Budgie Molting Guide {Everything You Need To Know}

Do you notice your budgie is gradually losing its feathers?

Do you think it is sick or has contracted a deadly disease?

This article will provide you with the needed information about the molting process of budgies.

Do Budgies Molt?

Molting is an annual routine for budgies as they have to go through the process every year. It involves the removal and replacement of old feathers with new ones.

Moulting is a necessary and yearly process that budgies undergo. The process involves the gradual removal and replacement of all their feathers to grow new ones.

Budgie Molting Process

This gradual process allows it to have feathers that will keep it warm and able to fly while losing some other feathers.

During this process, all feathers get replaced regardless of how large or small they are. After the molting process, you will have your budgie brand new with beautiful and colorful feathers.

The molting process takes about 2 to 3 weeks to complete. When your budgie starts losing its primary and tail feathers, it might become unconfident to fly.

  1. You will notice the bird’s perching action and lack of interest in fly at this stage of molting.
  2. You have to assist your budgie during this process as it will have limitations to things it can do. You have to make sure it has its food at a convenient place and at the needed time.
  3. Ensure you give it highly nutritious foods. These meals should be rich in minerals, vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, etc.
  4. Ensure it does not fall sick during this process, and watch out for symptoms and signs of sickness.

Budgies mature as they molt, Find out what happens to their brains here in this article.

Why Do Budgies Molt?

Molting is very necessary for budgies and other types of birds. Also, not only birds molt, other animals, insects, reptiles, etc. molt too.

The main reason for molting is to change the animal’s outer skin or feather for a new one. These feathers or skin need change due to various reasons.

The main reasons budgies molt are

  • Remove Small Insects Infest From Feathers
  • New Fresh Look
  • Remove Old and Worn Out Feathers
  • Removes Dirty Feathers

For budgies, there are times when small insects infest their feathers. These organisms eat deep into their feathers and down into the root of their feathers.

This act can be disastrous and very destructive for the budgie if you do not care for it.

These organisms can even eat deep down into the skin of the budgies causing severe damage. You cannot always know what is wrong with your budgie, especially when it is not obvious.

Can budgies eat this insects? Find out why is my budgie eating so much? 

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Is Budgie Molting or Sick? How to Tell

The budgie goes through a process called molting once a year, which means a replacement of all of its feathers. The is carried out in stages so they may continue to fly and maintain body temperature while molting.

During this phase, a budgie should not:

  • have bald patches
  • feel illness or stress
  • be exhausted and drowsy
  • screech or squawk repetitively

If your budgie is going through a standard molt, you may see that his feathers are falling off gradually, but new feathers are replacing them in a relatively short amount of time as successors.

Aside from the fact that his feathers are falling out, you may also notice that he or she is not as active as normal and that he sleeps for a longer period of time than usual.

Budgie Moulting Symptoms

Budgies in the process of molting may:

  • frequently just stay the cage for extended periods of time
  • not move or making much noise
  • get a few more hours of sleep

Occasionally, a budgie will be more startled than usual and it will flee away from any abrupt noise or movement.

Because the primary and tail feathers of a budgie are falling out, the bird may not feel secure enough to fly. You shouldn’t be concerned if he or she seems to be perching a lot.

As the new pin feathers poke through the thinning head and neck feathers, he or she  may also begin to display a “spiky” appearance.

What to Feed a Molting Budgie

Every bird that goes through the process of molting requires more proteins in order to build sturdy feathers for optimal flying. They need the insulation against the effects of wind and cold.

Over ninety percent of a feather’s composition is protein, most of which is keratin. Foods that are helpful for molting include:

  • sprouted grains
  • fresh vegetables

These foods provide the beneficial needs for vigorous feather development.

When your budgie is going through the molting process, a healthy diet for your bird is even more essential than usual. The availability of high-quality pellets, a large quantity of fresh vegetables, an adequate supply of calcium, and clean water at all times are all essential.

What Does a Molting Budgie Look Like?

You might see a huge pile of your budgie’s feathers on the cage floor. Look for some odd pins feathers stuck into its head and torso.

He or she might be moodier than usual. Your budgie may be irritable for a few weeks as a result of this normal occurrence. The discomfort of budgie molting stems from the fact that it seems to be highly irritating.

The bird’s skin becomes itchy from the pinfeathers. A budgie’s preening behavior includes rubbing its head on perches and other things to get those hard-to-reach feathers.

Energy and nutrients are needed in large amounts to renew all those feathers. Because of this, a molting budgie will likely spend more time asleep, avoid social interactions, and focus instead on its calcium block and food.

How to Help a Molting Budgie

Here are 4 ways to help your budgie molt: 

1. Baths

Many budgies like splashing during molt. This reduces pinfeather irritation and aids molting. If your budgie hates baths, spritz it with a spray bottle.

2. Scratches

If your budgie allows head and neck rubs, you can assist relieve its itching. Be careful and don’t be irritated if your bird provides a warning bite.

