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New Budgie With Some Tail Feathers Missing

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I got baby budgie number 9 yesterday and I'm now concerned that he has french moult and possibly red mite :-(


His tail is slightly shorter, with the two primary tail feathers missing. Before I bought him I had a good look and thought I could see stubs of new feathers. I also looked over his body and wings for mites etc and he was clean.


I previously got a budgie in the similar condition, as tail feathers can get pulled out by other youngsters. The tail feathers in this case regrew quickly.


Now I've had a look at him again with much better light and what I thought were stubs appears to be broken feather shafts and there is some red/brown discolouration along the shafts of the remaining tail feathers. This could be dried blood from broken feathers, but I'm not sure as I haven't had mites on any of my birds before.


With french moult, do the feathers break off or fall out completely? Also do mites congregate along the feather shafts only?


I'm going to treat him with S76 anyway as part of my usual new bird routine. He's also in quarantine so if he has something, the other birds are okay.

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When a new growing feather breaks, it bleeds, so you would definitely be seeing blood. Red mites don't live on birds, it won't be those. They live in dark cracks and come out at night to feed on birds. Feather mites do live in the quills. I think they require a microscope or magnifying glass to see them. I had a similar question a long time back, and I think somebody posted a photo. I can try to look for that.


I think with French molt, the feathers fall out completely, and don't grow back. So I kind of think that with the feathers breaking off, it's a different problem. But I'll have to see if that was mentioned in my old thread when I find it.


It sounds like your usual new bird routine is going to save you a lot of worry! :)


Hey, so are the photos of the new guy?


Edit- added this part later:


I found the photos. They weren't in my thread, but there was a link to the FAQs article that had them. And apparently I am wrong, the feather mites live in the barbs of the feathers. Maybe it was Quill mites that live in the quills.



Edited by Finnie

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Thanks Finnie that's really helpful. When he's settled in, I'll take him to the vet for a wellness check and to get his tail feathers checked out. He's certainly lively and appears quite well, it's just his tail. It's not the end of the world if he does have French moult as I'm not breeding my birds. I'll post a picture of him in the budgie pics section.

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