Hello All. I actually have two pigeons, not budgies. However, I presume moulting is probably the same. My girl Endeavour has lost a lot of her neck feathers since about October. She gets a vitamin pill every day and calcium in her grit and appears in good health. However, they don't seem to be growing back. She doesn't have mites but will scratch her neck like birds do when preening. My vet isn't an avian vet and said to put sudacrem on her neck, which actually has helped. The neck isn't sore at all. Basically can it take a long time for the feathers to grow back? I noticed today one or two pin feathers but she does look a bit scrawny bless her. I got her a companion recently as she is obsessed with me and was constantly laying eggs. However, she still considers me to be her lover. I have replaced her eggs after a couple of weeks with dummy eggs but she laid quite a few last year so I wonder if that could have caused a problem, i.e. the constant feather plucking to line her nest.
Your information would help me a lot. Many thanks.
Many thanks both of you. Yes, I did wonder about the egg laying. There is hormone treatment that you can inject them with, but the vet advises it only as a last resort. I let her sit on the eggs as long as possible and then put dummy eggs in so it was normally a month before she started laying again. However, now she has a companion I am hoping that she may lose a bit of her obsession with me. I've always spent a long time sitting with her (I've taken conference calls with her sitting on my head!). But as she sees me as her mate she is constantly randy (to put it bluntly) and I appreciate that a lot of it has been my fault, as to calm her down in the past I have let her sit on my knee and held her beak (which I know is sexual although when I first did it I didn't realise it but then it was too late as she liked it!!). She will also get down in the mounting stance for me and runs at me puffing herself up! In the garage when she hears my voice she clings on to the door to try to get to me!
Now I leave the cage doors open in the garage nearly all the time so that the two can be together, although she still needs to get used to 'Fred' (a girl hopefully!). When I first introduced Fred there was a lot of wing slapping going on but they are OK now. As I previously said she has a vitamin a day, the correct food and grit for calcium. My dad rescued her from getting run over on the road so I immediately researched pigeons. I want to put them out together in the good weather but when she was on her own she would scream for me in the garden constantly. Anyway now she has a companion, although she still sees me as her mate, I hope that she might calm down a bit. I do also put them to bed at night and ensure the light is off and that they get plenty of rest.
I'm not sure the feathers will grow back now but am hoping for the best. She seems in perfect health apart from that. It just looks a bit alarming to see a scrawny neck.
I will keep you posted and let you know how it goes. If the hormone treatment is absolutely necessary and her life is at risk without it I wouldn't hesitate, but it has its risks and she is my little soul mate and the love of my life. Sad but true!
I took Endeavour to the vet on Friday (took a taxi as I was even too worried to drive her myself and in the taxi I could hold her basket). I had to go to an avian vet. Anyway she IS just moulting. The vet said it can sometimes take months for the feathers to grow back, not just weeks, but she could see some new growth. So that was peace of mind for me. She suggested I give both birds perches and take away their lovely beds that I give them! You think you are being nice but I guess it is true that pigeons like to perch and only want straw and a box to lay eggs in. Anyway I have done that but Endeavour is already in the mood to lay and has been trying to lay on anything she can find! A few months ago she laid an egg on a towel on a deckchair in the garage and I didn't realise so I sat on it! I was mortified even though it was infertile. But Fred is at least quite happy on perches now. Endeavour is just a very randy pigeon! But the vet thought she was wonderful as she sat on my shoulder throughout the whole consultation preening herself. Bless her.
On the subject of eggs, pigeons are not like budgies. While perhaps not ideal, laboratory birds have been known to lay clutches of eggs every month and live beyond twenty years of age. They are adapted to reproduce much more often than parrots are, and they are more difficult to stop, and things useful for other birds may not work for them (as they happily will nest on the cage floor and are so domesticated, day length may not even be relevant to their reproductive cycle; they will nest in January in big cities in cold climates as long as food is available.) Just be sure to give her a healthy diet rich in calcium and she will do well.
I'm so glad you took Endeavor to the vet to get professional advice with regard to her condition.
It's great news to know her feathers are starting to grow back, even if it will take awhile for them to get back to normal.
Hopefully, with the removal of Endeavor's "bed" she will lose some of her interest in laying and will come to enjoy her perches more.