Feathers

Bob

Bird Whisperer
Staff member
Admin
Feathers

Feathers can tell you so much if you know what you are looking at. Here are some examples of what you may see and not know what you are looking at and that there are things you can do to help your bird(s) or you can ask your avian vet for advice on.....click to see full document 
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Bob

Bird Whisperer
Staff member
Admin
It is pinned Lou  :dntknw:

It's a great document and the credit goes to Tasch not me lol
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

Kendra

Regular Member
Thank you Tasch for finding this and to Bobbles for bringing it back, it is very useful to return to, before panicking.
 

Lou

Regular Member
I looked in the wrong section Bob, looked in health not feathers! :wall:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bob

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
bit of an update to this thread....

Feather molt sequence is easy really dependent on the species of bird owned naturally some birds are slightly different to others such as burrowing parrots are different to amazons which in turn are different to greys and then there is the difference between the “baby molt” and the adult full cycle moult.

There are already two documents on this site reference molting one by Bob and one by myself which is more in the determination of whether a feather is shed naturally or not mine is at the top of this thread that Bob kindly started with a link to it and Bob's one seems to have gone missing so will dig it out and get him to repost it lol)

Basically depending on the species of bird you own the feathers moult in opposite pairs on the wings so that the bird always is able to fly. An odd damaged feather is replaced faster than others more especially if it is removed it will be replaced faster. A wing clipped bird due to the imbalance of the clipping removal of weight takes longer to replace the feathers and more feathers are damaged and it’s a vicious cycle when a bird is clipped incorrectly.


Each feather has a group name and a number in its location the under-down doesn’t its just basically the stuff that keeps your bird warm and is used as a shock absorber.

Moulting can take anywhere between a couple of weeks and a couple of months depending on the nutrition, temperature, amount of natural uva/uvb light and a number of other things such as age and general wellness of the bird.

For a bird to synthesize enough D3 from broad-spectrum light to perform correct absorption of the calcium takes a minimum exposure of daylight (not sunshine) outside of approximately 40 minutes indoors under uva/uvb lighting the same however to keep your bird at its optimum levels its always better to endure that the bird has access to broad-spectrum as and when it desires or for a minimum of 4 hours a day structured throughout the day. I just leave my uva/uvb lights on its easier!!

Here are references to a couple of really good reads below. The best read I have had for a while was the restudy of the molting of parrots by Howell et al. (2003) if you can get access to it and read it it will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and a heap load besides….errrr the terminology does get a bit “thick and syrupy” at times though be warned!

Distribution of unique red feather pigments in parrots by Kevin J McGraw & Mary G Nogare

“In many birds, red, orange and yellow feathers are coloured by carotenoid pigments, but parrots are an exception. For over a century, biochemists have known that parrots use an unusual set of pigments to produce their rainbow of plumage colours, but their biochemical identity has remained elusive until recently. Here, we use high-performance liquid chromatography to survey the pigments present in the red feathers of 44 species of parrots representing each of the three psittaciform families. We found that all species used the same suite of five polyenal lipochromes (or psittacofulvins) to colour their plumage red, indicating that this unique system of pigmentation is remarkably conserved evolutionarily in parrots. Species with redder feathers had higher concentrations of psittacofulvins in their plumage, but neither feather coloration nor historical relatedness predicted the ratios in which the different pigments appeared. These polyenes were absent from blood at the time when birds were replacing their colorful feathers, suggesting that parrots do not acquire red plumage pigments from the diet, but instead manufacture them endogenously at growing feathers.”

Ibis International Journal Of Avian Medicine

In captive Budgerigars Melopsitticus undulatus moult of primaries started in the middle of the tract and moved progressively inwards and outwards, the inner feathers being replaced faster than the outer ones. Full replacement of primaries took six to eight months and a new cycle of moult usually started before completion of the old cycle. Molt of secondaries followed no clear pattern and occurred less frequently than molt of primaries. Molt of rectrices started with the middle pair and moved progressively outwards on both sides. Complete molt of rectrices took about six months and a new cycle often started before completion of the old. Molt of the head and body occurred intermittently throughout the year. Birds fledged in juvenal plumage, they passed into first basic plumage with a partial molt (head and body feathers) and into definitive basic plumage with a molt of all contour feathers.

In the field in inland mid-eastern Australia, there were some birds replacing feathers and some with complete plumage in most months of the year. Birds with complete plumage may have been between molts or within a molt and between replacement of feathers. The proportion of birds in molt did not increase in intensity after breeding, or cease during breeding or before movements. Some birds of both sexes with gonads in a reproductive condition were replacing feathers. Birds that were replacing feathers had similar lipid deposits to birds that had a complete plumage.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top Bottom