Eclectus Molt

Well it is that time of year again, the summer sun is blazing, families are enjoying the last of their holidays and our parrots are busy molting their feathers like never before. The last few months have been rather prickly for our feathered friends as it seems that Eckies everywhere marked their calendar and decided that this was to be the molt of all molts.

Parrot Haven kids have been dropping feathers like no-bodies business and we can’t keep up with the epic amounts of snowy feather dust that floats merrily around the house. For the more experienced Eckie owner, molts such as these are nothing to worry about. But for new parrot slaves, seeing your parrot slowly turning into a porcupine can be incredibly stressful. I have received a great many emails from owners who are all worried about the same thing: their Eckie’s are molting very heavily, some displaying large bald patches on their heads, primaries are being shed rapidly and their parrots mood has changed from being happy-go-lucky to that of a cranky bear coming out of hibernation. They are concerned that this is abnormal, that something may be wrong and ask whether they need to seek advice from an avian vet. I applaud the many contentious owners who are pro-active regarding their parrots health and don’t wait to ‘see how things go’ before reaching out for help. It’s wonderful to help and reassure them that what they are experiencing is perfectly normal and there are many things they can do to help ease their kids through their molt.

Molting is irritating for our parrots at the best of times but when they undergo a massive molt, it can take it’s toll both physically and emotionally. As the months wear on, owners start to wonder if their parrot will ever feather out normally again and our Eckies appear tired of the whole process. It is important that we adjust our parrots diet to help ease them through this time so their bodies are not depleted of essential vitamins and nutrients.

Feathers are made from a protein called keratin, this protein is taken directly from the Eckies body and if a parrot is not provided with protein rich food then their bodies will become depleted. Foods such as boiled eggs, almonds, pepitas, chia seeds, lentils and sweet corn are just a few foods that are rich in protein and are a must for any molting parrot.

Shower fun is also another way to help ease your Eckies itchy skin. Our Eckies shower with us almost daily when molting, with many asking to ‘come in for a shower’ when they hear the faucet turn on. The warm water and steam helps soften the skin keeping it subtle and preventing it from becoming dry and flakey. Aloe spritzes are another way to assist your Eckie, the aloe helps to moisturize their skin and it’s great for feather sheen and lustre.

For extensive information on the Eckie molt, dietary requirements, how to cope with mood and appetite changes please visit our website and follow the link to our book ‘The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots’. This chapter has helped many Eckie owners through their parrots molts and helps them understand molting through the eyes of their parrot.

So if your Eckie is a current member of the ‘porcupine’ club then feel reassured that you are not alone. We can all sympathize with any anxiety you may feel, we have all been there at one time or another. Just give your kid an extra hug and know that they will come out the other side looking more spectacular than ever.



Eclectus molting information

 Care for your Eclectus during their molt

Kirsten 068

After shivering through the cold winter months, Summer is finally here. It is a time for sunshine, weekend barbecues and relaxing by the pool. It is also the time when our Eckies begin to molt.

Parrot Haven is home to 25 Eckies and one precocious yet very special African Grey parrot and at the moment, all our feathered kids are molting. Our place is decorated with scatterings of feather casings, white fluffy down and the odd primary or two. The aviary is a variable smorgasbord of feathers, from tiny petite head feathers to beautiful tail plumage.

This happens twice year at Parrot Haven however the pre Christmas molt is always the heaviest. Molting can certainly take it’s toll on our parrots. I can only imagine how irritating it must be walking around like a pin cushion, as hundreds of new feathers erupt through the skin.

As parrot slaves, we must understand that molting affects our kids moods, dietary needs, appetite and even sleep patterns. It certainly takes a toll on our kids bodies and we must do all we can to ease our kids through this time.

What is molting?

Molting is a process where old feathers fall out and are replaced by new ones. Feathers are made from a protein called keratin, just like our hair and fingernails. Unlike skin, keratin is unable to repair itself. If a feather is damaged or frayed, it will remain that way until the parrot molts.

The importance of protein

When a parrot molts, protein is taken from the Eckie’s body. If a parrot is not provided with protein rich foods to supplement this output, their body will be depleted.

An Eckie suffering from protein deficiency will be tired, lethargic and irritable. It will prolong their molt and the newly molted feathers will look dull, lacking their trademark glossiness.

It is very important to feed your Eckie foods which are high in protein, such as:

  • Cooked meat and chicken
  • Boiled eggs (cooked right the way through)
  • Almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas)
  • Lentils and pulses
  • Chia
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet corn

Change in appetite

Molting affects our Eckies’ appetites. Some kids become ravenous eating machines, while others become very fussy eaters, craving certain foods and rejecting others. Monitor your Eckie’s appetite carefully when molting, and take note of specific foods they crave. Our feathered kids listen to their bodies, and will source foods that will help ease them through molting.


Molting can make the demurest of Eckies cranky and short tempered. Their body is working in overdrive to produce hundreds of pin feathers and many become irritable. Please, do not take this personally as many people have experienced this with their feathered kids.

My hen, Red, is terribly short tempered while molting. I know there is very little room for error and if I mis-read her body language, I will receive a nasty bite. As much as this hurts, I don’t take this personally. I know that once she has finished molting, she will return to her sweet self.

Everyone copes with their Eckie’s moods differently. Some ignore cranky behavior, leaving their kid alone until they are in a better frame of mind. Others distract their Eckie by offering a new toy or food treats.

Some Eckies become little sooks. They seek the love and comfort of their owner and demand cuddles and affection. This too is normal. Some of our hens seek extra cuddles while molting. Once they have molted their neediness reduces and their moods return to normal.

Aloe spritzes

Aloe spritzes help moisturize the skin, keeping it soft and supple. This allows the developing pinfeathers to break through the skin more easily. It is simple and cheap to make.

We buy 100% pure aloe gel from our local health food store. We then put 1 tablespoon of aloe into a spray bottle and fill it with a cup of warm water. Our kids love being misted by the warm, moisturizing water, and the aloe gives their feathers a spectacular sheen.

Some people choose to use a pre-mixed aloe drink. Please ensure there are no additives before using this.

Sleepy time kids

Molting takes its toll on our kids’ small bodies. It takes a lot of energy to grow hundreds of feathers, and our Eckies become tired and lethargic. Your Eckie’s sleep routine may change around molting time.  Many will take long catnaps during the day. Others will want to go to bed earlier, or sleep in. They need this extra sleep; it helps the body recuperate, so when playtime rolls around, they are re-energized and ready for fun.

Lots of extra love

Molting is a stressful time for our feathered kids. They feel itchy and out of sorts. Some kids become despondent when they molt. They know they look scruffy and it really upsets them. They are such sensitive little souls.

As devoted Eckie parents, we want to do everything we can to help our kids through this difficult time. So let’s give our molting kids an extra special treat to show them how much we care. It will make your Eckie feel very special.

For more information about the Eclectus Diet please visit our website

The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots contains 380+ pages of content dedicated to assisting owners care for their Eclectus.

It contains chapters on The Eclectus molt, diet, training, emergency care, bonding and much, much more

.Eclectus care

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