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Feather Health

Find out why good grooming means good health

By Vanessa Rolfe

Two pet birds examine eachother's feather healthWhen your wardrobe starts looking a little threadbare, it’s time to replace it, right? Your bird does the same thing. Except, instead of walking into a store and placing down cash, your bird uses a wonderful mechanism to make sure its garments are always impeccable; it molts its feathers.

Our birds’ feathers are multi-functional, so they need to be kept in tip-top shape. Feathers keep a bird warm, and they enable it to fly to get food, as well as flee from danger. Feathers also help a bird attract a mate, and they help keep chicks warm, too. If there is a "wardrobe malfunction,” food doesn’t land on the table itself. So a bird’s system is geared toward keeping these multi-tasking, multi-purpose feathers in good working order.

**For the full article, pick up the 2009 issue of Birds USA.**

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