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There are many problems that can cause feather loss in pet birds. All birds suffering from feather loss should be seen by an avian veterinarian to identify and treat the problems. We have listed some of the common causes of feather loss and destruction below.

1: Behavioural

In the wild birds spend majority of their day foraging for food and interacting with members of their flock. It can be very hard for pet bird owners to match the wild environment of birds and our pets can develop behavioural problems out of boredom or frustration.

2: Infection

Viral and bacterial infection can cause feather loss, itchiness and destruction of feathers. One of the most well known viral infections is beak and feather disease. This disease can affect a wide range of birds and is seen commonly in wild lorikeets.

3: Mites or Lice

External parasites such as mites or lice can make birds very itchy. Thankfully they are easily treated with special mite/lice spray.

4: Poor nutrition

Birds that are on all seed diets or that get lots of ‘table scraps’ can have deformed feathers as there bodies do not have the energy or vitamins needed to produce normal feathers.

5: Moulting

Indoor birds can have extended moult periods – this means they can moult several times a year or go a long time with out moulting. This is because they are exposed to artificial light and their body clock isnt sure when it should and shouldn’t moult

Many peoples don’t realise but Bird feathers are dead (like human hair) so can not be repaired once they are damaged. This picture shows a close up of the intricate structure of a feather, its no wonder birds spend so much time preening!

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