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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-05-2011, 07:08 PM
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Re: Black edges on feathers

Well, that could explain Tootsie's black edged feathers. We have been fighting a low grade infection by a tenacious bug for a long while. Been through 4 vets and none have been able to figure it out. But this time I think I have an awesome vet and I'm optimistic that we will kill those critters this time. Rosa's bronzing could be because she has been bounced around rescues and foster homes for a while until she came to me.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:08 PM
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Re: Black edges on feathers



This is the black edges on River's wings. It's just the wide looking edges, ignore the part that looks like thinner black lines. Those aren't really there, the camera picked up the barbs, or the light was weird or something.

Well, I guess in this pic you can't see the "not there" part, but I could see it really well on the picture on my phone. I had to pull his wing out again just to check to be sure what was on the phone wasn't really on his wing.
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Last edited by Rio Mom; 11-05-2011 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:12 AM
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Re: Black edges on feathers

I should mention that I just pulled that picture off google, it's not my boy (I have a Jenday, as you all know, lol!)

I asked my breeder for clarification. Basicly, bronzing is a lack of pigment. It can be caused by normal things like feather rub, overgrooming (which can be a parasite thing), etc, where the feather gets enough abrasion to wear away the pigment layer. Some birds have a patch they will 'bronze' and groom over and over again. Usually it is on the tips of the feathers.

However, it can also be similar to 'stress bars' in that when the feather was formed that the bird was not getting adequate nutrition, or was stressed, or any of those things that cause stress bars, and as a result the bird did not have the resources to form that feather properly. In this case, instead of a stress bar, the bird did not have the resources to put pigment into the feather... Make sense so far?

Basicly, it's a lack of pigment. But the cause can vary. If your bird is moulting in bronzed feathers I'd be concerned. If he moults in normal then tends to overgroom, or another bird likes to overgroom him, or he rubs parches or what not, and that's how he 'bronzes', provided their is no underlying cause (eg parasites) I wouldn't be too concerned. And the occasional feather growing in bronzed or with a stress bar is ok (when moulting and growing in a couple of hundred feathers it's normal for one or two to be abnormal), but if you are finding numerous ones I would be taking a vet trip and reviewing the birds diet and environment.

I think I confuse myself sometimes.

So...

Bronzing= lack of pigment. On green feathers it shows up black or bronze. On other colours it can be different (I believe it is white on red? but don't hold me to that)

Can indicate an issue if feathers are growing in bronzed, as this indicates they are not developing right (no pigment layer, may have other abnormalities, eg stress bars)

Can also be a bird stripping away the outer pigmented layers through overgrooming or the like, which may not necessarily indicate an issue, if they grow in normal but bronze over time.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:10 AM
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Re: Black edges on feathers

Thanks everybody for all your help and input. The affected feathers aren't newly grown ones, they are "older" ones. His molt was pretty much all body feathers (I know because I collected them all up like some kinda nut lol). Once he molts these feathers (longer wing feathers) I will see if it happens again, hopefully not. Of course if he seems to have any problems he will be packing off to the vet.
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:25 PM
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Re: Black edges on feathers

Oh my goodness...until this post, I'd have never even thought anything of black edges on feathers. Frankie don't have any that I see...but great info!

Thanks for the post

Toni
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