Ask Lafeber

Question:

November 1, 2022

bleeding feathers


I clipped my budgies wing last week and it started bleeding they were not pin feathers.I have done it many times before and this has never happened.I cannot find out why.


Answer:

Hi Margaret,

It is always best to have a professional clip your bird’s wing feathers, because things like this can happen. It sounds like you either clipped some blood feathers, or you cut too short and cut the skin. A blood feather and a pin feather are not the same thing. A pin feather is a new feather on the bird’s body, neck or head and while they have a small amount of blood when first emerging, they are not considered a pin feather until they are ready to have the casing removed – at this point they look like little pins. A blood feather is any new feather that still has a blood supply. The wing and tail feathers have the most significant blood supply which does not dry up until the feather is fully grown in. Cutting or breaking a blood feather can cause a bird to bleed to death if the rest of the shaft is not removed from the wing or tail. Wings should never be clipped while the bird has blood feathers. This means the bird is molting or growing some new feathers and the risk of causing death by bleeding is too high. The bird also needs the feathers around the blood feather to remain intact in order to protect the blood feather. Hopefully your bird is OK. But next time I would definitely recommend using a professional groomer or vet for clipping.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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