Why Are Cockatiels Losing Feathers? Common Causes and Solutions.

Cockatiels have two types of feathers – primary and secondary feathers. Primary feathers are the larger feathers at the tips of the wings and are used for flying and balance. Secondary feathers are located closer to the body and provide insulation and help with steering during flight.

Signs of Molting

Cockatiels typically molt twice a year, during which they shed old feathers and grow new ones. Signs of molting include a change in behavior, such as increased vocalization or lethargy, and a molt line, which is a visible line where old feathers have fallen out and new ones are growing in.

The Causes and Solutions for Cockatiel Feather Loss

There are several reasons why your cockatiel may be losing feathers. Understanding the cause is the key to finding an effective solution.

Nutritional Deficiencies

One common cause of feather loss is a nutritional deficiency. Cockatiels require a balanced and varied diet that includes a mix of seeds, fruits, vegetables, and grains. A lack of certain nutrients, such as protein or vitamin A, can cause feather loss. If you suspect that your cockatiel is not getting enough of a certain nutrient, talk to your veterinarian about adding supplements or changing their diet.

Poor Husbandry

Another cause of feather loss is poor husbandry. This can include a dirty living environment, lack of space, or exposure to extreme temperatures. Cockatiels need a clean and comfortable living space that is free of dirt, dust, and other debris. They also need enough space to move around and stretch their wings. If your cockatiel is housed in a cage, make sure that it is large enough for them to move around comfortably.

Psychological Stress

Cockatiels are social creatures that thrive on interaction and attention from their owners. If they are not getting enough attention or are exposed to stressful situations, such as loud noises or sudden movements, they may experience psychological stress, which can lead to feather loss. To prevent this, make sure that your cockatiel has enough socialization and attention from you. Additionally, try to keep their living space calm and quiet.

Parasites and Infections

Finally, feather loss can be caused by parasites or infections. Common parasites that affect cockatiels include mites and lice. They can cause itching and irritation, which can lead to excessive preening and feather loss. Infections, such as fungal or bacterial infections, can also cause feather loss. If you suspect that your cockatiel has a parasitic or bacterial infection, take them to the veterinarian for treatment.

Preventing Feather Loss in Cockatiels

Prevention is key when it comes to cockatiel feather loss. Here are a few tips to keep your cockatiel healthy and happy:

Balanced and Varied Diet

Make sure that your cockatiel is getting a balanced and varied diet that includes a mix of seeds, fruits, vegetables, and grains. This will help prevent nutritional deficiencies that can lead to feather loss.

Clean Environment and Good Hygiene Practices

Keep your cockatiel’s living space clean and free of dirt, dust, and other debris. Regularly clean their cage or living area, and provide them with fresh food and water daily.

Training and Socialization

Cockatiels need socialization and attention from their owners. Spend time with your cockatiel daily and provide them with toys and other mental stimulation.

Regular Health Checks and Veterinary Visits

Schedule regular health checks with your veterinarian to ensure that your cockatiel is healthy and free of parasites or infections.


Cockatiel feather loss can be a sign of an underlying health issue, so it is important to monitor your cockatiel’s health and wellbeing. By understanding the causes and solutions for feather loss, you can help keep your cockatiel happy and healthy. Remember to provide a balanced and varied diet, a clean living environment, regular training and socialization, and schedule regular veterinary visits. By following these tips, you can help prevent feather loss in your beloved feathered friend.

ThePetFaq Team