sound like you’re doing an amazing job keep it up !
 

gabi.01

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Thanks everyone for the help! is there a place on this site where i could find more information about molting, like what foods to feed him more of, what toys he would prefer at this time, things to be aware of, etc?
 

Shezbug

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I personally offer extra protein, scritches and bathing opportunities when my bird is growing new feathers but other than allowing him a little extra access to protein and extra bathing opportunities we don’t change anything else at all.
My bird also gets a small amount of RPO everyday as I believe it’s great for growing healthy feathers.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the forums list you can try a search using the magnifying glass up the top right of each page.

Edit: things to be aware of… some birds while molting will be extra cranky as the pins can be sensitive and get in the way at times, some other birds want more help from their people to free the feathers from the pins. New still growing pin feathers can bleed so helping to remove sheaths should only be done if you know what a pin that is ready looks like.
 

gabi.01

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Thanks @Shezbug.
Oh, and @Ripshod , you mentioned you had a kakariki. did he/she every get bare patches during a molt? mine has one on it's neck and part of it's chest, might be due to scratching. I've heard that kakarikis go through really heavy molts and he's my first bird so i don't know what's normal or not. How quick is the molt?
 

Ripshod

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Thanks @Shezbug.
Oh, and @Ripshod , you mentioned you had a kakariki. did he/she every get bare patches during a molt? mine has one on it's neck and part of it's chest, might be due to scratching. I've heard that kakarikis go through really heavy molts and he's my first bird so i don't know what's normal or not. How quick is the molt?
I had a pair. Most of the time they were beautiful but they had 2 heavy moults a year. They really did look like badly abused tennis balls. The female would pluck some feathers from her breast and belly when she was broody but that is more about nest building and brooding eggs than destruction. If you really are concerned about this maybe a vet visit would help you?
 

gabi.01

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OK, thanks. I just can't find enough information on kakarikis then i would like considering they aren't the most common parrots. i only had him for about two months, so I'm still learning some things. It is a molt, i can see the small pin feathers beginning to grow, so he's fine i guess. it's reassuring to hear that it's nothing serious and that it's something normal.
 
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