Why Is My Cockatiel’s Feather Falling Out? (+How To Cure It)

Hey there, fellow bird enthusiasts and concerned pet parents!

If you’ve found yourself here, chances are you’re experiencing the feather conundrum that many cockatiel owners have faced: the puzzling phenomenon of feathers falling out.

Fret not, because in this feather-focused article, we’re going to delve into the world of our beloved feathered friends and uncover the reasons behind those unexpected feather mishaps.

Cockatiel feathers falling out can stem from molting, stress, diet, parasites, or disease. Molting is a natural process, while stress, inadequate nutrition, or health issues can trigger abnormal feather loss. A vet visit can pinpoint the cause and guide treatment.

Whether your cockatiel is channeling its inner molt or there might be an underlying issue at play, we’ve got you covered with some feather-saving insights and tips on how to bring back that fluff-tastic charm.

So, grab a perch, make yourself comfortable, and let’s feather our way into understanding why those little plumes might be taking an unexpected skydive – and what we can do about it!

Is It Normal For Cockatiels To Lose Feathers?

It’s perfectly normal for cockatiels to lose feathers due to a natural process called molting.

Molting is like a bird’s version of renewing their wardrobe – old feathers fall out, making way for new ones.

This helps them maintain optimal feather health and functionality.

Molting usually happens a couple of times a year and is essential for your cockatiel’s overall well-being.

However, if you notice an excessive amount of feather loss, bald patches, or other signs of distress, it’s important to investigate further, as it could indicate stress, health issues, or inadequate care.

Always keep an eye on your feathered friend’s plumage and behavior to ensure their feathers stay as vibrant as their personality!

Recommended Reading:

Reasons Feathers Are Falling Out

Here are some common reasons why feathers might be falling out from your cockatiel:


Molting is a natural process where old feathers shed and new ones grow in.

It helps your cockatiel maintain healthy plumage.

During this phase, it’s normal to see feathers falling out.


Stress can trigger excessive feather loss.

Changes in environment, loud noises, or disruptions in routine can stress your bird.

Providing a calm, stable atmosphere and minimizing stressors is crucial.


A poor diet lacking essential nutrients can lead to feather problems.

Feather growth relies on a balanced diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Consult a vet to ensure your cockatiel’s diet is optimal.


External parasites like mites and lice can cause feather loss.

Regularly inspect your bird for any signs of these pests, like itchiness or tiny insects, and consult a vet for proper treatment.

Illness or Disease

Feather loss can be a symptom of underlying health issues such as infections, metabolic disorders, or hormonal imbalances.

A vet’s evaluation is crucial to identify and treat the underlying problem.


Behavioral issues, like excessive preening or plucking, can cause feather loss.

Loneliness, boredom, or anxiety might drive your cockatiel to over-groom.

Identifying and addressing the root cause is important.


Physical injuries, like bumping into objects or getting caught in cages, can lead to feather loss.

Be sure your cockatiel’s environment is safe and bird-proofed.


Allergies to certain foods, cleaning products, or environmental factors can manifest as feather loss.

Monitor your bird’s reactions and make necessary adjustments to their surroundings.

Cage Mate Interactions

Aggressive behavior from cage mates can result in feather loss.

Ensure a harmonious environment if you have multiple birds sharing a cage.

Also Read: Why Do Cockatiels Attack Each Other? (+How To Stop Them)

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal shifts, especially during breeding season, can cause some feather loss.

Providing distractions and maintaining a consistent light cycle might help manage this.

Why Is My Cockatiel Losing Feathers On His Head?

If you’ve noticed that your cockatiel is losing feathers on its head, there could be a couple of explanations to consider.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that molting is a normal and natural process for birds like cockatiels.

During molting, old feathers are shed to make way for new ones, ensuring that the plumage stays healthy and vibrant.

This can include the feathers on the head, which might be affected as part of this natural renewal.

Additionally, hormonal changes can play a role in feather loss on the head.

Cockatiels, like many birds, go through hormonal shifts, particularly during breeding seasons.

These hormonal changes can sometimes lead to changes in feather growth and loss, including on the head.

It’s essential to provide a stable and comfortable environment for your bird, especially during these times of hormonal fluctuation.

While some feather loss on the head can be attributed to these normal processes, it’s also important to monitor your cockatiel’s behavior, overall health, and the extent of feather loss.

If you’re concerned about excessive or sudden feather loss, or if your bird shows signs of distress, consulting with a veterinarian who specializes in avian care can provide valuable insights and guidance.

