Why are my parakeets itchy a lot, why are their legs looking dry?

My parakeets are almost itchy the whole day. I thought that they had mites and I put a white cloth by the place where they are most of the time but no black mites showed up. Also they legs look dry. Someone please help!!


First off get a good magnifying glass. look at the scales on the birds legs. If they look like they are smooth and laying tightly then they are probably just wiping their beak and preening. If the scales look to be raised even a tiny bit then he could have scaley mite. Every pet shop has medicine to put on their feet.

You can do like I do and give their feet and legs a dip in baby oil. They get pretty grungy when going through the treatment but it will kill the mites and suffocate the mite eggs so as to keep them from hatching. While checking the bird over look closely at the area where the beak and skin meet. It should be a smooth transition from beak to skin. If there is a rough patchy area that looks like a scab that would be the same kind of mite. When they are on the legs they are around the beak as a rule. They will rub their beak on their leg and transfer the mites and eggs from one spot to another. A lot of time they will do a little stomping dance on the perch. I have never saw a mite like they describe in the books that will jump onto a white cloth. I have tried it many times and never spotted a mite.

Feel free to contact me by e-mail if I can help.


Preening is normal, even if not itchy, to help prevent mites and lice.

But the legs looking "dry"... This is a scaly mite infestation on the legs. It's a serious condition, as it can spread to the face and cause deformities, pain, and suffering.

Just get your bird some ivermectin and follow the directions, or take him to the vet. It's not a big deal to get this treated, but it is a big deal if you let it go.



You did the wrong test for the wrong kind of mites.

The mites that would cause scaly legs and itching are called scalyface mites which affect beak, legs and around the eyes.

The ones you test with a white cloth are RED MITES. Another thing entirely.....and I have had experience with them.

Red mites are hugely contagious, blood sucking critters, that can make a bird crazy scratching, they make them anaemic by sucking their blood during the night and then during the day they hide in all kinds of crevices including the slots in the perches. They look like black specks of pepper until they are engorged with blood and then they look red.

If your bird has scalyface mites you need ivermectin from the vet which is applied by a spot on the back of the neck.....once only.

Hope this helps.


Your parakeets are probably preening. The most important part of a parakeet's body is its wings. In its native Australian grasslands, the wings allowed a parakeet to escape from predators and find food. The parakeet spends time every day caring for its wings, preening them and keeping them clean.

A parakeet loves to Take a Bath to keep its wings very clean. But even beyond bathtime, a parakeet will preen its wings, keeping them in good working order. This involves ruffling through the feathers with his beak, sliding the longer feathers through his beak, scratching at his head with his claws, and fluffing out his feathers to shake out any dust.


if this looks like what your parakeets are doing then its just preening

birds do this all day everydayyy haha


Aw! It's okay don't panic. Your parakeets are probably not itchy at all, they are preening. They usually do this everyday, my parakeets do the same! Birds feet are always dry looking, so don't panic. ^^ Your birds are alright!

Hope this helped.


It's called grooming. They do it naturally. And bird legs always look dry.


well birds are not good with cats or dogs!