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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 06-26-2012, 02:29 PM
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One More Concern, Blood Feathers

Last concern, With my last Red Front I know that his tail feathers (the long, long ones) were his blood feathers, which are usually dark and filled with blood (hence the name). Well, I've been noticing that Erin's blood feathers are all completely white (the shaft full of blood, not the actual feather lol). This strikes me as odd. I can't say there's no blood, because she probably wouldn't be fairing too well without the circulation, since as far as I know they're comparative to the human vein. But this strikes me as odd. I noticed this last week, or my husband did in the shower. I'm not sure if she was always like this, but I doubt it. Does any one elses' parrots have a blood feather shaft that's not tinted or darkened, but bright white? Does it mean she is going to molt? She has had 2 down feathers and one real feather come out, so she is probably going to go through a molt soon.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:41 PM
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Re: One More Concern, Blood Feathers

How do you know they are blood feathers if they are white? All feathers start out as blood feathers, as the feather grows, the blood in the shaft dries up and it is no longer considered a blood feather.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:53 PM
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Re: One More Concern, Blood Feathers

What Icy said

Every new feather has blood in it as it grows. It dries up though eventually, which makes the shaft clear instead of blood-filled. I don't think birds keep blood in any of their feathers once they are grown out completely, but I could be wrong.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:56 PM
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Red Front Macaw, Elvis, 10,male RIP Red Front Macaw, Erin, 1.5,female Goffin Cockatoo, Blossom 2,female Rehomed Blue & Gold Macaw, Oscar, Male, 21 years old, Rehomed American Bulldog Mix,
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Re: One More Concern, Blood Feathers

Because they were the blood feathers in my last red front macaw and I see usually at least one blood feather in the middle of the tail feathers, on my other birds, so this is a fairly common place for them to be. However, I didn't know about them just drying up. That's very strange. Is this something that occurs naturally or does it mean something is wrong?
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:57 PM
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Red Front Macaw, Elvis, 10,male RIP Red Front Macaw, Erin, 1.5,female Goffin Cockatoo, Blossom 2,female Rehomed Blue & Gold Macaw, Oscar, Male, 21 years old, Rehomed American Bulldog Mix,
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Re: One More Concern, Blood Feathers

Thanks so much! I never knew that! Learn something new everyday!
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:04 PM
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Re: One More Concern, Blood Feathers

yes, only new, growing feathers will have blood in them, once the feather is done growing the blood will naturally dry up. That's why you can trim a birds flight feathers without them bleeding, but you always want to check and make sure none of them still have blood in the shaft before you cut. Chances are you just haven't noticed any blood feathers yet. With most of our birds I won't see them unless I am actually holding the bird and looking for them.

If she ever breaks a blood feather or you'd accidentally cut want you will want to pull the feather out from the base of the shaft. That's the only way to get them to stop bleeding. You can try to put styptic powder on a blood feather but chances are it will get busted open again and you don't want that to happen if you're not around to take care of it. If your not comfortable pulling a blood feather, have your vet show you how to do it, it's something all bird owners should be prepared to do, just in case.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:05 PM
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Parrots:
Red Front Macaw, Elvis, 10,male RIP Red Front Macaw, Erin, 1.5,female Goffin Cockatoo, Blossom 2,female Rehomed Blue & Gold Macaw, Oscar, Male, 21 years old, Rehomed American Bulldog Mix,
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Re: One More Concern, Blood Feathers

Thanks for the info. Luckily she wont be clipped every again and she's pretty mellow and doesn't rough house so she should have an break, unless its during her flight sessions of course.
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