Moulting in birds

What is moulting?

Moulting is the time period in which birds shed their feathers and start growing a new coat of feathers. Generally speaking, this happens once or twice a year. On a rare occassion, it might also take place a third time, but this only happens amongst some bird types. 

Moulting can take a long time, because the feathers do not shed at once. Usually, the feathers shed from top to bottom, meaning that the feathers around the head will shed first and work their way down, until all feathers have been replaced by new ones.

How long does it take?

The length of the moulting period varies per bird. It all depends on how quickly your bird sheds the feathers. In some birds this process may only take 2 to 3 months, while in others it may take as long as 4 to 6 months. The wings and tail are the last part of the bird's coat that will start to shed. These feathers too, shed in definite order. The primary feathers will shed first, after which the secondary feathers will start shedding. 

The difference between a quick or slow moulter can be seen in the amount of feathers shed. If your bird sheds one feather at a time, it is likely to be a quick moulter, meaning that the period of moulting shouldn't take much longer than 2-3 months. If your bird sheds several feathers at once, the replacement feathers will show grow back slower and show clear stages of growth.

What can I do to help speed up the process?

Naturally, it is important to keep feeding your birds a complete feed; a mix of various seeds and eggfood. Our XtraVital contains many different kinds of seeds, fruits, eggfood and echinacea too, which helps boost the immune system. On top of that it is wise to use a conditioning powder or moulting aid that can speed up the process. Adding vitamins to your bird's food or water will also help keep your bird in optimal shape. 

On top of that, it is recommended to have fresh bathing water available to your birds. You should do this at least 3 times a week, but if possible daily would be best. Fruit can also give them a vitamin boost, so this is a welcome treat too. However, do not leave fruits in your bird's cage for a long period of time when it's warm outside. The warmth may cause for the fruit to go bad quickly. 

If you are looking to speed up the moulting process in your bird, you can use one of our many products suitable to treat your bird during its moulting period. Check out the products by clicking the button below.