Bird Care – How to Pull a Blood Feather

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 38,651
    Susan Vandenbroek from FeatherHeads in Sterling Virginia demonstrates how to pull a blood feather.

    Susan: Hi, I am Susan with Featherheads. Weve been talking about How to care for your Parrot. We are going to discuss how to pull blood feathers.

    A Blood Feather is a feather that when it's growing in, they all have blood in the shaft. Typically, what happens is a wing feather gets broken. The birds playing, the birds flapping around, it breaks a feather that is growing in, and there is blood, because the shaft of a feather is fairly large, even down to the smallest of birds, it's like having an ivy needle in your arm with nothing there and the blood is just coming out. You need to take action.

    In most cases, you can pull a blood feather. In a few rare cases, they are broken up under the skin and that will require a vets care. In that case you need to just use emergency care to stop the bleeding or control the bleeding until you can get to a vet, but for the most part you can and should learn to pull blood feathers. First thing is you need to tell your bird. We have not chosen to show you this with the bird, because it's easier to demonstrate with a human being. However, you are going to be doing this on the bird. You need to tell the bird, and it's going to take two people. It hurts to pull a blood feather, the bird will yell, but the bleeding, you wont be able to stop the bleeding until you've pulled the feather. Obviously, if the bleeding has stopped on its own, then you may want to wait until the following day, or wait in typically, like children do this at night when everything is closed, but you may want to wait till you can get to a vet, if the bleeding has stopped. Many times, the bleeding does not stop, and you are going to need to take action to pull the blood feather.

    Blood feathers as we talked about are usually, the flight feathers that are growing in, thats typically, the ones that get broken. They are again, between the upper and the lower coverts. What you want to do is if the feather is broken here, you want to grasp the shaft, and youve chosen a pair of pliers that are size to the bird. This pair of pliers will do a fairly small bird, Conures, you may get up as far as the small cockatoo. You need a bigger pair of pliers, if you are going after a Grey, and you certainly need a bigger to do the Macaws, but what you want to do is put your pliers directly on to the shaft. Thats this hard part right in the center. You want to put the pliers right there, and you want to pull straight back. You want to do it a smooth, gentle, glide out. The bird will yell. It is important that your person holding it holds the bird still. Remember, you are not going to choke them to death, because birds have a solid throat ring. So, holding them around with your fingers closed around the neck is the best way to control it.

    We've now shown you how to pull blood feather in our series on Caring for your Parrot. Next item is to talk about some feather plucking, and what you may need to do.