Blood feather

Rico_Tiel

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2022
1,789
Media
2
2,128
Ur mom’s car
Parrots
Ricochet - Cockatiel
Cricket - Budgie
Heads up, there is a photo, although it isn’t super graphic.

I’ve read about and seen these things, but never had to deal with one until now- when I least expected it.

Cricket broke a new flight feather on her wingtip, and she bled quite a bit.

I remained decently calm, albeit shaky, and I caught her with a pair of clean shorts since there wasn’t any clean towels, and I grabbed the first aid kit, applied styptic powder to cauterize the bleeding quill, and put her back in her cage to de-stress.

I texted my mom, she gave me the vets number, and I left a message.

So, now it’s a game of waiting… just sitting around, monitoring Cricket, and waiting for a call back.

She seems to be doing alright, aside from the blood that’s all over her feathers, and the painful wing, but is there anything else I can do? Anything to provide comfort while we wait?



Photo incoming


71494974482__69618C2B-E2BD-4614-B028-FF747659ADDA.jpeg

Here’s her wing right now, it isn’t as bad as it was when I discovered it.
 

texsize

Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Oct 23, 2015
3,706
Media
2
4,451
so-cal
Parrots
1 YNA (Bingo)
1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
This is a frequent problem with my Tiels.
I have only taken one in one time.
in that case we just couldn’t get the bleeding to stop.
It was a small feather and we did not feel confident in pulling it out.
My CAV used a bit of crazy glue mixed in with bits of other feathers.

If the bleeding has stopped you can just keep a close eye on it.
Danger is it can open back up.
wish you good luck.
 
OP
Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2022
1,789
Media
2
2,128
Ur mom’s car
Parrots
Ricochet - Cockatiel
Cricket - Budgie
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
This is a frequent problem with my Tiels.
I have only taken one in one time.
in that case we just couldn’t get the bleeding to stop.
It was a small feather and we did not feel confident in pulling it out.
My CAV used a bit of crazy glue mixed in with bits of other feathers.

If the bleeding has stopped you can just keep a close eye on it.
Danger is it can open back up.
wish you good luck.
Will do. I cleaned her cage and washed her bowls, which she had somehow bled into both, and I cleaned up any blood smears she had left.

I haven’t let her back out of her cage since, and I’m thinking of putting her cage cover on her cage and just leaving the front uncovered.

I’ll do some more reading up on it in my avian vet book.
 

Jcas

Well-known member
Jan 9, 2023
316
543
Parrots
Quaker, 2 budgies
Oh yikes! Poor Cricket 🙁. Sounds like you did everything right. As long as the bleeding doesn’t start up again she should be okay, poor baby.
 

Vampiric_Conure

Well-known member
May 16, 2022
639
Media
27
Albums
1
1,388
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Parrots
Charlie (M) - 23 yrs - Peach Front Conure
Redshift (M)-22yrs - normal Cockatiel
Moon (M) - 2 ys - wf pied cockatiel
Chara (F)- 1 yr - wf pied cockatiel
Oh my! I'm with the others... she should be okay if the bleeding doesn't start up again. :) Hugs to both of you!
 

DonnaBudgie

Supporting Member
Jan 24, 2023
3,133
3,861
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
Heads up, there is a photo, although it isn’t super graphic.

I’ve read about and seen these things, but never had to deal with one until now- when I least expected it.

Cricket broke a new flight feather on her wingtip, and she bled quite a bit.

I remained decently calm, albeit shaky, and I caught her with a pair of clean shorts since there wasn’t any clean towels, and I grabbed the first aid kit, applied styptic powder to cauterize the bleeding quill, and put her back in her cage to de-stress.

I texted my mom, she gave me the vets number, and I left a message.

So, now it’s a game of waiting… just sitting around, monitoring Cricket, and waiting for a call back.

She seems to be doing alright, aside from the blood that’s all over her feathers, and the painful wing, but is there anything else I can do? Anything to provide comfort while we wait?



