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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32883
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Poor feathers on chests of a ringneck parrot.

Customer Question

Poor feathers on chests of a ringneck parrot.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Lili. Have you seen her feather pulling/plucking her chest? What does her diet currently consist of, please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I haven't seen her pulling feathers of her chest. I have a male to ,in the same cage and he is OK. They getting versele laga parrots prestige dry food, fresh tomatoes, apples, corn on cob, carrots.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Crushed charcoal and oyster shell
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the addfitional information. I like the idea of the fruit and vegetables but their protein intake needs to be improved for the best feather quality. Feathers are made mainly of the structural protein keratin. The Prestige food is a seed mix and we need to reduce the amount of seed in their diet. Seeds should compose less than 20% of their diet. A diet of mainly seed and nuts has excessive fat, carbohydrates, and phosphorus; marginal protein; adequate vitamin E, and are deficient in amino acids, calcium, available phosphorus, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, vitamins A, D3 (necessary for efficient absorption of calcium), K, and B12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, choline, and available niacin. 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.

Other considerations include bacterial (Staphylococcus, mainly), fungal, and viral infections (psittacine beak and feather disease/PBFD) which can be identified by testing by an avian vet (please see here:

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.