My Budgie is Plucking and I Don’t Know Why?

My Budgie is Plucking and I Don’t Know Why?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Mary W. relates:


One of my budgies (male 2 years old) got a crop infection late Jan.
He was plucking at his abdomen.
The vet put him on antibiotics and had to keep him at the vet clinic for a week as my brother had a heart attack & died and the friend that I had taking care of my birds could not catch him (fully flighted) to give him meds.
When I got back 10 days later and picked up my guy from the vet-all of his chest feathers were gone!
I figured that once I got him back to his flock he would be ok.

Unfortunately, he is still pulling out his feathers and he doesn’t stray too far from any of his flock.
I have a Loro Avian adventure cage 24″L X 30″ wide X 72″ tall.
I have 3 “floors” that they can fly to with rope, pacific beach perches and wood perches with corner perches at the bottom & top and toys on each level (10 or more).
They get a mix of parakeet & finch food (like the mix you have on your video)
I top it with the dried greens (Higgins) & oat groats.
I give them a mixed vegetable medley with Arugula on the side and 3 times a week a mashed up hard-boiled egg.


I have a separate dish with Clay Cal in it-I have seen my bare-chested budgie take a few “sand baths” in it.
I checked your list and recently got floor lights to shine on the cage with full spectrum daylight bulbs.
How far away should the lights be?
The only thing that I missed on the checklist from your website was a humidifier (I probably don’t need it in the summertime).
I tried an aloe spritz (big mistake!) and he definitely did not like that-he pulled out feathers on his legs.
I don’t have a cage cover but darken the room & turn on an avian moonlight for them.
I have only had the full spectrum lights on him for a week (12-hour cycle).
I have read that Palm oil might help?
The vet gave me Haloperidol for him but after seeing him drugged up trying to get from one perch to another I decided that was not the answer.
I don’t use any scented candles or cleaners.
I don’t smoke.
I have an air purifier in each room.
I would appreciate any advice that you can give.


Greetings Mary,


I’m sorry for the loss of your brother.

To answer your questions, light is most effective when it’s within 6 inches from the cage.


You don’t need a humidifier but budgies do like to bathe.

You can offer shallow bowls with water even adding lettuce for an adventuresome bath.


​The diet sounds excellent and believe it or not I have a favorite Arugula video.

Palm oil, Coconut oil, and vitamin E oil are all great for the feather health.


​I illustrate how to introduce oil in the video below.

We are critics of any psychoactive or hormonal drug use for parrots.

Find our annotated discussion with a world-renowned veterinarian on the subject of Haldol, here:


Is Using An Anti Psychotropic Drug A Good Feather Plucking Solution?​

At the risk of oversimplifying this problem, I’ll start with “got a crop infection late Jan.”

Birds crops are in the middle of their chests where the plucking is occurring.Perhaps there is still a lingering infection or some scarring that took place at the height of the contagion manifesting itself in pain.

I advocate that you introduce fine-grained charcoal.

If your bird is experiencing hyperacidity, the charcoal will help sweeten the stomach and crop.


​We are currently out of stock on Coconut Derived Activated Carbon for All Pet Birds

We’ll announce its arrival.

In the meantime don’t wait for us this could be a simple fix, who’s to say?

I found bird charcoal on this website

Please let us know if any of these ideas help.

​Stay safe.


Updated 7/20/20 ~ Thank you!
I ordered the charcoal.

I had some coconut oil which I melted and put on some nutriberries for my flock.

All of my budgies seem to have more energy.

Am looking forward to getting the charcoal!
Will keep you updated.

Update July 30, 2020
Hi Mitch,
I put a dish of charcoal in the cage and have been sprinkling some charcoal on the food.
A couple of times a week I also started giving a nutriberry with coconut oil.
I have also been sprinkling prime vitamin powder on the food.
Plus I have full-spectrum lights on the cage.
And I added a few more toys for him to preen (besides his female cage buddy).
I think his skin looks better than when I wrote you then it looked raw & irritated.
Bandit also has 3 random small feathers on his chest.
I am not sure how long it takes to grow a feather or in the case of my bare-chested boy-a a lot of feathers.??
If there are any additional nutrients I should add let me know.
Loved the arugula clip!
Sounds good but to clarify,

The charcoal needn’t be added to food, it should be isolated in its own dish.

Much like canaries in coal mines, when birds choose to eat the charcoal, that’s a signal of potential illness.

Budgies much like cockatiels grow feathers back quickly as in 30 – 60 days.

As a comparison, Quakers and Sengals molt out and replace feathers in no less than 6 months

You are doing everything fine, now it’s time to sit back, enjoy and socialize with the budgies.

Updated July 31, 2020.
He seems to enjoy the dish with the Clay Cal & extra charcoal for dust baths not ingesting.
That’s why I sprinkled a little on the food.
Mitch Rezman

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