African Greys Molting Process (Everything About It)

Just like dogs and cats, different breeds of parrots have a similar process of shedding their old feather to replace them with new fresh sets. And unlike dogs and cats, this process for parrots can put huge stress on African greys while the process is occurring.

So, Do African Greys Molt?

Yes, just like any other breed of parrots, African greys molt and replace the worn-out old feathers with new fresh sets. This process can put huge stress on the bird and the owner as well because of the way the bird looks and behaves while the molting is occurring.

And the owners may think that their feathery friend is plucking its own feathers, which is a bad symptom of depression and anxiety.

However, in this article, we will dive into everything you need to know about your African grey molting process and what you can do to make it go through as easy as possible.

And without further ado, let’s get into this…

African grey parrot

When Do African Greys Molt?

Normally, African greys molt once every year, and on rare occasions, the molting process will happen once every 18 months, and it will keep happening for the greys as long as they are alive. Molting for African greys will start from the age of 8 months, and this is the first molting they experience and the harshest as well because babies will fully shed all their baby feathers to replace them with a new adult set.

First molting for African greys can last up to a couple of years if the bird wasn’t living in the best conditions, and for older greys, the process can last up to 2 months to complete. If you own an African grey parrot, expect the molting process to start in March or April of every year.

Is My African GREY Molting Or Plucking?

Once an owner sees a lot of feathers inside his grey cage, he will get a bit stressed, especially if he doesn’t know that there is a natural process for greys to shed old feathers to replace them with new ones. However, the feathers that fall from plucking are not very different from the ones that fall from normal molting.

And to tell if your African grey is either molting or plucking, take a look at the root of the feather, if you can see drops of blood on it, then there is a possibility your grey is plucking because the feathers from molting don’t have these drops of blood at their roots. Another sign is the timing, so if you are seeing a lot of falling feathers all year round, then there is a possibility your bird is plucking. African greys have a molting season, which starts in spring every year.

A plucking and molting African grey will have a bald spot in their bodies, especially on the back between the wings and on the chest, and the only difference here is the molting African grey well have new feathers grow back in these spots while the plucking grey won’t allow this to happen.

And in general, a molting African grey won’t have the same look as a plucking grey. Molting African grey will only shed the worn-out feather while the plucking grey will pluck all the worn-out and healthy feathers, which will make them look balder for a long time.

Besides that, think about anything that could cause your bird anxiety or loneliness because these two are the main reasons for grey to pluck their feathers. Any changes in the environment, losing cage mates, toys, or even changing the cage to a new one can cause plucking.

So, if your grey is still living in his favorite place and environment, then the feather loss is probably because of molting.

Molting Vs Plucking African Grey

How To Care For A Molting African Grey?

Dealing with molting African greys can be very tricky, and sometimes owners can cause complications, especially when they don’t know about the temperamental changes that happen along with molting.

So, if your African grey is molting, you may notice that the bird is having a rough temperament, which is normal considering that these birds go through stressful times when they molt. However, you can as an owner provide nutritional supplements like vitamins and minerals for your bird to help him go through this as easily as possible.

If you are feeding your grey only seeds and nuts, then nutritional supplements are recommended. Adding new types of veggies and fruits can also suffice. Apart from that, owners preferably must go to minimum contact with their molting grey because any unwanted approach or touches can drive the bird to attack. However, every grey is a different case, and some grey will demand more interaction while others will prefer staying alone for longer times than they are used. All owners should know their greys’ personalities and decide what will suit their molting greys.

Besides that, putting your African grey cage in a sunny place will the help the bird go through the process faster. You don’t need 12 hours of sunlight, but a place that gets 3-4 hours of sunlight a day will be enough.


How Many Times Do African Greys Molt Every Year?

African greys normally molt once, and on rare occasions twice a year, and if you see your grey molting more than that, then there is something worth investigating to eliminate any risks like plucking or anything else.

How Long Is Molting For African Greys?

If the bird is young and molting for the first time, then the African grey can take a longer time, up to 24 months, and for older African greys, the process can take up to 2 months.

Will My African Greys Feathers Grow back?

In most cases, yes, African greys feathers will grow back and it’s normal for them to shed their old feathers to replace them with a new set. Plucking, on the other hand, can keep preventing new feathers from growing back until the bird stops the bad behavior.


In conclusion, African greys molt once or twice a year and this process can put them under huge stress that can make them aggressive even towards their owners, so the owners should take this into consideration to avoid any complications. Providing a nutritious diet can help the bird go through molting faster and with ease, and sometimes with no temperamental changes.

And yes, that’s about it, I hope you found this article informative and easy to digest. Thank you for reading…