how can i tell which pin feathers are ok?

Katapotato

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Jan 19, 2021
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african grey about 20 years old
so my grey is a single parrot, and he depends on me to hold very still while i scratch his head and check for pin feathers.

the problem is that he also very twitchy and its hard for me to get a good look at his head.

even then becuase he is a gray bird its hard for me to pinpoint which pinfeathers are safe to remove and which are still growing in.


internet doesnt have good info on this. so i have a few questions on this

1- do pinfeathers just fall off over time or do they HAVE to be picked off?

2- can i feel when a pinfeather is ready to come out rather than SEEING when it will come out?


if anyone has a diagram what pinfeathers are supposed to look like that would be helpful! :grey:

edit: i am VERY gentle with them and i am usually slow when removing them. i just remove them by rubbing my nails slowly against it and it flakes off.
 

Scott

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The sheaf (covering) of a pin feather will eventually fall off when ready to "open." Many parrots enjoy group "grooming" with humans given a gentle touch. Feather development begins with blood-filled sheaf, progressively becoming natural colored at tip until no blood visible. Conservative rule of thumb is avoid massaging feathers with visible blood. Attached image depicts the "hands off" stage:

baby-cockatoo-face-pin-feathers-close-up-shot-cockatoos-head-showing-106981582.jpg
 
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Katapotato

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Jan 19, 2021
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african grey about 20 years old
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my problem is that because of the color of my grey its hard to tell which feathers are ok compared to a brightly colored bird where you can more easily see where pin feathers are on the head.

on top of that he is VERY fluffy and twitchy so its hard to get a close look at the root of the pinfeather because he will move to look around a lot when i am tending to his head.


do you have any pictures of what DOES look safe to groom so i have a better idea of what to look for?
 

noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
they need to be picked off unless the bird has another way of getting them, but you only need to worry about the head and neck-- if you cannot get them, letting them grow will irritate the bird and can prevent the feather from developing normally, but don't panic if you can't get a few.


You can tell what part if okay as long as it is not pink, red, purple or bluish (bluish and purplish are more likely for greys)--- you can see where the blood as receded, so as long as you don't get close to the blood portion, you should be okay


[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwszSwu4JMc"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwszSwu4JMc[/ame]
 
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Katapotato

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Jan 19, 2021
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african grey about 20 years old
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oh thank you that is a releaf. i was worried going at it might hurt my bird. thank you so much!
 

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