Photo incoming


View attachment 53793
Here’s her wing right now, it isn’t as bad as it was when I discovered it.
You did a terrific job of blood feather first aid in an emergency! Crick will be fine, but it's too bad she broke a new flight feather just when she was starting to get her new set!
 
OP
Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2022
1,789
Media
2
2,128
Ur mom’s car
Parrots
Ricochet - Cockatiel
Cricket - Budgie
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
You did a terrific job of blood feather first aid in an emergency! Crick will be fine, but it's too bad she broke a new flight feather just when she was starting to get her new set!
Thank you! I’m surprised, myself that I hadn’t freaked out. And yes, that it very true. Do you reckon she’ll pull out the blood feather herself? Or will it heal up? I know she either preened or removed some of her bloodied feathers.

While cleaning her cage, I found a few clipped feathers, a tail feather, and some molted out coverts and body feathers (I forgot the term for it- not down tho) so, she will be gaining the ability of flight very soon!
 

wrench13

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Nov 22, 2015
10,974
Media
14
Albums
2
11,647
Isle of Long, NY
Parrots
Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Quick thinking on your part. Every parrot owner should have a 'Parrot First Aid' kit handy, which should include things needed for an emergency blood feather issue. Corn starch or styptic pencil for an immediate way to stop a blood feather, however, you should also have the means, tools and knowledge to be able to totally remove the offending blood feather if needed. As the name implies , a blood feather is one that has an active blood supply going into it. Feathers are tube-like in cross section, with the end of the tube still connected to the birds blood system. It is because of this that broken blood feathers are so dangerous if left unchecked - parrots do not have a large amount of blood in their systems (because blood weighs something and everything on birds is designed to allow flight), so they don't have a lot to lose before it becomes critical or even lethal. Tools needed in the kit are the afore mentioned styptic pencil or corn start, but also a sturdy pair of Kelly clamps, aka sutures or blood vessel clamps (the kind that can be clamped and locked). The clamp is applied to the base of the feather as close to the skin as possible, locked on and the feather then given an applied jerk to remove whatever is left of the feather below the skin. If not fully removed, the bit left under the skin can act as a faucet or spigot for the blood supply, and the bird can bleed out, and quickly too. Broken blood feathers should be removed, because the temporary repair can open up again. If you are not comfortable with doing it, have your Avian Vet do it.

what-to-do-if-your-parrot-has-a-broken-blood-feather.png
Kelly Clamp
62586_850x480-pad.jpg
 

DonnaBudgie

Supporting Member
Jan 24, 2023
3,133
3,861
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
Thank you! I’m surprised, myself that I hadn’t freaked out. And yes, that it very true. Do you reckon she’ll pull out the blood feather herself? Or will it heal up? I know she either preened or removed some of her bloodied feathers.

While cleaning her cage, I found a few clipped feathers, a tail feather, and some molted out coverts and body feathers (I forgot the term for it- not down tho) so, she will be gaining the ability of flight very soon!
I doubt she will pull out the broken blood feather but now that it broke and bled, it may not continue to develop. From the molted feathers you're finding, it looks like she's beginning to replace her baby plumage. She should be fully feathered and able to fly in about a month.
 

onamom

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Parrot of the Month 🏆
May 9, 2022
1,741
5,461
Indiana, USA
Parrots
Ona: Dilute Green Cheek Conure
I highly recommend not pulling a blood feather yourself. It can be excruciatingly painful for your parrot and better to have a third party do it than you. Most resources out there these days recommend not pulling them and leaving them be.
 
