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Question
Posted by: J | 2004/10/14

Breaking tail feathers

Hi there,
My bird being an extremely playful and a huge mmic keeps n falling and breaking tail feathers twice where blood has occured.
The last time I had to have them removed by a Vet. What can I do to prevent this? Is there something I can feed him to strengthen his feathers?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Young birds often play roughly and will break their tail feathers, especially if the cage is a bit on the small size. As long as the other feathers are of good quality, there is probably no underlying feather problem - this is usually a stage they go through. If the feathers have 'stress bars' on them, this can indicate underlying disease, malnutrition or other stressors. Stress bars are weaker areas of the feathers and are prone to breaking. If these are present you should have him checked out. The fact that there was bleeding, indicates that your bird was probably moulting or growing new feathers at the time that it fell. These 'blood feathers' are growing feathers with a shaft that is
blood filled - when broken or damaged these feathers can bleed profusely. The best thing is to have them pulled if the bleeding does not stop within a minute or two. Longer intact feathers usually protect these feathers, but if they are broken off obviously they cannot do this. If this is a recurrent problem, the tail feathers can be 'imped', ie new feathers glued onto the broken ones, to protect growing blood feathers.

Yours truly
Dr Willemien van Wyk

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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