Why Does My Cockatiel Have Dandruff? (Causes+What To Do)

If your cockatiel is starting to develop a flaky, dandruff-like substance on its feathers, you may be wondering what’s going on. Don’t worry – you’re not alone!

Most of the time, the dandruff looking flakes is the result of regular feathering period in cockatiels. However, a large amounts of feather loss or dandruff are both warning signs something is wrong with your bird. Another common causes of dandruff includes poor diet, and unhygenic living conditions.

Dandruff in cockatiels looks similar to human dandruff. It manifests as a series of white flakes in a bird’s feather.

Dandruff in cockatiels is quite common, and there are several ways to treat it. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of cockatiel dandruff and how to get rid of it for good!

Is It Normal For Cockatiels To Have Dandruff?

Cockatiels can get dandruff just like humans, and a small amount is normal.

Most of the time the dandruff looking flakes are nothing to worry about.

These flakes are a part of our bird’s normal feathering process: they mold every year. That means that there will be new feathers growing in place of the fallen off ones.

However, if your bird has large amounts of dandruff, it may need to be looked at by their vet. The condition of a bird’s skin and feathers can tell a vet a lot about the cockatiel’s health. 

What Causes Cockatiel Dandruff?

If you find dandruff in your cockatiels feathers, then it is vital to determine the underlying cause and treat it accordingly.

Listed below are some of the common causes that results to dandruff in cockatiels.

Molting Period

During the molting period, cockatiels often tend to shed white dandruff like specs from their body.

In such cases, you must not be worried as this is the normal feathering process in cockatiels.

Poor Nutrition

One of the most common reasons why cockatiels get dandruff is due to their poor diet.

You must make syre that you are serving your bird a balanced diet that includes pellets, seeds, fruits and veggies.

Furthermore, avoid provong your bird with any sugary snacks or treats, which might contribute to weight gain in them.

Fungal Infection Or Bacterial Overgrowth

Fungal infections and bacterial growth are yet another common reasons due to which cockatiels suffer from dandruff.

If your cockatiel has a fungal infection, then it will probably have a wet and greasy feathers which might result to unusal scratching.

Besides this, bacterial overgrowth can also cause dandruff in cockatiels. This mostly results due to dirty cage or unhygenic living conditions.

You must try to clean your cockatiel’s cage at regular intervals and clean all the cage accessories once in a while to help prevent bacterial overgrowth.


Sometimes parasites are also responsible for causing dandruff in cockatiels.

Lice and mites are some common parasites that can lead to skin problems in our birds.

In such cases, make sure that your bird gets proper treatment under the guidance of a veterenarian.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reaction to certain objects often leads to dandruff in cockatiels.

Allergens such as dust, pollen, or even mold can ause the skin to become inflamed and produce excessive amounts of dandruff.

Moisture Imbalance

Many a times, excessive moisture even leads to dandruff in cockatiels. Such cases mostly results due to dirty or wet cage.

Furthermore, you must make sure that the cage of your cockatiel is not placed in a part of your house that is too warm or too cool.

How Do I Get Rid Of Cockatiel Dander?

There are a number of different ways to treatht dandruff in cockatiels, depending on the underlying cause.

Just by keeping these simple tips in mind, you can help your cockatiel get rid of his dandruff and live a healthy and happy life.

Feed Your Bird With Adequate Fruit & Veggies

In most cases, diet in the root cause of dandruff in cockatiels.

In the same is the case with your birds, you need to keep a check on your bird’s diet to clear up the dandruff.

A change in diet could mean adding more fresh fruits and veggies to your bird’s diet or switching to high-quality pellet diet.

If you need personalised guidance relating to your cockatiel’s diet, the best option would be to take your bird to a vet as soon as possible.

Keep Your Cockatiel’s Cage Clean

If your cockatiel has bacterial overgrowth, you will need to clean its cage and change the bedding regularly to help get rid of the bacteria.

It would help if you also bathed your bird once in a while to keep them clean and bacteria-free.

Reduce All Possible Exposure To Allergens

If your cockatiel is allergic to something in his environment, you may need to take steps to remove that allergen from his surroundings.

This could mean changing your home decor, cleaning products, or even the type of bedding you use.

In most cases, a combination of treatments will be necessary to get rid of cockatiel dandruff.


If your cockatiel is suffering from a a fungal infection, it will need to be treated with an antifungal medication.

Suppose the dandruff is caused by bacterial or fungal overgrowth.

In that case, your veterinarian may prescribe an antifungal or antibacterial medication to clear it up.

How Do You Treat Dry Skin On Cockatiels?

A vet can run tests, perform a diagnosis, and provide prescription medication.

You will need a cockatiel-savvy vet, familiar with these animals. Not all vets understand the complexities of cockatiel care. They may inadvertently do more harm than good.

Before approaching a vet, you may wish to attempt home treatments. Pet stores stock anti-fungal spray, for example.

You’ll also find creams for fungal infections. Just be aware that these remedies are not always effective and may prove to be hazardous.

Is Cockatiel Dander Harmful To Humans?

Your cockatiel’s dander might cause allergic reaction to you.

It is basically the dead skin cells which the bird shed on a regular interval. It is one of the root allergen triggering allergies in human beings.

Most warm-blooded animals including cockatiel’s regardless of their breed, size or feather-type is going to produce dander which will spread in the surrounding eventually leading to allergies. These allergies are mostly the result of protein from the dander itself.

Final Thoughts

Many causes can lead to dandruff in cockatiels, so it’s essential to identify the root cause and address it accordingly.

If you’re not sure what’s causing your cockatiel’s dandruff, your veterinarian can help perform tests to determine the cause and recommend the best treatment.

Treatment may vary depending on the cause, but a combination of treatments is usually necessary for optimal results.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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