Whether it’s the beautiful colorful delight of the macaw species or the gorgeous glow of the African Grey.
We can all agree, that a parrot’s feathers are exactly what makes them so beautiful.
Unlike other pets such as dogs and cats, parrots (and all birds) are somewhat unique in terms of their outer appearance.
And the truth is, that we adore our feather friend’s wonderful features just as much as it does.
That’s why we will always go the extra mile to make sure it’s looking perfect.
So the question that we’re going to ask today is:
Can a parrot’s beautiful feathers grow back, should they appear to fall off first?
The answer is: mostly yes. Parrots (like most other birds) will lose feathers regularly, and their feathers naturally do grow back. Just like how human hair can regrow, parrots feathers work in exactly the same way. Like I have previously stated however, this is what happens most of the time. In some instances, a parrots feathers may never grow back.
Today I’m going to answer all of your questions with regard to whether parrots can regrow feathers.
I’m going to break this answer down into a number of different sections, and answer all of your questions in several topics, such as:
Why do parrots even have feathers?
What are the benefits of them?
In what situations might a parrot lose their feathers?
Why do parrots actually lose their feathers in these situations?
How does it regrow?
In what situations might a parrot’s feathers not regrow?
Good. Let’s dive right into the good stuff.
Why do Parrots have feathers? Why do they need them?
Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably wondered at least ONCE before, why is there such diversity in terms of animals on the planet?
This is what led me to investigate why birds all have feathers, instead of fur, like a cat or a dog.
The simplest (and probably most obvious reason) why a bird has feathers, is because it keeps them warm.
In the same way that we humans wear clothes, birds don’t need them, because their own feathers do the exact job.
On top of this, many birds must have special feathers, to enable them to fly, without aerodynamic feathers, our parrots would not be able to do exactly what they do best.
This is what differentiates our feathery friends from say, a penguin, whilst a penguin’s feathers allow them to stay warm in their artic climate.
Our parrot’s feathers don’t need feathers with the same exact function.
Now I bet you’re wondering, why do parrots have colorful feathers?
That’s a very good question.
Some birds (like parrots) have colorful feathers, due to the pigmentation in their skin.
Also, having such colorful feathers enables a parrot to control and regulate its skin temperature.
In the case of our own pet parrot, this will keep them cool, should they find themselves in a warmer climate.
In what situations may a parrot lose its feathers?
Now, if you’re reading this because you have noticed that your pet parrot has lost some of its feathers, or if you want to be prepared for the future, or even if you are just curious… let me explain to you some of the reasons why a parrot may lose its feathers.
One example of this is molting.
In this situation, a parrot will lose its feathers, in the exact same way that a dog or a cat will shed some of its fur.
It is nothing to worry about.
Most parrots should experience a molting period around once a year.
This is where worn-out feathers are replaced after the breeding season and then replaced by new, fresh feathers.
As I have already described, the restoration of fresh feathers provides many benefits to birds, (for example, more effective insulation and flight).
So yes, if your parrot is going through a molting season, its feathers will grow back.
You might be wondering at this stage, exactly why molting occurs.
It happens because the fathers of a parrot are susceptible to a lot of abuse from the external environment.
Wild parrots, for example, are exposed to wind, dirt, rain, and perhaps even an extremely warm environment.
All of these factors will inevitably take a toll on the quality of a bird’s feathers.
In order to keep them fresh and healthy, the parrots will begin the molting process of restoring their feathers.
If you’re interested in some of the chemicals involved in molting, here are some:
These are some of the “message” chemicals with carrying information between cells.
They are used in large quantities by parrots in cellular communication.
These chemicals have been shown to increase in vast quantities when the Molt period begins.
It is unclear, however, whether this chemical is linked to the removal of old, damaged feathers, or involved with the replacement of new, fresh feathers.
Melatonin is responsible for telling the bird when to Molt.
It operates from what is known as the “pineal gland”.
It is important to note, that melatonin is not directly linked to the shedding of, or the production of feathers, but simply acts as the body’s timekeeper, and will respond to the amount of light that is processed by the eyes.
The melatonin rhythm is responsible for many other hormones within the “pituitary gland” of our parrot.
This includes hormones such as ACTH (adrenal production), TSH (thyroid hormone production), and GH, which controls growth.
Another reason why a parrot’s feathers may fall off, is because of feather plucking.
This is essentially when a bird pulls out its own feathers.
When a bird plucks out its own feathers, it can sometimes be a little bit tricky to pinpoint the exact causes of such behavior.
Especially when the bird lives in a cage on its own, without any other birds or parrots.
There are a few known reasons why parrots may pluck their feathers.
Including, for example, boredom, contrastingly also, parrots may pluck their own feathers as a result of too much activity, and over-stimulation.
The reason this occurs is a result of anxious behavior, (which may be caused by a disruption in sleeping patterns, lack of fresh air, and a lack of light, to name a few causes).
Luckily, parrot feathers can grow back after feather plucking.
It normally takes approximately 12 months, or until the next molting period, to allow the feathers to fully restore to their previous healthy state.
It’s important to acknowledge, however, that that is not true in every case.
As a rule of thumb, it can act as guidance.
Some parrots may take slightly longer, and others may take slightly less, normally depending on the severity of the feather plucking.
The very best thing you can do for your parrot in this situation is to ensure it receives proper nutrition.
It’s important that you give your bird all the essential elements of a nutritious and balanced diet, to allow it to grow its strong and healthy feathers back again.
Another reason why parrots may lose some of their feathers is because of skin disease.
This Is a very common cause if a loss of feathers In a parrot, as the irrationality may lead to feather plucking.
Approximately 40% of parrots who are taken to the vet due to this issue are shown to have some form of skin problem.
You should not fret, however, about whether you are hurting your parrot due to your own environment… as there are always environmental factors that can hurt your parrot.
Such examples include:
Dust in the home
If you suspect that your parrot may have a skin disease due to the loss of feathers.
The very best thing to do is to immediately take it to the vet and seek expert advice.
On top of that, you should remove any of the above listed if you have them in your home and if you think they might be causing the issue.
When else might a parrot’s feathers not grow back?
One situation in which a parrot’s feathers may not grow back is due to permanent baldness.
It can happen, when a bird plucks its own feathers too harshly and frequently, and causes follicle damage to the skin, meaning it can no longer support feather growth.
This can happen when the tissue attached to a follicle is ripped, the clot may become infected, and permanent baldness forms as a result.
In conclusion, then, there are various reasons why a parrot’s feathers may fall off, each of which contains several underlying causes, and potential cures.
Here I have outlined all the steps that you should take if you spot symptoms of feather loss on your parrot.
Sometimes, the loss is completely normal (and healthy), and the parrot should simply be left to do its own thing.
On the other hand, some negative situational factors may affect the symptoms of feather loss, such as signs of anxiety and factors of the parrot’s environment.
All in all, it is best for you to make sure you slow your parrot to have a balanced and highly nutritious diet, to give it the strength and vitamins that it needs, to restore and keep its own healthy and strong feathers… Which is exactly what makes them the most beautiful pet of all.
Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you guys again soon!