Ive never kept English budgies but know that the lineage of these are the wild budgies that over many years, have been selectively been bred for larger size and more pronounced heads and they are totally budgie (just different). But just like the many domestics animals, that have been selectively bred, the physical characteristics that people like, may be tied to some physical issues that could be harmful. I'd be interested to know if people who keep English, have similar molting issues. Hope Pepe gets through his mold without problem. He's very handsome.
Originally Posted by alba
This is anecdotal obviously, but my Petrie who is 1/2 English budgie molts ALL THE TIME. And often has very bad head molts, where he looks very punk-rock (like someone gelled and spiked his "hair"). I have always wondered if it had something to do with the part English heritage , because my other budgies never molt that often.
As to not derail another thread, I thought I’d start a separate thread on this. I found it interesting, since I’ve observed different molting in different individual birds.
I’m not sure why some birds of the same species molt more heavily or more frequently than others. You can say it’s because of environmental factors; the conditions in everyone’s home is different, but that doesn’t explain why birds kept in the same house, in the same room, and perhaps even in the same cage, can be very different in their molting particulars. This leads me to believe it might be genetic; that there is just individual differences between birds.
Budgies molt a lot! Generally speaking, I’ve noticed that hookbill species classified as “parakeets” tend to molt more often than “parrots”. With the two standard budgies I’ve had, one of them especially, would have “miserable molts” with almost every molt, where large areas of his head would be covered in spikes (pinfeathers).
Now, with my two English Budgies; one of them, my male, tends to pretty much constantly molt. Not so badly that you can tell by looking at him, but you can tell by looking at the floor! I vacuum, and it’s back again same day! Just occasionally he’ll stop for a couple weeks, then the feather storm resumes! Messy little things .
Interesting subject I think. I have 11 birds, 8 are budgies, 2 of those are recent additions and have not gone through their first molt yet so too soon to tell on them so I'll comment on the other 6 budgies. My budgies are housed in flight cages 2 per cage and it seems that the cage mates molt together. Georgie and Louie do not molt too frequently, Peewee and Kiwi are what I would call middle of the road molters Kiwi a bit more severe than Peewee, and Patti and Perry molt quite a bit, Patti worse than Perry and she molts heavily and gets really down during that time and has gotten pretty sick a couple of times to the point where she had to be hospitalized. There is no blood relation between these birds so I find it interesting that as cage mates they seem to molt together. All the birds share the same space in the house just not the same cage.
My Linnies molt a bit but never anything like the budgies, same goes for my canary.
For Kowhai he goes through stages of molting every few months. Most of the time when he does his molts he has 4-5 days of just dropping feathers left and right. These mostly are from his head and skirt. His wing feathers are molted one at a time dropping at random. However I've noticed he's still not molted any tail feathers though during any of these molts. He's still got his first molt tail feathers!
I have budgies both exhibition and pet type, parrotlets, cockatiel, finches, bourkes parakeets, Amazon's, Patagonian conure and hahns macaw.
They all moult according to the seasons and will have little mini moulds throughout the year.
You might find those kept in a house where there is central heating and air conditioning will seem to be in constant moults because we are constantly changing the temperature and their bodies are trying to adjust to this. Ones kept in an aviary that get to live out during all seasons won't seem to moult as much as they will moult with the seasons.
Older birds might seem to have more moults as well as it takes them longer to complete a moult as they get older. Likewise with sick birds.
I have one poor old chap whose always moulting his head feathers and won't let anyone preen them so he looks like a hedgehog at all times.
Temperature, and amount of daylight probably are the most critical factors that control molting in pet budgies (although genetics also may have an effect as well). If our homes have varied temperatures controlled through heating/air conditioning and artificial lights in variable day/night cycles it's expected that some budgies could have several molts or at least partial molts a year. In the wild, budgies will typically molt related to temps & light cycles of the normal seasons.
I have two male budgies and a female canary.
They are both housed indoors. Their room has central heating though the radiator is set a little lower than the rest of the house. They are not covered at night, the blinds are always part opened and their room is closed at dusk, so they experience normal UK daylight hours.
The budgies seem to have an almost constant very mild moult, with the second bird starting dropping feathers a few days after the first and the odd week or fortnight break in between. I didn’t obtain these birds from the same place, but they were from a close geographical area in a short time frame and they look very similar, so they may very well be genetically related.
The canary sticks to (a typical canary’s) late summer moult with just very slight feather renewal in between.
When I first adopted her and she started laying eggs in the March, I began to cover the cage at night to decrease her daylight hours and hopefully stop her laying. None of the ‘when we don’t want eggs’ steps unfortunately had any effect on the laying but it did push her into moulting, which didn’t seem to readjust and have her looking herself again until late autumn. Subsequently, I’ve found that she was best to simply keep to natural light patterns, replace her eggs with dummy eggs, and allow her to ‘play mum’ until she lost interest. Less draining than having to go through laying and moulting at the same time.
She’s now getting old and thankfully hasn’t laid for the past two years.
As stated in the original post, I often wonder if my male 1/2 English budgie molts so frequently because of the English heritage. I feel like he's always in some state of molt, like RavensGryf, I don't always see the "spikes" or patches of rough feathers on him... but every day I feel like there's a budgies worth of feathers on the ground.
I wonder if another possibly for his extreme molting is because he is very amorous. If not trying whispering sweet nothings to his reflection, he is trying to woo Caesar (my other male budgie), or sometimes trying to woo me!
Does anyone who keeps a lot of budgies have experiences with the amorous males molting a ton?
p.s. I should mention my molter is also an older boy, almost 10! But I always remember him being extremely molty even we he was young. He has always been very affectionate/amorous (it's actually hard to type right now because he is making so much noise trying to kiss the clips that usually hold his treats/veggies).
The unnatural temps caused by central air and heat does make a lot of sense, however, not all of my birds (even same species) molt the same.
@JRS, interesting about your canary. That the natural cycle is so ingrained that the “When We Don’t Want Eggs” tricks don’t work on them. Great that you fixed the problem though .
@alba, it shouldn’t make any difference in molting because of being English or 50/50. Genetically, the English are the same species as the standard pet type. My two current budgies are both full English, and one molts almost constantly, and the other molts normally for a budgie (which is still quite often)!
Jimmy and Kimmy differ hugely when it comes to molting. Jimmy seems to molt almost constantly and also in the miserable way. His head is spiky and just above the cere he sometimes is almost bald. It will occasionally stop for a couple of weeks, but then he starts all over again. He just always looks a bit messy, especially next to Kimmy.
Kimmy has never had a miserable molt. She molted maybe once or twice in the year I have had her now. Her appearance is always very, very smooth and pretty.
I don't know what it could be. They are kept in the same cage, with the same routine and eat the same things. Jimmy has been this way ever since I got him, Kimmy looked very sad when I got her (she was clipped, but not very neatly) but looks gorgeous almost always now.
@Alba it is interesting what you say about the amorous thing. Jimmy is always molting very roughly, but doesn't act down or grumpy. He is always chatty, kissy, flirty, etc. A very happy and flirty boy, just like how yours seem to be!
Lovely nibbles from Kimmy and Jimmy!
Both Niko and Tetra tend to have molts every other month or so. Niko seems to molt more heavily than Tetra each time; he's dropped his longest two tail feathers and wing feathers several times already. Tetra has had one small molt where she barely dropped any feathers and then the most recent one where she's molting fairly heavily.