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Millie is 13 weeks old and is into a molt. She's lost a few smaller feathers but today lost a flight feather so I'm thinking it's a full molt, which seems early to me. I've also noticed this past week that her break seems to be flaking rather a lot. She eats parakeet seed, chop and Top's pellets and has a full spectrum light on her cage. She gets 13-14 hours of sleep each day and her energy level is good. I've attached a photo of her beak. (My nearest avian vet is over 2 hours away). Does this look normal or should I be road-tripping to get it looked at?
Bird Gesture Beak Toy Nail
 

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What area of Canada are you in? Harry (girl) has started to molt with this mild weather in Alberta. If I remember correctly when she was newly acquired at about 10 weeks of age ( 2 years ago ), she had a similar layered looking beak. It almost looked broken and both my wife and I were worried as we were new to parrotlets. Soon it was shiny smooth again.
Type "beak" into the search bar and you will see several threads sharing your concerns and reassurances that it is normal. Keep providing cuttlebone and surfaces for the parrotlet to rub it on. It should be fine too.
 

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From what I have read from others on the forum, around 4 months old for a molt is typical bit as HarryTheParrotlet said, environmental factors will influence it. She gets plenty of sleep and light and is eating a good quality diet, so I wouldn’t worry. Beak flaking is not abnormal in small amounts like that but as we are not avian vets on this forum, it is always advisable to see a vet if you are concerned. What is the humidity like in your house? Winter months can be very dry in Canada (I am in Ontario) and your bird can benefit from a humidifier. 45-55% humidity is a safe range although I can never get my house over 35 in the winter. Does Millie bathe or do you mist or shower her?
 

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Thank you! It's dry here, that's for sure. I'll look into a humidifier. She does like bathing every few days. I have misted her occasionally, but that's an easy one to do more often and she seemed to enjoy it.
We're in Sask and it has been milder lately. I hadn't considered that different weather systems would trigger molts.
Thanks for your replies HarrytheParrotlet and Ginziputzi!
 

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In captivity, parrots don't follow set patterns in molting as both the outdoor and the indoor environment interacts to trigger molting. Know that new feathers are VERY itchy, and can lead to a grumpy bird even in a well bonded older bird. Tumi does not enjoy the process of growing new feathers, and if I accidentally hit one then both he and my fingertips tend to regret it.
 

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Me again. I was on my way out yesterday when I responded your post so I thought I would just add a note on beak flaking. Birds beaks are made up of keratin, the same thing as our fingernails, and flaking in the normal shedding of the keratin to make way for new keratin. I read a little more about it this morning and it can be associated with a vitamin A deficiency but from what you said about Millie’s diet (pellets which tend to be nutritionally balanced and fresh veggies), it seems doubtful that would be her problem. Does she eat her pellets and veggies with the seed in there? They will often ignore other foods with the presence of a favourite like seeds or millet. Something to keep an eye on.
 

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FYI, parakeet seed does not have the nutrition for a parrotlet. I know they are the same size, but parrotlets have the nutritional needs of a larger parrot. Cockatiel/conure seed blends are more appropriate.
 

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Sorry that this is a bit late, but regarding your birds beak - a small amount of vitamin E squeezed from a capsule (200iu) gently rubbed on the beak can help with serious flaking. You could also use organic coconut oil for the beak and feet. Helps with dryness!
 

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FYI, parakeet seed does not have the nutrition for a parrotlet. I know they are the same size, but parrotlets have the nutritional needs of a larger parrot. Cockatiel/conure seed blends are more appropriate.
Sorry but actually have to disagree on this.
Wast majority, if not all Cocatiel/Conure type of seed mixes are full of peanuts, lots and lots of corn,dried fruit, sun flowers seeds, pumpkin seeds..
That's lot of oils, fats, sugars, starches etc.
While all this is lovely from time to time for our little friends, in a form if a treat. If you will be serving these as a daily mix, your parrotlet will simply not know when it's enough, and you know how much they love stuff like sun flower seeds and nuts.
We are buying a quality parakeet seed mix for Kiki and he loves it. Only have to separate the sun flower seeds, which we then use as 2-3 a day treat.
The seed mix is daily mixed with added quality pellets. And all the fat rich stuff is offered as an ocassional treat. We don't really give him dried fruit, as this will be def full of some preservatives. Instead we offer a tiny bit of fresh fruit daily as we also both love fruits. Kiki will eat anything from bananas to lemons. He loves oranges and mandarins the most though.
P.S. I know you are def more experienced and established parrotlet owner than me, Rubydoo. And I do respect that.
So just realised that explaining all that to you sounds bit silly. That being said, based on my own research that's what my findings are. Also, we now shop for Kiki in a not too far away huuuge Aviary shop, the best variety of stuff I have ever seen. And one of the ladies there is super knowledgeable and gives straight forward answers every time. So last time we went to stock up on seed mix for Kiki, we actually had in our hands from the same brand, but the two different above mentioned seed mixes and just wanted to confirm with her. Without hesitation she pointed out the parakeet seed mix as a better choice for parrotlets.
 

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Peanuts and too much oily seeds are definitely not good. Fresh vegetable chops, freeze dried stuff, including dried flowers, sprouts and some porridge similar to Bird Street Bistro are good additions, as well as Harrison's Birdy bread.

Here's my set of links:

Freeze dried food, herbs, flowers, sprouts









Porridge



Seeds:




Birds LOVE All Natural Garden Blend Bird Food for Medium Birds - Cockatiels, Green Cheek Conures, Ringneck Parakeets and Small Quakers 4lb https://a.co/d/0ts6HOJ

Birds LOVE All Natural Garden Blend Bird Food for Small Birds - Lovebirds, Cockatiels, Parakeets and Parrotlets 2lb https://a.co/d/gIFUsK2

VL Goldenfeast Australian Blend, 3 lb Bag https://a.co/d/c8enAbF

Dr. Harvey's Our Best Parakeet... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001B13ZRM?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

Dr. Harvey's Colossal Cockatiel Blend, All Natural Daily Food for Cockatiels (4 pounds) https://a.co/d/dR5jwEz

Dr. Harvey's Exotic Parrot Blend, Seedless Blend of Natural Food for Large Parrots https://a.co/d/gQsRK01

Dr. Harvey's Perfect Parrot Blend - Natural Food for Large Parrots (5 pounds) https://a.co/d/fiTNR4H


Pellets

Harrison's Bird Foods Adult Lifetime 1lb https://a.co/d/ez7CwWO

Roudybush Daily Maintenance Bird... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000WFKV3O?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share


Teas




Supplements:


 
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