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Cockatiel Bird Feather Shedding Near Eyes

My cockatiel has feather loss around the eyes. Could it be due to stress? She seems happy and her behavior hasn't change although her younger male companion has been hassling her lately and charging at her with n (May 14, 2010)

Molting is the shedding of old feathers along with the growth of new ones. You have not mentioned the age of your cockatiel but if she is about 10 months of age this will be the first time that she is molting. As the old feathers fall off, you will notice new feathers taking its place. These new feathers will resemble small little spikes at first and during this time she requires a plenty of rest. These new feathers are all blood feathers and have blood vessels within them. This means that if there is any roughhousing with her male counterpart it is possible that the feather may break and this may cause profuse bleeding. It would be best to separate them for a while. Neither bird will take kindly to being separated if they are used to each other and this can cause a great deal of stress. It would therefore be best to keep their cages close together so that they can still see each other and chatter to each other without them having to come in contact with each other. If they are in a large cage, you can just put a screen in between them to separate them. You can make sure that there is ample spaces in between the meshing so that they can rub beaks and have a small amount of contact with each other should they wish to.

Molting is often patchy and so in areas that already have fewer feathers it may seem like bald patches. This is often true of the areas around a cockatiel’s eyes. While she is molting, your cockatiel bird species will be less active and this may be the reason for her mate charging at her and trying to get her to play. For bird health care, make sure that she has plenty of water as she will need to wet herself constantly in order to soften the coating of keratin on her new feathers. If she is used to plenty of petting and fussing from you, you can gently rub her around her head as this is the area that she cannot normally reach in order to scratch off the keratin coating. Make sure that you are very gently with the new feathers and that your nails are clipped short to avoid feathers getting snagged in them.

Molting generally takes about 2 months in all from the time her feathers start to fall until the new ones are fully formed. While a cockatiel is molting, you will notice loose feathers along with white flakes at the bottom of her cage. If there are no loose feathers, then it would signify that the balding patches around her eyes are due to another reason and you would need to take her to an avian vet for a thorough examination. 

Submitted by N M on May 14, 2010 at 06:05


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