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Kakariki, Care, Breeding, Ecology, and Conservation :: View topic - Big moult - tailfeathers gone!!
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Big moult - tailfeathers gone!!

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Snr Member
Snr Member

Joined: Oct 04, 2008
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:22 pm    Post subject: Big moult - tailfeathers gone!!

Hi all,

We've had our little kak for 2 years, and he's currently going through a big moult. I just came back after being away for a week, and he's lost all his tailfeathers! He looks like a quail. I'll have to see how he is tomorrow, but he's gone through moults before and hasn't dropped them like this. Has anyone seen this before??


(he wasn't alone - my husband was here)
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Site Admin
Site Admin

Joined: Oct 06, 2004
Posts: 4550

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:36 am    Post subject:

That is not normal.
When a bird goes into molt, it looses wirhing a very short time matching feathers from each side....be wing tail whatever...this way they maintain a balanced flight.
It may loose several but never all of them.
Plucking is near unheartd of in kakariki because of their strong sence of independance and lack of pscologoical reliance on the owners.
Could loosely be compared to a child who has had a lot of 'over attention' then basically ignored, and then turns to self mutilation as an attention getter.
Has you kakariki had a lot of personal attention from chick age, hand reared...and maybe become pscologically dependant on you.
You have then gone on holiday........

If was mites/diet or something along those lines it would be loosing down feathers around the back, head, neck , and chest 1st. Flight and tail feathers tend to be last and extreme infections.

I would apply invermectin to the back of the neck, repeat in about 10 to 12 days...clean the cage perches etc right out, then mist spray the bird and cage with 50/50 water and vinigar. A few drops of apple cider vinegar mixed in with the veggies every couple days for a week, then once a week there after.

A couple mint and rosemary leaves each day will help bring the feather condition back... they wipe the oils from these into the feathers.

My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
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Snr Member
Snr Member

Joined: Oct 04, 2008
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:42 pm    Post subject:

Well, I certainly talk to him a lot more than Keith does, but he's pretty good with attention to Boo. We've both been away and had someone come in, and then Keith was back before me, so he's been without us before.

He's been going through a moult over the last couple of weeks, and he's been losing his feathers from either side, but not like the tailfeathers.

How would he get mites? We clean his cage weekly, and he is strictly an indoors bird - being in the north of Canada, it tends to be colder.

He just looks a bit scruffy - he hasn't lost any feathers from his back, chest neck, etc, just some smaller feathers that always tend to come out when he moults.

I'll try the invermectin (if I can get it) and the vinegar & apple cider vinegar.

Thanks for the info - I'll keep you posted.

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Snr Member
Snr Member

Joined: Oct 04, 2008
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:15 pm    Post subject:

Good news... the bird's tail is growing back. The rest of his body seems normal. Hopefully he is on the mend. I think he misses his tail.
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Foundation Member
Foundation Member

Joined: Sep 26, 2007
Posts: 988

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:26 am    Post subject:


Lots of people from Canada and UK joining the forum lately, that's good news indeed!

About ivermectin, there's a commercial preparation called ivomec, which is used for cattle, it's ivermectine 1%.
I bought 2ml of it to the dog/cat's vet (they also use it) and diluted it in 18ml of propilenglycol, as to make it 0,1% which is the recommended dosage for birds.
It's injectable but it can also be used topical and orally.

Cheers / Pablo


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