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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28481
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My Rosella bird is 16yrs old and has lost its feathers on one

Resolved Question:

My Rosella bird is 16yrs old and has lost its feathers on one half of its breast over the past four weeks and now starting around it's neck. There is also little white spikes coming through which i'm assuminng is new growth. It looks painful when puffing up and spreads it's wings and when it does this the feather colours become very vibrant. It's activity is normal, whistling, eating, doing toss overs in the cage. Diet is seeds, nuts, salad, fresh carrot and rainbow drops....
Should I be concerned?
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. We don't have many avian vets on this site. To answer you directly, you should be concerned if your Rosella is at least partially responsible for her feather loss; in other words, is picking and plucking away feathers on her chest. That obviously can't be the case on her neck if the feather loss is where she can't reach. the finding of new pin feathers and her acting otherwise normal are positive prognostic signs that you're only seeing an atypical molt (we don't want to see areas become denuded during a molt; a proper molt should leave feathering at least to some extent in all areas). You're justified in "watchful waiting" at this time as long as you don't see her denuding herself.I do want her diet improved which will facilitate feather regrowth. Seeds should compose less than 20% of her diet. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: or here: should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens, 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.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your response. Sorry for the late reply back too..I will continue to monitor her and change her diet. I've researched online too and have started covering her with a dark blue blanket for 12hrs. Moving her toys around in the cage.... I've also moved her away from the window, as I noticed a cat was sat on the table staring. Guess this could stress her out.The good news is the spikes are turning into feathers on her legs and blue/grey colours is also visible on her chest now so I guess i'm just panicking. Looks like a very sore process though....Thanks
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. Yes, I'm encouraged by what you're seeing. Molting shouldn't be painful but it can be annoying to birds.