Cockatiel Feather Loss Under Wings

Noticing feather loss under your cockatiel’s wings can raise questions about its well-being.

However, it’s crucial to approach the situation with a comprehensive perspective.

This feather loss can stem from various factors, each with its own implications.

The natural process of molting, where old feathers are replaced with new ones, can affect the feathers under the wings.

Excessive preening, a common behavior among cockatiels, could also lead to unintended feather loss.

Skin irritation, infections, or allergies might be culprits, especially if the bird is scratching the area frequently.

External parasites like mites might target the underwing area, causing feather loss.

Malnutrition is another consideration, as feathers require specific nutrients for proper growth.

Stress, triggered by changes in the environment or loneliness, could result in feather-plucking behavior.

Underwing feather loss might also signal broader health issues, such as infections or metabolic disorders.

Observing interactions between cage mates is vital, as aggression or over-preening could contribute to the problem.

To address this concern effectively, a comprehensive evaluation of the cockatiel’s health, behavior, and living conditions is advised.

If uncertainty persists, seeking guidance from an avian veterinarian is recommended for accurate diagnosis and appropriate solutions that prioritize your feathered companion’s health and happiness.

Cockatiel Tail Feathers Falling Out

If you’ve noticed your cockatiel experiencing tail feather loss, there’s no need to worry immediately, as there are a variety of potential reasons behind this occurrence.

Tail feather loss can be attributed to factors like natural molting, during which old feathers are shed to make way for new ones, tail feathers included.

Excessive preening, although a common grooming behavior among cockatiels, can lead to feather damage and loss if taken to extremes.

Ensuring your bird’s diet is well-balanced is essential, as nutritional deficiencies can weaken feathers, making them more prone to falling out.

Stress and anxiety are also possible culprits; changes in the environment or disturbances can prompt feather-plucking behavior.

External parasites such as mites can irritate the tail feathers, causing them to fall out, while infections or allergies might lead your bird to pull feathers to alleviate discomfort.

Tail feather loss could also result from physical trauma due to accidents.

If you suspect health issues, consulting an avian veterinarian is advisable for a thorough evaluation.

Maintaining a balanced diet, providing mental stimulation, and minimizing stress factors are key to addressing tail feather loss and ensuring your cockatiel’s feather health and overall well-being.

Cockatiels Losing Feathers On Chest

If you’ve noticed feather loss on your cockatiel’s chest, it’s important to explore the potential causes behind this phenomenon and take appropriate measures.

Feather loss in this region can provide valuable insights into your bird’s overall well-being and needs.

Firstly, natural molting is a common occurrence where old feathers are naturally shed and replaced by new ones.

This process affects various parts of a bird’s body, including the chest. If you observe new feathers growing in amidst the loss, molting is likely the underlying cause.

However, feather loss on the chest could also be due to behaviors like over-preening or self-mutilation.

While cockatiels are known for their meticulous grooming, excessive preening or pecking at their feathers could lead to their removal.

This might be prompted by factors such as boredom, stress, or discomfort.

It’s also essential to consider the bird’s environment.

Cage setup, including perch type and placement, can influence feather health.

Rough or inappropriate perches might contribute to feather damage, especially on the chest where birds often rest.

Cockatiels Losing Feathers Around Eyes

Discovering feather loss around your cockatiel’s eyes might raise concerns, but understanding the potential causes can provide insights into the situation.

One common explanation is natural molting – a regular process where old feathers are replaced by new ones.

Feather loss around the eyes could be part of this cycle, especially if you notice signs of new feather growth in the area.

However, it’s crucial to consider the possibility of over-preening.

Cockatiels are meticulous groomers, and excessive preening can lead to feather damage and loss.

If your bird is focusing intensely on the feathers around its eyes, it might unknowingly contribute to the issue.

It’s also worth noting that external factors like allergies, irritants, or even cage setup could play a role.

If your cockatiel’s eyes seem red or irritated, it might be reacting to something in its environment.

How Do You Treat Feather Loss In Cockatiels?

Dealing with feather loss in cockatiels requires a thorough understanding of the underlying causes and a multi-faceted approach to address the issue effectively.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through the process:

Identify the Cause

Before proceeding with any treatment, it’s essential to determine why your cockatiel is experiencing feather loss.

Causes could range from molting and natural behavior to health issues or stress.

Observe your bird’s behavior, environment, and overall health to pinpoint the root cause.

Consult a Veterinarian

If you’re unsure about the cause or if the feather loss is extensive, seek advice from an avian veterinarian.

