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**KAZ**

What Is Moulting ?

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Posted this topic so anyone wondering what moulting is all about....here are some examples.

 

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Moulting is a budgie replacing its feathers which it will do about 3-4 times a year. Its a time when you will see a lot of feathers about the aviary and cage. These photos show new feathers coming in. What you see as spiky looking heads on budgies is the new feather shafts with the sheath around the feather. Budgies also lose their tail feathers and flight feathers at this time. Its a time where they will be low on general energy, they may be cranky, and some budgies have a HARD MOULT and can get quite ill due to not eating well at this time. These are times where you budgie needs the best of vitamins and food. There are supplements for moulting like MOULTING AID. If your budgie goes through a hard moult and looks to be ill or very depressed pay very close attention at this time. SOME budgies have been known to get so ill during a hard moult that they dont eat and they get sick and a small number of them can die at this time. If you notice your budgie looking sick during its moult, put it in a hospital cage for awhile with a warm lamp and spoil it rotten. Budgie will moult at other times and it can happen with a change in its diet.....if you suddenly chnage its seed type or drastically chnage the food you are feeding it, a budgie will go into a moult. Do not breed a budgie while its moulting as its a time when it is at a low ebb and needs all its energy for feather replacement and breeding is a stressfult time as well. Keep some white pepper on hand in your medical kit as during this time a budgie can break a newly emerging blood feather ( causing bleeding ) and white pepper is one of the best things to apply to stop bleeding.

 

:fear added to faq's under Budgie Health

Edited by Elly

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Some of those look painfull

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Great Idea Kaz ...

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Yes I agree Kaz great idea, some of those birds look like they are going through a hard time.

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Great Photos Kaz! :fear

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DSCF3156.jpg

 

WHOA! I've never seen anything like this bird before! Why does it have throat spots on its head?

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DSCF3156.jpg

 

WHOA! I've never seen anything like this bird before! Why does it have throat spots on its head?

He is an opaline with heavy flecking :blink:

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Wow... would be very interested to see what he looks like when not trying to sprout a whole new fringe lol

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Wow... would be very interested to see what he looks like when not trying to sprout a whole new fringe lol

Here he is.................. :blink:

 

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Wow... would be very interested to see what he looks like when not trying to sprout a whole new fringe lol

Here he is.................. :)

 

Gosh I'm glad he pulled through O.K. poor little sweetie, that looked really painful :blink:

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Aw he's lovely. What a transformation!

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An Article by Gerald Binks

 

This month, I thought I would talk about a rarely discussed natural process, namely moulting. We all know it happens and certainly we know it is a continual fight to keep our aviaries in a well presented polished appearance without feather dust . Difficult.

 

 

The process of moulting is affected by a number of factors. The health of the feathers is dependant upon the quality of the diet and the environment in which our birds live. Feathers are constructed from keratin, a protein derived from the essential amino acid group. Vitamin A, niacin, pantothenic acid and iodine, as well as others, are essential for the health of the feathers. Moulting depends on age,sex, the time of year and, as mentioned, the environment. French Moult is a viral or perhaps a nutritional problem but the author has yet to be convinced about which is correct.

 

I am in contact with Dr Robert Marshall , certainly one of the World`s finest Avian Veterinarians. Dr Marshall has a quality publication called “Budgerigar Medicine” which is highly informative. He records , bearing in mind what facts are written above, that seed is deficient in Vitamin A & D, vitamin E (the fertility vitamin) , niacin and ,yes, pantothenic acid ! And some breeders still insist on trying to breed budgerigars on seed and water alone, plus you can throw in the “no grit brigade”.

 

The quicker the moult is completed the better. It is a stress period for birds and especially to young babies at three months of age when their first major appearance changing moult takes place.I have always found this natural process amazing. How does nature effect such a radical alteration in a bird? In our case it is from a barhead to an exhibition, clear headed bird, with spots that appear totally different from their 6 week appearance.

 

 

 

When I was in my early days, we had what was accepted as the “annual moult” In the northern hemisphere this took place in October. Today our birds appear to moult at any time at all,usually when we don`t want them to.It has to be an environmental factor, although we feed our birds far better today than earlier.It takes about eight to twelve weeks in ideal conditions ,with extra protein being available, for our aviary birds to complete their moult. Far longer than I thought. No wonder the hoover never stops.

