Ask Lafeber


June 13, 2022

How long do heavy molts last in cockatiels?

HI lafeber,

Just a quick question.

How long do heavy molting periods typically last in cockatiels?

I want to know the typical length for a molting period so I can compare that to how long my cockatiel has been molting for.

Is 3 weeks the typical amount of time for a bird to go through a heavy molt?

He seems to be losing lots of feathers, and it’s been like that for about 2 weeks.

Will be awaiting your answer.

Sincerely, Joseph Calabrese


Hi Joseph,

A heavy molt can easily take several weeks. They can’t molt all feathers at once, of course, so they lose some and once those are growing back, they lose more. If they lost too many flight or tail feathers at one time, then a predator could catch them in the wild. As long as he doesn’t have any bare areas of skin showing, then his molt is normal. If he has large patches of bare skin, then he is pulling out his own feathers and this would mean a trip to the Vet.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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