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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28491
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My five year old canary male is happy and active but his feathers

Customer Question

My five year old canary male is happy and active but his feathers for the last year or so have been getting worse, loose at queer angles and shedding soft ones . Have been careful of covering at night, not much heat, plenty of greens and light. Feathers make jumping to perches and when had bath difficult. Otherwise he is fine and responsive. What can be the rouble please, Mary.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner, Mary. We don't have many avian-oriented vets on this site. A difficult (aberrant) molt is most likely to be diagnosed by me and I first look to see what my patient's diet has consisted of. Seeds should compose less than 20% of Jo's diet. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com or here: www.lafeber.com/pet-birds should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens (as you've been doing), dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, melon, kiwi, and berries, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potato, and squash, and even tiny pieces of meat. We need to make sure that Jo's protein intake is adequate enough to not only replace those feathers he has molted but replace them with normal feathers. If Jo is resistant to eating a wide variety of foods, you'll need to supplement him with vitamins and minerals in the form of a water soluble vitamin such as Oasis brand and a calcium supplement such as Caliboost or Calivet. These products are available over the counter in pet/feed stores. I recommend half of the vitamin label's recommendation so as not to make Jo's water distasteful. Please note that our pet birds eating excessive seeds will become deficient in vitamins A, B12, D3, and K as well as in calcium. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.