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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 45401
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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On Monday, my Goffin's cockatoo broke a blood feather in her

Customer Question

Hello! On Monday, my Goffin's cockatoo broke a blood feather in her tail while I was out. (she was in her large cage, which is safe and where she's lived for more than 10 years without any incident.). I got back to find the broken feather on the floor and lots of blood spots. She seems fine now, but this morning a noticed a spot of fresh blood on the site of the break. I have read that we should pull the remains of the feather out with pliers, but this would be very stressful and upsetting for all of us. Is it safe to leave it in? Will it just heal naturally? I am feeding her lots of greens and veggies and pomegranate juice to build her up after the blood loss, as I understand birds don't have very much blood in their system. I don't know where to find a specialist Avian vet - we live in Northamptonshire.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. The Expert will know what to do about this bleeding. I'll connect you ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the cockatoo?
Customer: She is tame, but very nervous and can be very aggressive with people she doesn't know.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

Dr. Michael Salkin is typing. Please be patient.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. To answer you directly, yes, a fractured blood feather can be left alone. A bird her size is rarely lost due to blood loss from these feathers. Ideally, the feather should be plucked out which will lead to immediate bleeding from the feather follicle where it emerged from the skin but which stops as quickly as it began, as at least within the initial 36 hours, jostling the feather can result in blood clot breakdown and bleeding once again as you've seen. I understand your reticence in doing this. To find an avian vet near you, please see here:

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish. I'll be on- and offline between 08/18-08/24.