Ask Lafeber


September 14, 2020

Pin feathers

I recently got three budgies, and they’ve started molting. The pin feathers make me nervous, and I’m not sure why?


Hi Luisa,

As the feathers are growing, they are protected by a waxy covering. This is soft when the feather is still a blood feather(a growing feather has a blood supply), but becomes dry and easily flakes off once the feather is mature with no more blood flow to it. If the birds are together, they will preen each other. If these are pets you handle, you can try to gently remove the covering. But the birds can be cross while molting and sometimes fuss at you if you try to groom a pin feather that isn’t ready. Most birds can remove all of the coatings as they are ready and there is nothing you need to do.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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