Ask Lafeber


January 6, 2021

Cockatiel doesn’t have his full feathers

Hello my cockatiel is 5 months old I want to know if he should look almost like a full grown cockatiel yet because he still have quite a few bald spots with feathers growing in and I am concerned that this is due to him plucking out his feathers. But I am not certain


Hi Katelynn,

It would be very unusual for a young bird to be plucking his feathers. If he is, then there is likely a medical cause for this. Birds grow feathers in tracts, which means the feathers do not grow on every inch of their skin. The feather tracts allow the feathers to overlap, which makes the feathers cover the body. When a bird is young or the feathers aren’t healthy or when a bird gets wet, the feather tracts will show. For example, they have tracts on either side of their breast bone, but when wet, the feathers can part, making the breast look bare down the center. If your bird isn’t grooming his feathers well, or if the feather condition isn’t good, it can make bare spots show. Also, if the bird is one of the white mutations, they can have bald spots due to weak genetics and inbreeding. The most common areas will be the back of the head and under the wings. I would suggest taking him to an Avian Vet to be checked out if you feel his feathers are not right. With a young bird, this could be a nutritional problem or even an infection.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


Subscribe to our newsletter