loss of feathers on top of head

Submitted by imnweib on Tue, 06/09/2015 - 16:54

Hello  looking for some help with Gypsy's loss of feathers on her head. Is this normal mullting or is it a problem of mites or something else. Attached is a photo  Thanks in advance.

Was this a gradual loss of feathers?  Is there another pet bird around that might be overpreening (and pulling out) feathers?  The potential causes would differ if the loss of feathers was suddenly or gradual.

 

If it was an outside bird, one could consider mites (in particular red mites like to hang out on top of the head and around the vent).  But if Gypsy is an inside pet, that is pretty unlikely.  You would also be able to see red mites when they are feeding.  They don't live on birds, but only get on them to feed.  Anyhow, they are unlikely culprits unless your pet is outside a lot.

 

Other potential causes could be a local bacterial skin infection, viruses, fungal infections, metabolic problems, allergies and metal poisoning. Also inflammatory skin/follicle disease should be considered as it is relatively common.

 

If it has been gradually developing, I would go over Gypsy's diet ...

 

Could she be going through a "Hard Molt" (aka Mojo Molt), when many feathers fall out at once resulting in bald spots ...

 

Sibylle

Is there any growth breaking through the skin? Is the skin all smooth?  Is your pet scratching that part of the head a lot?

 

Eclectus parrots are for many people the most difficult birds to maintain in captivity since they require a good amount of fresh fruits in their diet.  Most people will feed them the typical parrot  food (seeds, nuts, dried fruits) and that will cause health problems long-term.

 

There is an excellent forum for Eclectus owners on the "landofvos" website.  (landofvos.com) ... I would recommend jjoining them. There are several members that have an amazing knowledge of eclectus health and well-being.  Avianweb

WOW!  That website had become such as resource.  I hope that the owner of that website, Carolyn Swicegood, is okay.  She was so dedicated to that resource.   What a shame.  I hope all is okay with her and she just needed a break.  It was a very well frequented website and extremly busy forum.  Anyhow, I did find a comparable resource: http://eclectusparrotbreeders.com/blog/

I would visit it for the good information on there.  My guess is that they will still not able to pinpoint the precise course without testing. But they do have some nutritional advice on molting eclectus parrots ... I hope this helps! Sibylle

I hope you will figure out what is happening with your pet!  Once you do, it would be nice if you shared it with us ... It is good to learn from each other!  Best wishes, Sib

That was good advice.  It is good that you feel pin feathers coming through. So there is no damage to the feather roots (which would have been unlikely anyhow, unless a bird kept pulling feathers out - that would eventually damage the folicles). Molting can cause bare patches - in particularly if the humidity is low in the room. That causes itching and birds may peck at an area then; or in a case like yours, rub the head against something (probably the cage bars) to relieve the itching.  That can result in feather loss.  So enabling a bird to bathe itself (in a shallow dish) or misting a pet will go a long way in relieving that discomfort.  Some people take their birds into the shower with them.  As long as they keep soap away from their pets, that would be fine ... Sibylle

 

The dosage will vary by bird species and weight.  Plus parasites are not always the reason for feather problems, and medicating for the wrong condition can do more harm than good.  I would recommend checking with an avian vet who will need to run tests to confirm the cause and implement a treatment protocol. . 

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