It is challenging to keep the pigeon feathers healthy and beautiful. These do not remain the same throughout the year. So it is necessary to maintain them because they help in temperature maintenance and flying purposes.
Why Do Pigeons Lose Their Feathers? Pigeons lose their feather when they get hit by a car or some predator attack. Molting in pigeons causes the loss of feathers which undergoes once a time in a year to replace old ones with new ones. Moreover, feather rot and viral infections increase stress which contributes to this issue. Excessive preening, poor diet, and less or more exposure to sunlight cause this issue.
Many people have birds in their homes but do not know the exact reason for this problem. They take it as an infection, but the reason is not the same every time.
It is challenging for them to treat their pigeons because they do not know the actual cause.
What makes pigeons lose their feathers?
They look beautiful with colorful feathers which protect them from temperature fluctuation. Many people buy them because of their shiny feathers. However, few conditions can damage their feathers.
Injured in an accident
They fly to get food for themselves and their young ones. Sometimes, a car or truck hits it, making it lose its feather that can regrow but takes time. They also abandon their eggs in this condition.
It becomes difficult for them to fly if they lose feathers from flying wings. However, cars mostly hit them from behind, losing their tail.
It occurs because the wheels mainly capture their tail which results in the removal of the tail. It is painful for them, but they can regrow in almost 5 to 7 weeks.
Molting in pigeons
All birds lose their feathers at a specific time of the year, which makes them grow new ones. Moreover, they do this to get rid of the old feathers which do not look good.
The process of molting starts in August and lasts till November. Therefore, it is the best time they breed, increasing the attraction between their partners.
The pigeons undergo the molting process in 5 to 7 weeks when they are young, but this time varies in different species according to their habitat.
Many species renew their feathers before and after breeding, while others do this only before breeding, and these last for the whole year.
They do this mainly during the resting period of their life, which is a tough time. Pet birds need care during this time, and the selection of the breeding process is also essential.
They molt earlier than other birds, and it takes almost 150 o 180 days for complete molting.
In a food cycle, every living organism is the food for the other, and the dead ones are also a part of this cycle. Their feathers become rough with time, and they face difficulty flying.
Moreover, the feathers can get a viral infection which stops their nourishment, and the decaying process starts. They can get this infection from other birds during beak and feather contact.
It may happen due to a fight between them which transmits the disease to others. It is more common on their neck and head.
However, mites and lice also attack them, which elevates the issue. They start residing on its wings and become parasites which affect their health. This also happens to a condition known as feather rot.
The areas of infection on the body give stickiness, and other parasites come in contact with them quickly.
Birds have the habit of scratching their body with the help of their beak or claws. Therefore, the process of preening is necessary because it helps to remove dust and parasites from their body.
It keeps them active and healthy, preventing any viral or bacterial infection in feathers.
Moreover, it keeps the wings in alignment for flying, but many pigeons do excessive preening, including many factors.
It may occur because of boredom, anxiety, and illness, which irritates them. It can also happen because other birds in the cage make them uncomfortable.
Diet is the main factor in keeping birds healthy in every environment. Most people do not take care of their pet birds and keep the diet the same throughout the year.
They need different food according to the seasonal changes and according to their age. When the diet is not accurate, it does not provide good nutrition, which can damage their wings.
Moreover, you can provide better food for immediate recovery in case of damaged feathers. They need a protein-rich diet for recovery and better growth.
Inadequate or excessive sunlight
Sunlight is a vital component for living organisms to live healthy lives. It provides specific vitamins which help in their maintenance and growth.
They do not require continuous sunlight because there are chances of lice attacking their feathers, leading to infections.
These need 30 to 45 minutes of sunlight a week to keep their wings healthy, shiny, and beautiful. In addition, it helps to absorb vitamin D from sunlight which keeps them active.
They do not get enough air and sunlight when you keep them in the dark or inside the rooms for a long time.
Many factors are responsible for stress in the birds. For example, pigeons are under stress when you change their habitat or environment.
People keep them in their rooms, and when they change their place, they become stressed. Moreover, stress may occur due to overcrowding, new trainee, or fear of predators.
In case of injury, they get stressed because they cannot fly to move out of their nest, which makes them bored, and they start plucking their feathers in such conditions.
What to do if my pigeon loses its feathers?
You can change the habitat of your pigeon for proper recovery, where it can get sufficient light. Moreover, diet also plays a significant role in this condition.
You can provide good amino acids which help in the regrowth of feathers. However, preening habits in pigeons do not allow new feathers to grow, and you can control this habit when you provide them with some toys in their cage.
To avoid stressful conditions, I play with my birds and behave friendly, making them happy. You can consult a veterinarian if the issue prevails in them.
At what age do pigeons lose their feathers?
They shed their feathers almost once a time in a year.
You can tell their age according to the number of feathers.
It increases with age, and when feathers grow completely, it makes them beautiful.
It is more common in some species before and after breeding, while others may lose three times in a year. However, it is common to lose feathers once a year and replace them with new ones to get rid of old ones.
Young pigeons lose their feathers early to replace them, which are better for maintaining warmth and providing protection.