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Iris and Dawn
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

I'm new here. Five months ago a green budgie, whom I named Iris, flew into my room and demanded to be adopted. Research showed that she'd be happier with a friend, so 40 days ago I got Dawn from a gentleman who could no longer take care of his flock due to a heavy workload. Dawn's left wing and longest toenail had been clipped by the breeder (not the guy I got her from), but now thankfully she's moulting and soon will be able to be a bird again! My first and simpler question is, what kind of mutation(s) is she? Her true colours are more or less as they appear in the photos. Obviously she's between clearwing, greywing and dillute, but with every one there's something that doesn't match, to my untrained eye at least.

My second and most important question is, whatever her mutations, could they be affecting the quality of her feathers? When she first came to my house she was very itchy in places, especially the clipped side, and since larger feathers have started falling, I've seen some potentially disturbing issues. As you will see in the pictures, the shafts of her feathers appear broken, with blood having poured out long ago. Compared to Iris's, Dawn's feathers appear dull, dry and tend to fray quite a bit. Her lonest tailfeathers were all over the place, as you can see, and at first I considered it had to do with the fact she can't fly, so the ends get dragged around, like a long dress. But they're not the only ones fraying, and even wing-feathers seem to be much thinner in places. Finally, the last photo shows a feather I found today on the floor, at a place Dawn tried to fly to but of course went to the pillowed floor. It's got blood at the end of the quill, as if it were yanked. Otherwise, she appears healthy, playful and very energetic. She's about a year old and her diet is identical to Iris's: they have quality seeds and fresh veggies every day, we're working on pellets and fruit, and they like eggfood a lot. They also take regular baths in plain tap water (and their plumage appears equally water-resistant) and enjoy Greece's sunshine every day in moderation.

When I mentioned the feather and shaft issues to a friend with a bit of experience in parrots (but not budgies directly), she said that Iris' wild mutation gives "intense" plumage, while Dawn's whatever mutation gives her "non-intense" and it's nothing to worry about. I've never come across these terms in bibliography, but even if that's true, is there any way I can help her feathers be stronger?

I know I'm getting tiring, so thank you for sticking along, just one last thing to add: Dawn appears to have "baby eyes", where the iris is barely visible and very very dark. If any of the pictures show her eyes red, they're not, they're black, it's the camera being stupid. She also lacks some feathers around her eyes, giving her this sort of cat-eye look. Is this a phase, will it pass and if not, does this mutation have a name?

Note: I'm not planning on breeding either of them, my questions are purely for their health's sake. My entire family from my mother's side has died of skin cancer thanks to paperthin white skin and pale eyes, so I know that appearance can be a kick in the butt at time, and I wouldnt want that on my little balls of fluff.

Thank you everyone in advance!
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She's a very pretty bird, my first thought would be a nutritional issue or feather mites, do you know if she was kept outside by the previous owner? There are other things that can effect feather quality and I would have her checked out by an avian vet or a vet that has a good deal of experience dealing with birds. Her wings should not be drooping at her sides like they are in the picture, are they always like that? In budgies the color mutation should not effect the quality of the feathers, it will effect the intensity of color but not the condition of the feathers.
 

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Iris and Dawn
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you :) I know for a fact that she was not kept outside, since she's been handreared and spent all of her days on her playgym, which I also purchased and use for her and Iris (who's wild, but still goes at it!). What would feather mites look like? I've had her for 43 days and I haven't seen any creepy crawlies on her. I'll check the relevant article here to see with my amateur eye if it's easy to see the mite symptoms. Any ideas on what she could be missing in her diet if it's not mites? She's already taking beaphar's multi-vit for moulting and eats pretty much everything. I shall take her to the avian vet if it comes to it, I'd just rather avoid it because she's at the other end of the city...

Good eye! The feather fell out just an hour after I took the picture! Like I said, she's in deep moult XD

Okay, thank you very much!

Update: I used a professional magnifying glass that my dad uses to look for mites and other critters on crops and there was no mite in sight on the fallen feathers. I'd rather not grab her and comb through her plumage, because she's rather bitey and scared. According to the article about mites, one can use a white covering of the cage at night to see if there's red dots in the morning and well, coicidently I've been using a white sheet these days, and it's completely clean. So chances are it's either a definciency (fingers crossed) or genetic.

If anyone knows more, Id be forever obliged!
 

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Iris and Dawn
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Vitamin A is a big one for feather health and also complete amino acids. Take a look at this it gives suggestions for vitamin A https://nilesanimalhospital.com/files/2012/05/Good-Food-Sources-of-Calcium-and_or-Vitamin-A.pdf If any of my birds are going through a really sever molt my vet has me give Nekton-Bio here is a link that will explain what it is NEKTON-Biotin | Vitamin compound for feather formation for all birds - NEKTON
Thanks! I'll give them all the kale in world and I don't think their molt is that severe, at least for now.

Any guesses by anyone on the colour mutations?
 

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Iris and Dawn
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do you have Iris and Dawn shown in the photos above, or is that just Dawn?
Just Dawn. You can partially see Iris's back in the second photo, she's a regular wild mutation, so there's no confusion. I just put an extra picture because Dawn's tail feathers have fallen right now (and it's fun watching them grow back!). I can take more photos if necessary, it's no trouble.
 

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Iris and Dawn
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ah I see! Dawn is a beautiful dark green opaline greywing budgie! 💚
Thank you very much, it's amazing how you can tell such a complicated combination of mutations with one look!
May I bother you with one final thing about her feathers? Her two major tail feathers fell both at the same time one morning, and now they're growing back. That's all fair and normal, but the quills look huge compared to the feathery bits. Is this normal? I don't recall Iris' tail feathers growing back like that months ago when she lost them, but maybe I was too bananas to notice since she had just arrived out of nowhere or the colour difference. Still, I'm quite worried about the feathers.
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If I am seeing this correctly the new tailfeathers growing in in the picture are still enclosed in the keratin sheath that surrounds them, all feathers have this when they are new, the feathers will eventually open up, she will either preen off the sheath or it will flake off on it's own.
 
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