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by Diane Burroughs November 18, 2021 5 min read 2 Comments

Parrot Feathers... Feathers may seem like an unimportant thing for birds. But without proper nourishment, they could be the difference between colorful plumage and drab feathers.

Our parrots need a balanced diet, a consistent environment, and a lot of love. This can be a pretty tall order. But, without those things, our parrots will have dull, rough, and unmanageable feathers. 

Imagine these stunning birds in the wild. They have a lush canopy to fly around in! It is full of rich, nutritious vegetation that is so important for their plumage.  Wouldn’t it be nice if your bird looked like that?

Bird feathers don't just magically grow! They grow from a range of essential vitamins that are found in a lot of other foods. You can grow beautiful bird feathers with the proper nutrition.

Bird Vitamins for Feathers

What vitamins help with feather growth?

What makes beautiful bird feathers? The answer might surprise you!

Not in a bag of stale bird seed. And, not cheap, bird pellets.

Gorgeous bird feathers grow when your bird consistently consumes 8 key nutrients. These are the nutrients that build a strong, vibrant feather body.

Vitamin A -Vitamin A is full of benefits for the body. But did you know it's key for beautiful birds as well?

Here’s what it does... Vitamin A helps the skin produce an oil called sebum, which is the substance that keeps the skin moisturized and healthy, allowing feathers to grow. Your bird's body needs Vitamin A for healthy feather growth.

The following fresh produce is rich in vitamin A...

  • Collards  
  • Turnip Greens 
  • Carrot 
  • Sweet Red Pepper 
  • Swiss Chard 
  • Spinach
  • Romaine Lettuce 

B Vitamins -Biotin is a key ingredient in 5-star bird feather growth supplements like UnRuffledRx FeatheredUp! And, for good reason.

All B vitamins have a common factor.  They each play important roles in cell metabolism and synthesis of red blood cells.

Too little, and you might notice your birds’ feathers looking dull or even starting to fall out.  Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that helps support bird feathers, skin, beak, and nails by helping the body break down fats and carbohydrates,” vets tell us. 

6 bird safe biotin rich foods include  -

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Legumes
  • Soaked almonds
  • Soaked, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli

Vitamin C & E- An essential element of growing beautiful bird feathers is skin health. 

The feather follicle is a tubular structure deeply embedded in the dermis layer of skin. Each feather follicle is supplied with a complex system of smooth muscles. These muscles attach to the follicle by tendons, which in turn are filled with elastic fibers. Bird feather growth depends on healthy feather follicles. 

Feed your bird this fresh produce to support bird feather follicles:

  • Mango
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts 
  • Potatoes
bird vitamins for feathers

Infographic by Diane Burroughs, LCSW

Vitamin D -Does your pet bird show some bald patches in its feathers? What's going on? 

Maybe it's deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D is vital to the growth of bird feathers. Vitamin D does not grow on plants. Get your fix through these resources.

You're probably reading this to find out why your bird is growing tattered, ruffled, dull and discolored feathers. To ensure that your bird grows healthy feathers, make sure they are getting plenty of Vitamin D by including UnRuffledRx Bird Calcium, Magnesium and +D3 in their diet. But that's not the only thing you can do to help your bird grow healthy feathers. Spend some time outside with your bird or get them a bird light.

Zinc - Zinc assists in maintaining the health of the oil glands surrounding feather follicles, the beak area, and around the claws. It keeps this system moisturized and functioning as it should. It also plays a role in the growth and repair of the feather itself as it grows. A zinc deficiency has been linked to feather loss.

There are several bird safe vegetables that are rich in zinc.

  • Asparagus
  • Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Wheat Germ
  • Oats
  • Rice (especially brown)

Iron -The iron on these foods boosts blood flow to the pin feather – which means it grows faster – and alleviates pain.

  • Beans and lentils
  • Baked potatoes
  • Cashews
  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach

Amino acidsare key building blocks of protein. Feathers contain over 90% protein, primarily keratins. A bird’s feathers contain 25% of the total protein found within its entire body!

Molting birds need vital fats and protein. This is where a high-protein diet comes in during the molting season. Your molting bird needs extra proteins to grow strong feathers necessary for safe flight and insulation in our northern climates. 

Consider feeding your bird these protein rich foods

  • Cooked eggs
  • Properly cooked legumes
  • Pine nuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts

bird vitamins for feathers

Adaptogen herbs reduce stress hormones in the body. Bird Calming Tea by UnRuffedRx is a great source of fresh, healthy, adaptogenic herbs. You can either sprinkle it on top of your bird chop or steep it into a delicious bird tea.

How can I improve my bird’s feathers? 

To boost your bird’s feather health (and overall well-being), head to your local grocery store and stock up on a variety of nutritious plant-based foods.

No need to cook them.  Veggies are most nutritious in their raw form.

Cut the veggies up in a fine chop and make it your bird's first meal of the day.  

If you’re not sure how to get your fussy bird to eat vegetables, watch this video.

How does biotin help with feather growth?

Give your birds feathers a gorgeous new look with this easy hack. Biotin. Also known as vitamin B7, Biotin boosts keratin production and thereby, increases follicle growth. The secret to a luscious colorful bird is biotin. 

What else is good for bird feathers?

  • Frequent Baths
  • 10-12 Hours of Uninterrupted Sleep
  • Adequate Exercise
  • Stress-reduction

Bottom line: For your bird to grow beautiful feathers, make sure it gets the right nutrients.

Related Posts:

5 Essential Nutrients That Every Bird Needs

How To get Your Bird To Eat Vegetables

References:

https://pets.thenest.com/vitamins-birds-feathers-12829.html

https://www.prevention.com/beauty/hair/g23724399/best-vitamins-hair-growth/

https://www.parrotwebsite.com/can-parrots-go-insane/

https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/hospital/small-animal/parrot-wellness

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-vitamin-a#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3

Ostmann, OW, Ringer, RK,Tetzlaff, M. Department of Poultry Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich. The Anatomy of the Feather Follicle and Its Immediate Surroundings.  1963. 

https://pdf.sciencedirectassets.com/776861/1-s2.0-S0032579119X63658

http://www.wildbirdsgpw.com/molting-birds-need-fat-and-protein/


Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.

Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.

TAGS: #BirdFeathers #ParrotFeathers #FeatherGrowth #BirdVitaminsForFeathers

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2 Responses

Cindy ketchie
Cindy ketchie

November 18, 2021

Very interesting,
I learned alot,
I have a better
Understanding of petting my
Double Yellow,
She is not plucking BAD, just nibbles tips of wings and seems to be molting all the time. Thanks a bunch for great tips! Cindy & Periwinkle..

Val
Val

February 26, 2019

Just adopted a cockatoo that plucks cannot get him to eat veggies or fruit.

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