They can perform a thorough examination, diagnose any underlying health issues, and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Diet Improvement

Ensure your cockatiel’s diet is well-balanced and provides essential nutrients.

High-quality pellet mixes, fresh vegetables, fruits, and occasional protein sources can contribute to healthier feather growth.

Stress Reduction

Minimize stress factors in your bird’s environment.

Maintain a consistent routine, provide mental stimulation through toys and activities, and offer social interaction to alleviate boredom and anxiety.

Environmental Enrichment

Provide a stimulating and enriching living space for your cockatiel.

Offer various perches, toys, and interactive elements to keep your bird engaged and prevent excessive preening.

Address Skin Issues

If skin irritation or allergies are contributing to the feather loss, consult your veterinarian for proper treatment.

They might recommend topical solutions or dietary adjustments to address these concerns.

Parasite Treatment

If external parasites like mites are causing feather loss, your vet will guide you through proper treatment methods to eliminate the parasites and prevent their return.

Behavioral Modification

If over-preening or self-mutilation is the issue, behavioral modification techniques might be necessary.

Consult your vet for strategies to discourage these behaviors and create a more comfortable environment.

Health Management

If health conditions underlie the feather loss, your veterinarian will recommend appropriate medical interventions, which might include medications, supplements, or specialized care.

Regular Check-ups

After initiating treatment, schedule regular follow-up appointments with your avian veterinarian to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.

Recommended Reading:

Related Queries:

Cockatiel Feather Not Growing Back

Discovering that your cockatiel’s feathers aren’t growing back can be concerning.

While feathers naturally regrow after molting, there are instances where this process might be hindered.

Here’s a closer look at potential reasons and steps to take:

  • Underlying Health Issues: If your cockatiel’s feathers aren’t regrowing, it could be linked to an underlying health problem. Conditions like hormonal imbalances, infections, or nutritional deficiencies might impede feather growth.
  • Chronic Stress: Persistent stress can disrupt the regrowth of feathers. Cockatiels exposed to ongoing stressors, such as noise or cage placement, may struggle with feather regeneration.
  • Over-Preening or Plucking: If your bird is excessively preening or plucking its feathers, this behavior can prevent new feather growth. Addressing the underlying cause, whether it’s boredom or discomfort, is crucial.
  • Skin Issues: Skin problems, like infections or allergies, can affect feather growth. These issues might need medical attention to clear up and allow feathers to grow normally.
  • Age: Older cockatiels might experience slower feather regrowth due to age-related factors. However, if the issue is sudden or severe, age alone might not explain the problem.
  • Inadequate Diet: Proper feather growth requires a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients. A lack of vital vitamins and minerals could lead to impaired regrowth.

To address the situation, start by consulting an avian veterinarian.

They can perform a thorough examination to identify the underlying cause.

Treatment might involve addressing health issues, providing a more enriching environment, adjusting the diet, or employing behavior modification techniques.

Why Is My Cockatiel Eating His Feathers?

Discovering that your cockatiel is eating its own feathers can be puzzling and concerning.

This behavior, known as feather-plucking or feather-eating, can have various underlying causes.

Let’s delve into possible reasons and how to address this issue:

  • Stress and Anxiety: Cockatiels are sensitive creatures, and stressors such as changes in routine, loud noises, or lack of mental stimulation can trigger feather-eating as a coping mechanism.
  • Boredom and Lack of Stimulation: Birds need mental engagement and physical activity. In the absence of these, they might resort to destructive behaviors like feather-eating to fill the void.
  • Health Issues: Underlying medical problems, such as skin infections, parasites, or hormonal imbalances, can lead to discomfort, prompting your cockatiel to try to alleviate it by eating its feathers.
  • Dietary Deficiencies: A lack of essential nutrients, especially protein, vitamins, and minerals, in your bird’s diet can result in feather-eating. Feathers are composed of protein, and if your cockatiel’s diet is deficient, it might seek alternate sources.
  • Social Isolation: Loneliness or lack of social interaction can contribute to feather-eating. Cockatiels are flock animals, and a solitary bird might engage in self-destructive behaviors.
  • Learned Behavior: In some cases, feather-eating might begin as a curious or exploratory behavior and then become a habit.

Feather-eating can be complex, and a tailored approach is essential.

Be patient and persistent, and with appropriate care, your cockatiel can overcome this behavior and enjoy a happier, healthier life.

Read More To Find Out: Why Do Cockatiels Eat Their Feathers? (Cockatiel’s Feather-Plucking Problem)


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.

Recent Posts