A common parakeet which has a genetic mutation called Feather Duster. They are a very short-lived, about 6-12 weeks. Their feathers don’t stop growing. Birds with this mutation often have vision problems due to the length of their facial feathers, and sometimes have additional congenital health issues.
Feather dusters do not live very long, and are never able to fly or perch normally. Many say that the stress of perpetual feather growth depletes the bird’s body of nutrients that are vital to its survival.
Feather Duster Facts
This term describes a severe disturbance of feather growth. In general, the feathers stop growing after they have reached their natural length. But in feather duster budgerigars, they continuously grow and grow. Some birds also suffer from excessive claw and beak growth. Because the formation of feathers, claws and beak requires a large amount of minerals and micro elements, the unnatural growth exhausts the bird’s organism. Most feather dusters have a damaged immune system and their life expectancy is quite low: Nearly all of these birds die before they get one year old.
Since this disturbance of feather growth is caused by a genetic defect, it is incurable. The only things one can do to help an Feather Duster is making his life as liveable as possible and use food supplements that contain vitamins, minerals and micro elements in high doses. Also you have to take care of the plumage by trimming it regularly. One big problem is that the head feathers can grow so large that they cover the Feather Duster eyes.