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Feathers Tell All
by Sunny

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 underlying illness.

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.

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