OP
Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2022
1,789
Media
2
2,128
Ur mom’s car
Parrots
Ricochet - Cockatiel
Cricket - Budgie
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #11
Quick thinking on your part. Every parrot owner should have a 'Parrot First Aid' kit handy, which should include things needed for an emergency blood feather issue. Corn starch or styptic pencil for an immediate way to stop a blood feather, however, you should also have the means, tools and knowledge to be able to totally remove the offending blood feather if needed. As the name implies , a blood feather is one that has an active blood supply going into it. Feathers are tube-like in cross section, with the end of the tube still connected to the birds blood system. It is because of this that broken blood feathers are so dangerous if left unchecked - parrots do not have a large amount of blood in their systems (because blood weighs something and everything on birds is designed to allow flight), so they don't have a lot to lose before it becomes critical or even lethal. Tools needed in the kit are the afore mentioned styptic pencil or corn start, but also a sturdy pair of Kelly clamps, aka sutures or blood vessel clamps (the kind that can be clamped and locked). The clamp is applied to the base of the feather as close to the skin as possible, locked on and the feather then given an applied jerk to remove whatever is left of the feather below the skin. If not fully removed, the bit left under the skin can act as a faucet or spigot for the blood supply, and the bird can bleed out, and quickly too. Broken blood feathers should be removed, because the temporary repair can open up again. If you are not comfortable with doing it, have your Avian Vet do it.

what-to-do-if-your-parrot-has-a-broken-blood-feather.png
Kelly Clamp
62586_850x480-pad.jpg
Thanks! My vet book surprisingly doesn’t have any info on blood feathers, which is very strange… as @onamom suggested, I will not be pulling it. I’m still waiting for the vet to call back, but there isn’t any bleeding anymore.
 
OP
Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2022
1,789
Media
2
2,128
Ur mom’s car
Parrots
Ricochet - Cockatiel
Cricket - Budgie
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #12
I doubt she will pull out the broken blood feather but now that it broke and bled, it may not continue to develop. From the molted feathers you're finding, it looks like she's beginning to replace her baby plumage. She should be fully feathered and able to fly in about a month.
I’m so excited for her to begin flying. She already has the instincts of flight, and understands how it works, but can’t yet. Seeing her fly is going to be so magnificent! Just like it was for Rico!
 
OP
Rico_Tiel

Rico_Tiel

Well-known member
Oct 21, 2022
1,789
Media
2
2,128
Ur mom’s car
Parrots
Ricochet - Cockatiel
Cricket - Budgie
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #13
I highly recommend not pulling a blood feather yourself. It can be excruciatingly painful for your parrot and better to have a third party do it than you. Most resources out there these days recommend not pulling them and leaving them be.
I figured it’d hurt like all hell (pardon my French), so I don’t think I could pull it, even if it were okay.
 

onamom

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Parrot of the Month 🏆
May 9, 2022
1,741
5,461
Indiana, USA
Parrots
Ona: Dilute Green Cheek Conure
I’m so excited for her to begin flying. She already has the instincts of flight, and understands how it works, but can’t yet. Seeing her fly is going to be so magnificent! Just like it was for Rico!
If it makes you feel any better, Ona broke several blood feathers when she was growing out her flight feathers. She kept trying to fly when she didn't have enough feathers yet and kept breaking them. She turned out all right :)
 

wrench13

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Nov 22, 2015
10,974
Media
14
Albums
2
11,647
Isle of Long, NY
Parrots
Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
I still say be prepared. Birds dont have much blood to lose! Generally, parrots have about 10% of their weight in blood, so a 40 gram budgie would have about 4 CC of blood. It ain't much! To get an idea of what that looks like, look on a graduated syringe. Blood is about 1.056 grams per CC. There are about 30 CC in 1 oz, to visualize that.

If you can't stop a blood feather for what ever reason, it needs to come out.
 

Greenhouseparrots

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2022
309
431
UK
Parrots
Crimson bellied conure- Tequila
Greencheek conure- Sierra
Pearled cockatiel- Malibu
Cockatiel- Volkan
Yellow budgies- Pina Colada and Houdini
Blue budgie- Lightning
White and blue budgie- Ciroc
If it makes you feel any better, Ona broke several blood feathers when she was growing out her flight feathers. She kept trying to fly when she didn't have enough feathers yet and kept breaking them. She turned out all right :)
Malibu, my cockatiel did the same thing! She's fine now, but I would often find blood splatters from where another one had broken
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top