How Hard is Molting For an African Grey?

How Hard is Molting For an African Grey?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Scott S. asks:


Hi – I actually have a birdie question.


We have a 2-year-old male Gray Cockatiel who has the worst case of “owie” feathers under his wings.


We can lift his wings and see a number of pin feathers that are causing some distress.


Question: what if anything can we do to help him out?


He’s fine otherwise, big beautiful boy and a best in class winner here in Florida last year.


Thank you in advance!


Best regards:



Dear Scott


Molting is a hard time for birds.


They need to be handled less during these times, allowed to rest and relax as much as possible so they can sit comfortably and wait it out.


You may want to keep him in his cage during this time if he will not mind. However if that bothers him more, let him out.


But try to avoid handling him other than letting him perch on you or your hands. Leave his wings alone.


Perhaps a warm shower or a bath would help.


How Much Do You Understand About the Molt?


Feather factoid: Africans greys can molt for up to 2 years (most molts last 3  -6 months for psittacines).


Not all birds molt heavily every time, every year, but some molts are heavier than others.


Our African Ringneck recently had a very heavy molt and he was unable to even fly more than a few feet before he tired out.


Just give him some time, a good diet, maybe some treats, fresh foods like scrambled eggs, oatmeal, etc.


Comfort foods.


This will pass and he will be back to normal.


Please let me know if I can help further.


Kindest regards,


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