Ask Lafeber


December 1, 2022

Baby Lovebird plucking feathers

Hi, My peach face lovebird is about 5 weeks old and is plucking its feathers. I am noticing smaller pin feathers on the bottom of the enclosure when I wake up, and I am also noticing what I would deem “excessive” preening. It is losing large feathers from its wings.

What should I do?


Hi Mitch,

Are you still hand feeding this bird? Are you sure about the age? Lovebirds generally aren’t even weaned until 6-8 weeks. A 5 week old would still be mostly handfeeding and still growing in his first feathers. He would preen a lot as the feathers grow in, and this causes a lot of dander on the cage floor from the feather casings. But he is far too young to be losing wing feathers – he should just be growing them in for the first time. I would take him to an avian vet, because baby birds almost never pluck feathers – it’s mostly unheard of. More likely there is a health issue – possibly he has a disease that affects the feathers such as polyoma or beak and feather disease. Both are somewhat common in lovebirds and would start to show up around this age. It could also be nutritional. But regardless, it’s almost certainly a health issue and not a behavior issue because he’s simply too young to already have a behavior issue. A vet can test him for viruses and other possible causes and discuss treatments with you. I’m sorry this is going on, but a Vet can provide some answers and help the little guy.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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