Budgies can lose feathers for several reasons.
If your budgie has lost its tail feathers for whatever reason, you are probably wondering if the feathers will grow back and whether your bird can still fly.
So, Will Budgie Tail Feathers Grow Back? Can Budgies Fly Without Tail Feathers?
Yes! Your budgies’ tail feathers should grow back in time, and you can help by feeding the budgie plenty of proteins and minerals, particularly egg food. Like most birds, budgies go through an annual molt in which initial and tail feathers shed. When the tail feathers drop out, your budgie might not feel confident to fly, so you don’t need to work if he seems more perch-bound. A budgie that was used to fly around your living room regularly may opt for a quiet night, which is again very normal.
Tail feathers play a crucial role in controlling flight.
They offer lift, stability, control and are primarily used for steering and braking. But your budgie will still fly, although not as well as with the tail feathers.
Your budgie’s tail feathers should take several weeks to grow back, depending on why the bird lost its feathers.
Only in a few incidents will a bird not regrow its lost feathers and remain bald.
Why Is Your Budgie Losing Feathers?
Budgies lose feathers for several reasons, some of these include;
Most birds undergo mounting about once a year, but this varies particularly for birds kept indoors due to irregular light hours.
If feathers are nearly ready to molt and the budgie is stressed or frightened, feathers can fall out impulsively, leaving out bare patches before the new feathers can grow in.
In such a case, you should be patient and ensure your bird is on the right nutrition and minerals required to resolve the issue of feather loss.
If your budgie is stressed, it can develop destructive behavior where the bird starts to pluck off feathers that might or might not be ready to molt.
The stress can be caused by various factors such as
- facing intimidation from a dominant cage mate
- being lonely
- lack of exercise
- lack of playtime
- and sexual frustration.
Where your budgie lives could be a cause of feather plucking.
Certain factors that could cause feather plucking include the lack of humidity and natural light or an overcrowded or small cage.
Ideally, it is best to determine what is causing stress and adjust the environmental surroundings to minimize it.
Budgies, particularly, can bond with their owner and become stressed when their mate doesn’t want to nest, mate or lay eggs.
Parent birds can sometimes over-preen their youngsters, particularly if they are keen to lay other eggs.
Budgies can also over-preen their partners normally on the back of the head or neck. Separating the birds can solve the issue.
3. Bacteria and viruses
Bacteria and viruses can cause feather loss in some budgies.
Circovirus is one of the common causes of feather loss on the head and elsewhere on the wings and body. The same virus causes feather damage and ‘runner’ budgies in a range of other species.
Polyomavirus is another virus linked with feather loss. Skin yeasts and bacteria infections can also cause bare skin patches and feather damage to the budgie.
How To Deal With Feather Plucking
Feather plucking can worry and frustrate many bird owners. It is a major issue for budgies, but it’s challenging to treat due to its many varied causes.
The first thing you should do is establish if your bird is really displaying feather plucking and is not just molting, preening, or grooming.
Here are some essential budgie wellness needs that will help your birds’ feathers to grow back better and faster than ever.
1. Behavior training
This involves teaching your natural bird behaviors such as properly grooming its feathers, forage, and eating vegetables.
With most budgies becoming anxious and stressed for being lonely, you should try and give him new toys to play with and make more time to spend with him.
When feeding him, you should also try to change how you offer him food to make it more stimulating.
2. Healthy diet
Budgies have a high metabolism and, similar to other pets, require a healthy diet.
But have you ever known that pet birds require to be trained on what to eat?
There are many plants in the jungle, and parents have to direct their young ones on what to eat, which are safe and which are poisonous.
In this case, your budgie relies on you to provide rich and proper nutrition.
If you give your budgie a bowl of vegetables, you should also eat them in front of her to show and entice her to eat.
For faster feather regrowth, you should vary your budgies’ diet by giving them fewer seeds and more vegetables.
Related: Can Budgies Overeat?
3. Veterinarian treatment
If your budgie has patches of feather missing and seems like it’s chewing or plucking his feathers, this is abnormal and a major cause of concern.
Feather plucking can be a sign of a more serious illness or behavioral issue.
Either way, it is essential that you establish the cause and fix it.
If you are worried about the health of your bird, you should talk to your veterinarian about the best treatment.
How Long Does It Take For Budgies Feathers To Grow Back?
The time taken for the feathers to regrow varies depending on the primary cause of hair loss.
Your budgies’ feathers will normally grow back in about five to six weeks after the picking has stopped.
Normally, all it takes is to stop the picking by separating the cage to allow the budgies to heal naturally on their own.
When Won’t Your Budgies’ Feathers Not Grow Back?
Unfortunately, your budgies’ feathers do not always grow back normally and might even never come back.
Some viral and bacterial infections might cause permanent damage.
Also, other internal diseases such as kidney and liver illnesses can cause permanent feather loss.
A budgie that has feathers plucked for a long time might have caused a lot of damage to its feather follicles that they cannot support further feather regrowth.
It is hence recommendable for caretakers to address feather plucking early.
To ensure the best chance for the regrowth of feathers, it is always a perfect idea to have pet birds with feather loss assessed by a veterinarian as soon as the issue is noticed.
The vet can check for a broad range of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections that might be behind your bird’s plucking habit.
While there are different causes of feather loss, only some of these reviewed issues are treatable; early intervention will offer the best chance to resolve the issue.
As you can see, there are several causes of feather losses, including tail feathers.
Proper bird husbandry practices will help in curbing feather loss.
By taking care of your budgie’s wellness needs, you enhance the likelihood that your budgie will avoid feather loss and maintain its beautiful feathers.
But in this case, you don’t have to worry because the tail feathers will grow back, and your budgie can still fly, although not very well.