Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tibby Tuesday: Molting Season

Floor covered in feathersQuiet time during naps Hours worth of eating and preeningStaying up late.  That can only mean one thing: it's molting season for Mr. Tibbs!

Here is Cockatielcottage.net's description of molting:
"Molting is the shedding (replacement) of old feathers with the simultaneous growth of new ones.   ...After the first molt, healthy cockatiels have a normal molt 2-3 times each year.  It takes 7 to 10 days for a new feather to begin emerging after one was shed then an additional 6 to 8 weeks for the feather to grow in completely.  ...When molting, birds will be less active, napping more often, and they will be cranky."
While feathers in his cage and the floor were our only worries, this year, Mr. Tibbs has not been his normal self.  Here are some differences:

Nap activities:
Off season - Playtime while Brian and I are trying to sleep.
Molting season - After spending the majority of the morning eating and preening, he takes a big ol' nap with us.  We have had probably about 2 months worth of awesome naps because he takes one with us!

Off season - Will play anytime.
Molting season - Will only play if you bring his bell.  Other times, he will hiss if you interrupt his preening time.

Welcome home:
Off season - Will whistle 5-10 minutes before I get home and rush out the cage to greet me with a kiss.
Molting season - Stays quiet and will stay in the cage when I get home from work.

Off season - Goes to bed between 8 - 9pm.
Molting season - Goes to bed between 930 - 1130pm. 

All this stuff came to mind after Sunday when he stayed up super late.  On Sunday, Brian and I did our usual routines: church, nap and cook dinner.  Mr. Tibbs took a nap with us, and while we cooked, he spend the majority of his time playing with his toys and preening.  We talked with my sister on Skype and ate a little late.  When we came upstairs, it was 10pm.  By this time, Mr. Tibbs is usually in bed.  Mr. Tibbs wasn't even yawning!  He remained active and played some more while I finished cleaning the room.  By1122pm, he finally was ready for bed:

Tibby: "I do what I want!"
Now that we know the reason behind his wanting to stay up late to play, eat and preen; we have to do the following to make his molting season a good one:

Tips by Cockatielcottage.net:
  1. "Your bird will appreciate bathing or water misting baths to help soften and loosen the hard keratin coating on new feathers." Mr. Tibbs looooves these, so I will do this early in the day so he doesn't get sick.
  2. "Birds will also appreciate some gentle scratches...because they are unable to reach these areas to preen off keratin." Mr. Tibbs only allows me to be his perch, not his back scratcher, so I can't use this tip.
  3. "Molting is a stressful time for your bird and stress can impair the immune system, making it easier for your bird to get sick.  Serve nutritious foods that are high in Vitamin A, calcium and protein." I may have to mix these items in his seeds since he is a picky eater.
I will try some of these tips tonight to see if it makes Mr. Tibbs feel better (and also making him go to bed early)!


  1. Mishka is a lot like Mr Tibbs - she loves staying up late and takes the moult pretty hard, too, but won't let us scratch her. We persuade her to eat the good stuff by making chop for parrots and sprinkling it with a tiny bit of seed - never had her reject it!

    Mr Tibbs with his bell is just too cute! Hope is moult is over soon.

    1. I hope so too and thanks! I think I may do that for Mr. Tibbs. If that doesn't work, I have to do the "monkey see, monkey do" method to get him to eat the new food. It's hard teaching an 11 year old bird that scratchies and good food will make him feel better.

      Sometimes I think Mr. Tibbs loves molting because he knows we have to vacuum and he gets to whistle to the sound of it, lol.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover