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Loss of flight feathers

Paquito

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Hello, kind community!

I recently noticed my lovebird (he is 6 months old, more or less) has lost the two largest flight feathers of his right wing. This extremely maims his flight. I didn't notice any moulting because I was away on holidays (he was very well taken care of by a lady a thousand times more experienced with lovebirds than me).

I first suspected this lady may have clipped the feathers so he wouldn't escape, but this was very out of character for her and when I asked she swore she hadn't.

Is it possible he just moulted those exact two feathers on the same wing? Will it take very long to regrow them? He is also stretching his wings more than usual.

I have had lovebirds in the past but this had never happened to me. Otherwise he eats well and acts himself. I am attaching a photo. I hope someone can help me, I am quite worried!

Thank you

IMG_20230827_151115.jpg
 
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OrangIsld

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Have you noticed anything else abnormal, like changes in attitude, weight or droppings? Birds shouldnt moult multiple primary flight feathers at once to my knowledge. Maybe @Zara can help you.
 

Paquito

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Have you noticed anything else abnormal, like changes in attitude, weight or droppings? Birds shouldnt moult multiple primary flight feathers at once to my knowledge. Maybe @Zara can help you.
Not really, no. He looks healthy, eats as usual, doesn't look drowsy and acts as he always does!
 

Zara

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It is not normal for a lovebird to lose the flights on one side. When moulting, they will drop the same flight feather on each side (pairs) within the same few days, meaning the wings are always more or less even. A bird would not drop the feathers on one side without the other for no reason.

I first suspected this lady may have clipped the feathers
You can check this by looking at the wing, you would see the cut flights still there as the quills won't be dropped because the feathers are still no the other side.
I doubt that is the case.

It could be something like the feathers got stuck on something and your bird dropped them to escape. Or a fright and he banged them and they dropped.

The feathers will grow quite quickly, and you can see there are feathers growing in there. Hard to get specific without seeing him with his wings open.
Give it a week or so and see how he is doing, hopefully you will notice the feathers growing back in.
In the meantime, add in some additional safety measures to avoid crashes and falls, laying towels around the cage entrance, having a ladder or rope to get back in the cage easier, more perching options around the room.
 
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Zara

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Birds shouldnt moult multiple primary flight feathers at once to my knowledge
I remember a day when I got 5 flight feathers off one lovebird! I was a little spooked so I had a look at the wings, and you could barely tell there were any missing and flight was not impaired in the slightest :)
 

Paquito

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It is not normal for a lovebird to lose the flights on one side. When moulting, they will drop the same flight feather on each side (pairs) within the same few days, meaning the wings are always more or less even. A bird would not drop the feathers on one side without the other for no reason.


You can check this by looking at the wing, you would see the cut flights still there as the quills won't be dropped because the feathers are still no the other side.
I doubt that is the case.

It could be something like the feathers got stuck on something and your bird dropped them to escape. Or a fright and he banged them and they dropped.

The feathers will grow quite quickly, and you can see there are feathers growing in there. Hard to get specific without seeing him with his wings open.
Give it a week or so and see how he is doing, hopefully you will notice the feathers growing back in.
In the meantime, add in some additional safety measures to avoid crashes and falls, laying towels around the cage entrance, having a ladder or rope to get back in the cage easier, more perching options around the room.
Thank you VERY much, Zara. I was so worried for him. Now I am just sad something like that happened to my poor baby! I will keep an eye on him just in case. Whenever he is out of his cage I always have him with me, I am being very careful because he really can't fly well. Let's hope the feathers grow quickly. Thank you, really ❤
 

Zara

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I think that is a good idea sticking very close to him when he's out of his cage. You will be able to catch him if you see him falling or struggling :)

I am just sad something like that happened to my poor baby!
Don't be too sad. He is a youngster still so could have been playing too enthusiastically with something.
Worth giving the cage a look over to see if there's anything he could have gotten caught on, just in case.
 

Paquito

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I think that is a good idea sticking very close to him when he's out of his cage. You will be able to catch him if you see him falling or struggling :)


Don't be too sad. He is a youngster still so could have been playing too enthusiastically with something.
Worth giving the cage a look over to see if there's anything he could have gotten caught on, just in case.
Yes, great idea! I will take a look and try to find a possible culprit! In the meantime, I will have to be his private driver! With that face, who could resist?
Thank you again, you've been a big relief ❤
 

OrangIsld

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I remember a day when I got 5 flight feathers off one lovebird! I was a little spooked so I had a look at the wings, and you could barely tell there were any missing and flight was not impaired in the slightest :)
Goodness me, I didnt know they could lose that many without impairing flight. Yeah, I meant to say birds shouldnt be moulting enough flight feathers to which it effects flight - but yeah what you said about the feathers getting caught defintely seems likely. Thank you for your help.
 