You may have brushed a pinfeather the wrong way and created a sting. Scratches can dislodge pinfeather sheaths the budgie can’t reach.

3. Rest

Feathers need lots of sleep! Keep your budgie asleep for 12 hours. Give the bird a quiet place to rest during the day.

4. Nutrition

When your budgie is molting, its food is especially more crucial. A high-quality pellet, lots of vegetables, a decent calcium source, and constant fresh water are essential.

Why Molting Helps Budgies

Molting helps eliminate this kind of feathers and the organisms in it, giving your budgie a free, enjoyable life.

Another reason budgies molt is to have a new look. In the course of the year, the feathers on your budgie will become dirty and look unpleasant.

You might give your budgie a good cleaning. Doing this will make the feathers look neat but will retain their worn outlook.

Besides, repair can ever be as good as getting a new one. Budgies molt to get rid of worn-out and dirty feathers, replacing them with new ones. Your budgie comes out all beautiful and glamorous after the molting process, with new, colorful feathers.

In the process of molting, mites and other ectoparasites on your budgie also get warded off. When they change feathers, they also get rid of other parasites or small insects that live off them. molting helps free the bird from its troubles.

Besides being beneficial to budgies, molting is a natural, yearly cycle that budgies take part in. It is more of an annual ritual and also a beneficial act. You only have to provide it with what it needs during the process.

What Time Of The Year Do Budgies Molt?

Budgies do not have an actual time they molt. They can molt at any time of the year when they feel the need to do that. You cannot really say they have a time of molting because these birds are full of surprises.

They start their initial molt when they are around ten to twelve weeks of age. After their initial molt, they start to have other molts as time and chance permits them.

Although they do not have a specific time of molting, you can know when they want to molt by studying their activities, behaviors, and reactions to the things around them.

How Do You Know If Your Budgie Is Molting?

It is easy to know when your budgie is molting. The most obvious sign is that you will see litters of feathers all around the cage and sometimes in the room.

As the budgie removes the old feather to replace it with new ones, it drops the removed ones on the cage floor.

You have to check out other behavioral signs too because diseases and infections can cause your budgie to lose its feathers. Another obvious sign is that your budgie looks ragged.

The feather looks unkempt and puffed up randomly.

Molting is always very stressful, so you will notice your budgie being stressed out. You will also notice your budgie making short flaps or shaking movements to allow feathers to fall out from its body.

They might appear sad, upset, tired, quiet, and even sleep more than usual.

Budgie Molting Behavior, What Should I Look Out For?

When your budgie is molting, it exhibits behavioral change. You need to look out for these changes. These behaviors will make you know when it is molting.

One of the behaviours it exhibit is that it becomes quieter than normal.

The main things you need to look our for are

  • Budgie Will Look Sad / Unhappy
  • Tried
  • Stressed
  • Sleeping More

Your budgie will also look sad and unhappy. Molting can be very tiring for budgies, so your budgie will reflect a stressed-out personality. Your budgie can also become upset and listless.

It might also sleep more than it usually does when it’s not molting. You have to consider these behaviours well because they can also exhibit these behaviours when they are sick.

Check them alongside other physical molting signs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Moulting Make Budgie Sick?

Molting cannot make your budgie sick; you can be rest assured about this. It can cause circumstances that might lead to sickness, and these circumstances rarely lead to it. An example is the; loss of feathers; feathers help keep your budgie warm, so losing feathers can cause the budgie to become cold.

How Often Does A Budgie Molt?

Most budgies molt annually while others do theirs twice in a year or three times in two years. The molting process is gradual and will take about 2 to 3 weeks. The old feathers will drop out, and new ones replace them.

What Do I Feed A Molting Budgie?

You have to feed your budgie with the right food, especially during molting. Your budgie will require a lot of essentials and nutrients as the molting process will consume a lot. Feed them with vegetables, sprouts, seeds, herbs, spices, eggs, pellets, and other nutritional food.

What Is French Molt In Budgies?

French molt is a disease that affects budgies. They lose their secondary and tail feathers. These feathers are the longest feathers of the budgie and can render the bird flightless. It mostly affects budgies about 6 to 8 weeks old and needs immediate treatment and attention from you or a vet.

Is My Budgie Moulting Or Sick?

The best way to tell if your budgie is molting or sick is to check for physical and behavioral signs. When molting, the budgie becomes rugged and unkempt, with many feathers falling off and new ones replacing them. You will also notice your budgie’s tired, sad, unhappy, sleepy, and listless behavior.

Do Budgies Puff Up When Molting?

Budgies look puffed up and fluffy when molting as the new feathers lie differently on its body, unlike the old ones. When the molting completes, it will return to its normal position.

Moulting is a usual practice for budgies. They molt to get new feathers and get rid of old ones. During this process, your budgie needs enough attention, so you have to provide it with what it needs and ensure a smooth transition.


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My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.