 

 

 

According To Dr Marshall, quality exhibition birds take two years to mature. That doesn`t surprise me . I have said over the past 10-15 years that our big birds take at least 18 months to develop and possibly 24 months. Question? Do we therefore pair our birds too soon, or, as some say today, hens are ready to breed at 8 months? (cocks @7 months). I am divided on the subject although I am not advocating you wait for 24 months. They pass on before that, in some cases in case you haven`t noticed.

 

 

I have left the matter of feather dusters (chrysanthemums down under) to the last. They are a form of “mongolism” to use an outdated term where the bird is double the size of a normal one ,is certainly odd in behaviour and its feathers continue to grow indefinitely.Such birds are usually culled very quickly. Interestingly F.D`s are totally different in Australia to those above the equator. Certainly both types appeared in the same decade which begs the question was the MUTATION caused by an external dose of ,say, radiation ? This was my Father`s Specialist subject career before he died in 1990 and certainly he agreed it was feasible. Where the sources of radiation came from is speculation, but nuclear tests have to be considered.

 

 

 

Conclusion:

 

I have just received an e-mail from Didier Mervilde, in Belgium. He has read an article emanating from the University of Ghent which claims French Moult has it`s origins in a virus called “polyomavirus”, their wording. I know they are adamant that a virus is the certain cause but I feel there are questions relative to nutrition which can ,if wrong, predispose chicks to this feather problem.

 

 

Thank you Gerald Blinks the Author of "The Challenge"

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Isn't Gerald Binks amazing?! I love the way he writes, it's so chatty and informative.

 

Thank you Kaz for posting the article. :)

 

By the way, wasn't someone transcribing his original articles posted to you what now seems an age ago?????? :)

 

Or is this one the first of many? :(

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I still just cant get over that opalines head! OH my! I mean... OWCH!

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I still just cant get over that opalines head! OH my! I mean... OWCH!

 

Yes, that's why it is SOOOO important to LOOK AFTER your birds when they're going through a molt.

 

Extra protein in the form of soft food is a must and you can also supplement with Tracemin in the water which contains plenty of amino acids (it does virtually the same job as Moulting Aid).

 

For birds who are struggling, a nice quiet holding cage is a good idea; if it's a severe case like the Oplaine you could even try a bit of extra warmth with a heat lamp for the crucial period.

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Isn't Gerald Binks amazing?! I love the way he writes, it's so chatty and informative.Thank you Kaz for posting the article. :) By the way, wasn't someone transcribing his original articles posted to you what now seems an age ago?????? :) Or is this one the first of many? :(
I have been slack....the handwriting is hard to decipher so I keep putting it into the too hard basket :)
I still just cant get over that opalines head! OH my! I mean... OWCH!
Yes, that's why it is SOOOO important to LOOK AFTER your birds when they're going through a molt.Extra protein in the form of soft food is a must and you can also supplement with Tracemin in the water which contains plenty of amino acids (it does virtually the same job as Moulting Aid).For birds who are struggling, a nice quiet holding cage is a good idea; if it's a severe case like the Oplaine you could even try a bit of extra warmth with a heat lamp for the crucial period.
Thats exactly what I did with that budgie. He had a hospital cage with warm lamp for awhile and then into the kindie cage for a couple of weeks until he was better. He is now back in the aviary.

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I don't think I have read anything from Mr Binks before. very impressive!! I also like the way he writes. I will have to get one of his books :(

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yes I think I might try and get a copy of the challenge... I like his writting technique too...

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Do budgies have more vibrantly coloured feathers after they've undergone their first moult?

Edited by wei

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Do budgies have more vibrantly coloured feathers after they've undergone their first moult?

After their first moult definitely :rofl:

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Do budgies have more vibrantly coloured feathers after they've undergone their first moult?

 

good question... mine has just finished his second moult (still a little spikey though :D ) and the feathers around his beak are difinitely a darker yellow than they were when i got him, and even after his first moult. The rest of his head is still a paler yellow, but the lower part of his face is darker... looks like he's been smelling daisies!

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Your budgie sounds gorgeous! Mine has just started going into his first moult. He's really cranky all of the time and has spikes on his head. I'm really looking forward to seeing how he looks afterwards though!

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Your budgie sounds gorgeous! Mine has just started going into his first moult. He's really cranky all of the time and has spikes on his head. I'm really looking forward to seeing how he looks afterwards though!

 

They're always SO handsome after a moult!

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:blink:

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that opalines fringe looked bloody! painful...poor little guy, its harder for the larger show budgies, as they moult near twice as much feathers as a regular size budgie

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