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Dark Edges On Her Feathers?

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3 replies to this topic

#1 stephybean



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Posted 29 May 2014 - 05:29 PM

I have a female quaker parrot approx 6 years old. Over the last few months her feathers have been going from bright green to more dark on the ends. She is molting a little bit but her feathers never looked like this. Is this because of her diet or should I be getting blood work done? I can come back in a bit with a photo. She is pretty picky when it comes to fruit and veggies as lots of quakers are. She only likes cucumbers and apples and sometimes zucchini or lettuce raw. I have given her a bird mix that has cooked lugumes, peppers, whole wheat pasta and brown rice and millet. She gets your standard seed mix that has sunflower seeds and dried fruits and seeds that I mix with a no sunflower seed mix and harrisons but she refuses to eat the harrisons.

I feel terrible and I feel like I am lacking in her daily dietary needs and would love to see her feathers brighten up. She's my baby and I am bonded with her very closely. What should I try adding or omitting? How can I get her to eat more fruits and veggies when they are offered?

She's healthy otherwise and I have never had any health problems with her. She is a good weight but I am worried. Any help/advice would be appreciated before I call to make an appointment. thanks so much!

#2 easttex


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Posted 30 May 2014 - 02:09 PM

I'm new to this board myself, so you can take me with a grain of salt smile.png, but I know you're probably feeling pretty anxious, so I will take a stab at it.  Hopefully, someone with more Quaker experience will have better information for you.  From your description, the dark areas are on the very ends of the feathers, and are not stress bars.  They would be bands of different color, perpendicular to the feather shaft.  You can google stress bars to make sure that's not it.  I know that a vitamin A deficiency will sometimes show as poor feather condition, but it is not the primary symptom.  I would just get her in to a vet so you can get to the bottom of it.  A good avian vet can also suggest ways to improve her diet. 


My best advice on getting her to take more veggies is to be persistent.  I've had a veggie-averse African grey for over five years and am just starting to see some breakthroughs on some items now.  She'll refuse and refuse and refuse, and one day decide to try it.  It sometimes helps if they can see you eating some and really enjoying it, too.   

#3 Siobhan


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Posted 30 May 2014 - 02:37 PM

If she won't eat Harrison's, try giving her Zupreem fruity pellets. They're all different colors and Harrison's are all a uniform beige/tan. Mine won't touch plain colored pellets. Take away the seed mix a little at a time over a couple of weeks until all she has is pellets, too. Seeds should be an occasional treat, not a mainstay of the diet. Quakers are prone to fatty liver disease and feather condition is often the first sign that something's awry with the diet.

#4 msdani1981


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Posted 30 May 2014 - 04:44 PM

I would cut out the sunflower seeds completely, or only give them as a very occasional treat.  Sunflower and safflower seeds are both very high in fat, and aren't good for parrots, particularly those prone to Fatty Liver Disease and fatty tumors (Quakers and Budgies).


A trip to the vet really couldn't hurt, for your piece of mind.


Good luck!

Oh, and welcome to the forum! :)