Ask Lafeber


January 4, 2022

Cockatiel Molting

This is my first year owning my cockatiel and she’s gone through two molts (or i think it’s a molt) since february 2021. She first was loosing about 20 feathers a day for 3-4 days during the summer and now in January it just started again. It’s mostly little feathers but i did find a tail feather and a couple big ones today. Is this normal? I think she’s about 7-9 years old (we don’t know because she’s a rescue) and she’s on a pellet diet.


Hi Kayla,

Birds lose feathers year round, but will go through a complete molt once or twice a year. During a full molt, they gradually lose feathers and grow new ones – this takes a few weeks. They do not lose all feathers at one time. If the bird ever has bald spots, then she is picking out her own feathers. But this sounds like a normal molt. If you recently started using your heat, this can trigger a molt. Most people keep a house warmer in the winter using heat, than in the summer when the AC is on.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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