Well-known member
Mar 26, 2022
Hello! I have a 2-3 month old male cockatiel.

I was hoping to get some info and get some questions answered by someone regarding feathers.

1. Are primary feathers or flight feathers blood feathers? If it gets broken off will it bleed?

2. Is there a way to deal with young birds who are rough with their own feathers and break them off?

3. Do blood feathers always bleed?

4. Is it ALWAYS necessary to pull out a broken blood feather?

5. Can someone pls link some good videos for instructions on how to deal with broken feathers on your own in a case of an emergency and videos on feathers in general?

Thanks to anyone who replies 🤍


Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
Primaries are flight feathers. They are the longest feathers on the outside of the wing. They will bleed if broken or cut before they’re done growing. You can see that the vein down the quill of the feather is dark when filled with blood.

You can hold a blood feather until it clots or pull it out. I usually pull them but haven’t encountered this often. I pull because I wouldn’t want the bird to knock his partly blotted feather and bleed more after I’m done watching.

How to avoid? If you are planning to wing clip, do it gradually and be generous with young birds. More flight feathers left long will make bird have more lift and less likely to fall.


Jun 23, 2021
New York City
Sun Conure and Umbrella Cockatoo
1. Primary feathers are flight feathers. And they can be blood feathers too when growing in and replacing old ones. Yes it will bleed if broken.
2. For young birds who are rough on their feathers: nothing much you can control on your part, other than helping with molting season or those itchy pin feathers through frequent baths and scratching the little bits of keratin on pin feathers. Just a tip. Blood feathers will just be there until the feather is mature but if it’s broken I would remove the broken feather or take to the vet immediately.
3. A blood feather will be filled with blood supply to nourish the growing feather. Unless it physically breaks, it will not always bleed.
4. Yes it’s always necessary to remove the broken blood feather. This is because the feather is now acting as a “running sink” let’s say and the bird can bleed profusely and birds already don’t have a lot of blood in their systems. Once the feather is removed, they will stop bleeding. If you’re taking to the vet, just use something called styptic powder to clot the blood in the mean time before reaching your nearby avian clinic.
5. Just look up on YouTube in the search engine “how to remove broken blood feather” or “all about blood feathers” to get more information.

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