April

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My first thought was a fright of some kind or an incident like getting his wing stuck in the cage or on a toy that caused him to only drop those specific flight feathers. Hopefully they grow in quickly and he's back to flying normally soon :)
 

Zara

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Another possibility, a fall from a perch. Given his age, I remember my birds as youngsters and sometimes one would fall while sleeping, I'm not sure scientifically how it happens, but a couple of mine did fall.
Unless there is a problem like an illness at play, it is doubtful you will get an answer as to what exactly happened, but at least when you consider all the possibilities, you can make changes to try and prevent similar things happening.
 
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Paquito

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Another possibility, a fall from a perch. Given his age, I remember my birds as youngsters and sometimes one would fall while sleeping, I'm not sure scientifically how it happens, but a couple of mine did fall.
Unless there is a problem like an illness at play, it is doubtful you will get an answer as to what exactly happened, but at least when you consider all the possibilities, you can make changes to try and prevent similar things happening.
Thank you so much!!!! Sadly, I just witnessed the fall of another large flight feather (now it was one of the two remaining on the left wing). It wasn't playing or climbing, he was on the floor of his cage, flattered his wings and it just fell. Now he only has one! I'm not sure how it will affect his flight now, but I am getting worried. Is this some kind of moulting? I'm thinking about what you said about birds moulting symetrically, it looks like he is! He really doesn't seem sick. I know lovebirds tend to downplay their symptoms but I have been watching him all day and he acts the very same! He eats, drinks, plays with my hair, keeps calling me so I let him out of his cage...etc.
As you said, I will give him a week or so and wait for new feathers to grow. If they don't, I will consider a visit to th veterinary.
 

Paquito

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My first thought was a fright of some kind or an incident like getting his wing stuck in the cage or on a toy that caused him to only drop those specific flight feathers. Hopefully they grow in quickly and he's back to flying normally soon :)
Thank you soo much for your reply!!!! Sadly, I just witnessed another flight feather go down. It was now one of the two remainig on the left wing. I am really hoping he just has an extreme case of moulting and new feathers will grow in quickly. I have been watching him and he really really doesn't look sick. I will give him a week or so to get new feathers and if he doesn't, I will call a vet. Thank you again!
 

Emma&pico

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Hi did the whole feather fall out ? No blood on end of qill ?

they should not all be falling out at one side as Zara said they fall out same on each wing but saying that indie first proper moult she lost a few flight feathers from one side before other and it affected her flight she sounded heavy in air her wings made a large noise while flying so if he’s young maybe it could be a moult
 

Paquito

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Hi did the whole feather fall out ? No blood on end of qill ?

they should not all be falling out at one side as Zara said they fall out same on each wing but saying that indie first proper moult she lost a few flight feathers from one side before other and it affected her flight she sounded heavy in air her wings made a large noise while flying so if he’s young maybe it could be a moult
The whole feather fell and there is no blood nor signs of pain. It fell quite cleanly. This had never happened to me, but I had never witnessed a first moult (my other bird was a rescue and he was older). He is only six months old, so he is moulting for the first time. You calm my mind by telling me your experience! Let's hope this is just him changing his beautiful feathers! Thank you very much!
 

Emma&pico

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The whole feather fell and there is no blood nor signs of pain. It fell quite cleanly. This had never happened to me, but I had never witnessed a first moult (my other bird was a rescue and he was older). He is only six months old, so he is moulting for the first time. You calm my mind by telling me your experience! Let's hope this is just him changing his beautiful feathers! Thank you very much!
Indie had her first big moult around 6/7months and I thought like pico (I got him older) that she would loose smaller feathers first but she didn’t she lost flight feathers first and a few tail feathers I remember her tail having a big gap in it
@Wally&Eva i am sure I remember you posting about feather loss when your two were young as you were worried
 

Paquito

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Indie had her first big moult around 6/7months and I thought like pico (I got him older) that she would loose smaller feathers first but she didn’t she lost flight feathers first and a few tail feathers I remember her tail having a big gap in it
@Wally&Eva i am sure I remember you posting about feather loss when your two were young as you were worried
Wow, that is really comforting!! It is exactly what is happening to my Cooper. Thank you so sooo much!!!
 

Porto

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Hi! I am going through a similar thing with my lovebird. I just noticed him sounding heavy while flying and then noticed he has 2 missing flight feathers on one wing. I was wondering if you ever figured out what caused it and how long it took for those feathers to grow back. Hope all is well!
 

Paquito

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Hi! I am going through a similar thing with my lovebird. I just noticed him sounding heavy while flying and then noticed he has 2 missing flight feathers on one wing. I was wondering if you ever figured out what caused it and how long it took for those feathers to grow back. Hope all is well!
Hi!!! It got worse before getting better. He lost his ability to fly for a couple days but, just when I was about to call my vet, I noticed his feathers were kind of coming back. A couple days later and he was back to flying as usual. I assume it was a very extreme case of moulting, strange too as it was asymmetrical. My Cooper never lost appetitte, nor he stopped drnking or sleeping as usual. It was just that he couldn't fly. Have you noticed anythong strange in your lovebird?
In total I think it was around a month until he was back to normal.
I hope he gets better!!!
 

Porto

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Thank you for replying! Nothing strange in his behavior. He is active and eats normally. I really hope he is just molting. I will keep a close eye on him! Again, thank you so much!
 
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