Ask Lafeber


November 3, 2021

Why is my female finch losing feathers?

Hello. I have 6 finches. I stared out with two, a male and female, but then they had 3, and then another. I let them out each morning, and they are free to fly around as they please each morning. But recently, one of my finches, Joycie, has been losing feathers on the side of her neck. Basically half of her neck has no feathers. Today, we went about our routine to put the finches to bed, and i realized that Joycie was missing feathers on the top of her head. Upon closer inspection there seems to be dried blood as well as missing feathers on the top of her head. I’m going to try separating her, to see if she gets better, but does anyone know whats going on? I think she’s being bullied, and i have recently noticed one male finch being hostile to others, but she is the only one with real injuries. what do i do?


Hi Steph,

Finches can be very territorial. And parents generally will not tolerate having their grown offspring around. They will fight them and try to drive them away, which is nature’s way to prevent inbreeding. If they don’t drive them away, they might breed with their offspring which should never be allowed. If your birds have nests, remove all of the nests. Only breeding birds need nests, and since you have related birds, you should not let them breed. Also, they are more territorial and more likely to fight when they have nests. You probably need to separate Joycie if you don’t know who is bullying her. If you think it is the one male, then remove him. But I’m guessing maybe they have nests or are using food cups as nests, and once you get rid of anything they can nest or sit inside of, this should stop the fighting or bullying.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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