Well it is that time of year again, the summer sun is blazing, families are enjoying the last of their holidays and our parrots are busy molting their feathers like never before. The last few months have been rather prickly for our feathered friends as it seems that Eckies everywhere marked their calendar and decided that this was to be the molt of all molts.
Parrot Haven kids have been dropping feathers like no-bodies business and we can’t keep up with the epic amounts of snowy feather dust that floats merrily around the house. For the more experienced Eckie owner, molts such as these are nothing to worry about. But for new parrot slaves, seeing your parrot slowly turning into a porcupine can be incredibly stressful. I have received a great many emails from owners who are all worried about the same thing: their Eckie’s are molting very heavily, some displaying large bald patches on their heads, primaries are being shed rapidly and their parrots mood has changed from being happy-go-lucky to that of a cranky bear coming out of hibernation. They are concerned that this is abnormal, that something may be wrong and ask whether they need to seek advice from an avian vet. I applaud the many contentious owners who are pro-active regarding their parrots health and don’t wait to ‘see how things go’ before reaching out for help. It’s wonderful to help and reassure them that what they are experiencing is perfectly normal and there are many things they can do to help ease their kids through their molt.
Molting is irritating for our parrots at the best of times but when they undergo a massive molt, it can take it’s toll both physically and emotionally. As the months wear on, owners start to wonder if their parrot will ever feather out normally again and our Eckies appear tired of the whole process. It is important that we adjust our parrots diet to help ease them through this time so their bodies are not depleted of essential vitamins and nutrients.
Feathers are made from a protein called keratin, this protein is taken directly from the Eckies body and if a parrot is not provided with protein rich food then their bodies will become depleted. Foods such as boiled eggs, almonds, pepitas, chia seeds, lentils and sweet corn are just a few foods that are rich in protein and are a must for any molting parrot.
Shower fun is also another way to help ease your Eckies itchy skin. Our Eckies shower with us almost daily when molting, with many asking to ‘come in for a shower’ when they hear the faucet turn on. The warm water and steam helps soften the skin keeping it subtle and preventing it from becoming dry and flakey. Aloe spritzes are another way to assist your Eckie, the aloe helps to moisturize their skin and it’s great for feather sheen and lustre.
For extensive information on the Eckie molt, dietary requirements, how to cope with mood and appetite changes please visit our website www.eclectusbook.com and follow the link to our book ‘The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots’. This chapter has helped many Eckie owners through their parrots molts and helps them understand molting through the eyes of their parrot.
So if your Eckie is a current member of the ‘porcupine’ club then feel reassured that you are not alone. We can all sympathize with any anxiety you may feel, we have all been there at one time or another. Just give your kid an extra hug and know that they will come out the other side looking more spectacular than ever.