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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I haven't been around in a while. I tried to upload a video the other day but it's the wrong filetype so I'm not sure what to do with that.

Anyway our birdies are about 5 and a half months old now and I think they've been moulting the last few weeks. I expected them to look half bald but they look just the same, only we started finding little down feathers everywhere. Then it turned to bigger feathers and now we've been finding some of the really big (wing/tail?) feathers. Harley seems fine but Rosie (definitely should be called Rosco as we're 99.9% certain he's actually a boy now) has got a bald patch on the back of his head. We thought maybe Harley was pecking at him and pulling out his feathers as they fight sometimes but that doesn't seem to be the case and the loss of feathers has spread down one cheek so you can see his ear hole.

I've read that this can also be a genetic thing with pearls but is the baldness normally only restricted to the top of the head or can it be on the cheek as well? I've been keeping an eye on it and I *think* I can see what you call pin feathers coming through on the bald patch but I'm not too sure.

Here are some pics (sorry they're not very clear - the birds have a mind of their own and are impossible to keep still for long enough!)
 

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Being that you've noticed other feathers and that he is going through a molt.. it could very well be just that. You would think they wouldn't have too many more feathers on their bodies based on what you find in the bottom of the cage. lol Someone else might have further advice/suggestions for you in regards to what they think it is.
 

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It looks like he might be molting , My moms bird Ezekiel just started molting an my birds are starting to lose their flights so it might be that time of year again . I would keep an eye on it tho and watch for redness or dry flakey skin that could be a sign of something more sinsiter
 

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to be honest it reminds me when angel was attacked by a rat. she had bald spot on her head where the rat pulled some feathers out not trying to scare you about rats just saying what it reminds me of. she could be just molting sparkles has lost a lot of feathers on her chest from molting so this could be the same thing. oh just to let everyone know rat is dead it was a wild rat
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone, I'm not sure what happened with the duplicate post. I've read all responses though. They really don't seem to be plucking eachother enough for Rosie (Rosco) to be missing as many feathers as he is but then again, we're not with them all the time...and it can't be a rat because we have them indoors in an apartment.

There also doesn't appear to be any flacky skin and it's not really red, just the usual pinky-flesh colour. So I'm not sure really what it could be other than moulting. He seems normal otherwise so I'll keep an eye on it and if it gets worse or doesn't go away we'll pay a visit to the vet.
 

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When my Cockatiels molt, they don’t lose feathers behind their crest (there are pin feathers on Rosie’s bald spot) I do see new pin feathers coming through on my Cockatiels cheeks when they molt as well, but I don’t see them lose many feathers on their cheeks either.

I don’t think it is anything alarming, give it a few weeks and the bald spot should be feathered over. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, Solace. That makes me feela little better and less worried. There are definitely pin feathers on his head. It is strange that his cheeks look a bit bare because of all the feathers that we've had floating around, we haven't found any orange ones. I'll just continue to keep an eye on the little munchkin :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok so my boyfriend was watching the birds a couple of days ago and he says that Harley pulled out at least 3 of Rosie's (Rosco's) feathers. So maybe that is the problem, though the top of his head is almost completely bald now behind the crest. I think even some of the pin feathers have been pulled out. Does anybody have any suggestions (apart from separating the birds) to stop Harley from plucking Rosie's feathers? Poor little guy :(
 

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Plucking another bird can sometimes be a breeding behavior, so hormone reduction techniques might help. The long nights treatment (12-14 hours of uninterrupted darkness every night for at least a week) is usually the most effective, and other techniques are described at http://www.talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=2678
 

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I went through the same problem but mine have stopped now as i gave them the nest box
and my bald cookie has got his feathers back :)
 

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Along with it being a possible breeding behavior, it has also been mentioned in the past that plucking can be a result of a deficiency of salt in the diet. This was mentioned in a thread regarding parents plucking babies. But I wonder if it might help you as well. Try placing a piece of lightly buttered toast in their treat dish and see what they do with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I will try them with some celery though they're not very good at eating vegetables. Will maybe try the buttered toast too if they don't eat the celery.

In terms of breeding behaviour, what age do they normly start to display this? They're still young (about 5-6 months old) and I'm 99% sure they're brother and sister.
 

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That's old enough for them to be interested although birds that young shouldn't actually be allowed to breed. You should never let your birds breed because bad things tend to happen when siblings make babies. I have a brother-sister pair and have to work at preventing them from laying eggs.
 

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I have two that I just had to separate, brother and sister. They will be 5 months on the 10th and 12th. They were .. well.. trying to grow up rather quickly. lol :)
 
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