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Feathers Tell All
Feathers on our birds can be compared to having the structure of
reptile scales. These feathers are needed in order for a bird to fly,
regulate their body heat, and protect them against the environment.
Knowing this it is easy to understand why birds with poor feathering in
the wild often die. So, when you see your bird preening their feathers
using his/her beak they are not just beautifying themselves, but aiding in
their own health. It is important for them to be able to remove the
sheaths from new feathers, and keep the feathers in a healthy condition.
As many of us have realized over our time of owning birds, often times
our cockatiels will hide any illness they have. However, if we observe our
pet on a daily basis we may be able to detect something is wrong just by
looking at the feathers. If your tiel has missing or unhealthy looking
feathers this can indicate your bird has either a mental problem or a
physical problem. Missing feathers can indicate your cockatiel is an
excessive plucker, or maybe your bird's unhealthy feathers indicate an
It is important to see your avian vet if your cockatiel is exhibiting
any type of poor feather condition. Feather picking for one is a major
problem that owners can face, and finding a cause can be hard. Your avian
vet will do extensive tests to determine why your tiel has poor feather
condition. Things such as environment, whether your bird has had a
traumatic experience will be looked at. Also, your bird's hormonal health
and reproductive health will be looked at along with tests to see if there
are genetic problems, bacteria, or parasites causing the illness.
Unfortunately, these tests are difficult because many illnesses bird's can
acquire can look alike, therefore the observation of your tiel's feathers
is imperative and may give insight as to why your bird has his/her illness
and poor feather condition.
Observation of your cockatiel can often lead you to have an idea why
your bird's feathers are not right. For example, if your bird is in a cage
that is too small, your tiel may have feathers that are torn or ragged
looking. If your bird is experiencing feathers that break off easily and
have scaly skin you may need to consider improving your bird's diet, but
first consult your avian vet for advice. If you notice feathers that are
not growing, this can be due to a home that is too dry. Extensive feather
plucking can be due to an allergic reaction, or even a parasitic
condition, or even a psychological problem. These are just a couple of
observations that a person can make concerning your tiel, but a vets
intervention should also be used.
So, I hope from this short article you understand the importance of
looking at your tiel as well as just playing with him/her. Feathers can
tell a lot about pets and if you see any sign of poor feathering contact
your avian vet to get to the problem. Since birds can hide their illnesses
so well, feathers are an excellent way to read our cockatiels.