Ask Lafeber


March 31, 2021

Broken blood feathers

My cockatiel Sunny is molting and had a broken blood feather. It has stopped bleeding but is sticking out. In your opinion, should it be pulled by the Vet? My preference would be not to pull it. Your thoughts? Thank you.


Hi Carolyn,

In some cases the broken feather shaft will clot and there will be no more bleeding. If it stays clotted long enough, the blood flow stops and the feather dies and will be molted. It is hard to recommend what to do because if the feather still has blood flow, the bird could chew the clot off or catch the feather on a toy or the cage bars, making it bleed again. You should keep an eye on Sunny and the feather and have a Vet pull out the rest of the feather if you see Sunny picking at it a lot. It really depends on how new the feather is – as the feather grows, the blood supply diminishes until there is no more blood supply.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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