Ask Lafeber


December 3, 2021

Excessive plucking

Hey! So I have a cockatiel, maybe 4 months old. She tends to pluck out quite a few feathers when preening. Sometimes little white tufts of soft fluff too. She tries to chew/eat them, but I remove them while I can. The vet ruled out any infection, but I’m worried.


Hi Bridget,

Does your bird have bare patches of skin? Unless she has bare skin, then what she is doing is just normal grooming. She may be starting an adult molt. This typically starts at 6 months old, but every bird is different. I wouldn’t worry about it unless she has bare areas. Bird groom and scratch and itch a lot, and this is normal.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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