The canary is noticeably less jovial during the molt due to the stress of dropping and growing feathers. He usually stops singing.
All the feathers do not fall out at once. The bird has no bald spots and can fly throughout the molting period. The molt usually takes 6-8 weeks to complete.
At this difficult time, offer the canary more protein such as boiled egg and oily seeds such as flax. Some birders recommend extra vitamins and supplements also.
Canaries still need a bath everyday. The cold water of a bath helps to soften the feather sheaths, easing the molting process.
For some 3 or 4 weeks, Shubert has been silent and feathers have littered the floor beneath his cage. We're half way there!
Leave me alone, dammit. I'm molting.
Some interesting stuff about bird molts
- the molt replaces some or all of the feathers. If a feather was previously lost due to an accident, that feather will grow back first
- the hard part of a feather is made up of protein keratin and considered dead - similar to hair and nails
- molt frequency varies based on the species of bird, the environment and sometimes the age of the bird
- some birds have a pre nuptial molt- their plumage changes in time for the breeding season to attract a mate - examples: Bunting, Warbler