This guide covers the majority of what you need to know on how and when your Cockatiel is molting. If you require additional information beyond what we have here, or if you have an emergency, there are advanced resources, as well as expert support information at the bottom of this page.
Is my Cockatiel molting if it’s losing feathers?
Cockatiels like all birds molt old feathers and grow in new ones throughout their lives, the first Cockatiel molting period will take place between its 6-12 months of age. A healthy bird will molt its feathers anywhere from 2-3 times per year. It takes 7-10 days for a Cockatiel’s new feathers which are also referred to as blood feathers to start growing in place of the molted old feathers. On top of this it takes another 6-8 weeks for the blood feathers to become fully developed after the Cockatiel molting period.
How will I know when my Cockatiel is molting?
You will know when your bird has begun its molting process because you will start seeing tiny feathers at the bottom of the cage along with white flaky particles that looks similar to dandruff. The flakes came from the keratin sheath that protects the new feathers as they grow, these feathers are connected to a blood vessel and if disturbed can bleed out profusely. Pin feathers is also a term used during the Cockatiel molting process and the reason for this is because that they look like tiny pins.
The pin feather’s are most noticeable on your bird’s neck and head during the Cockatiel molting period. The larger blood feathers are located more on the body and wing area of the bird. Your Cockatiel will usually feel sleepy and be cranky while molting because new feathers are not comfortable and can actually be painful if they get moved in the wrong direction.
My bird is is rubbing its head and body against the cage, is my Cockatiel molting?
All birds tend to rub against things that they can get in touch with during molting, what they are actually doing is trying to break the hard keratin so feathers can come out faster. You can be of help to your Cockatiel molting process by gently rubbing or scratching places it can’t reach, just make sure your Cockatiel wants you to do this of course because all birds has different attitudes towards this.
Are there any good books about Cockatiels?
These are some of the top-rated books available for Cockatiels care. If you are planning to invest in Cockatiels, we highly recommend grabbing at least one of these: