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Topic: Dove half broken flight feather (I think)
Message: Posted by: Jarana (Dec 5, 2006 02:32PM)
One of my doves has a half broken feather. Seems like it is one of the flight feathers - and its broken about 1.5 inches away from the start of the body- the problem is - its not fully broken but I can see the little red scab where it's half broken and wonder what happens next, does this feather fall off eventually and a new one comes back? It's been about about 1 week since I've noticed this and it's still there. When the dove flaps its wings, I can see the broken feather but don't know if it's harming him.

Any one knows?

Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Dec 5, 2006 03:38PM)
Hey Jaime,
Is the red scab a part of the feather? Is the feather shaft fatter and darker than the rest of the feathers? If so, this is a newly forming feather which is still full of blood. It is aptly called a blood feather. When the feather is fully developed it dries out and there is no blood anymore. If a blood feather is broken or cut the bird can bleed a great deal. So here is what I suggest...

You need to gather courage and a good pair of small needle nose plyers or a pair of hemostats if you have some. Ordinary tweezers are too flimsy. Stablilize the wing with one hand while you hold the plyers with the others (so you do not injure the wing). Clamp the plyers on the base of the feather near the fleshy part of the wing (careful not to catch any skin), count to three, and pull it out QUICKLY and FIRMLY in one sharp movement. It is like pulling out hair, so it smarts a little bit I am sure.

You might even get someone else to help you hold the dove. The broken feather will come out and a new one will grow in in a few weeks. If the feather should break off, don't panic. Just clamp onto the feather again and pull it out quickly and firmly. Styptic powder (used to stop bleeding when you shave) is good if you ever have any problems with bleeding.

Also, I suggest you do a search on "blood feathers" and "broken feathers" on The Café and you will find much additional info.

Message: Posted by: 1906Alpha1906 (Dec 5, 2006 04:18PM)
Great Advice Autumn...I learned something new today! *smile*
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Dec 5, 2006 06:31PM)
I would have given that advice but since Autumn hasn't been around lately, I wanted to give her a chance. Actually, both Autumn and Alpha got here first. As always though, great advice from Autumn. Now Autumn, if you take those hemostats and gently pick up the meal worms....Oh different subject, sorry :lol:
Message: Posted by: Jarana (Dec 5, 2006 09:03PM)
K thanks Autumn once again! :)
It's a fully grown feather but broken, so I think I might have to pull it out, will try to take a pic. One thing is that is not bleeding. The red scab is what's holding the feather shaft together, kind of like the inside of a broken bone.
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Dec 8, 2006 06:24PM)
Aarg, mealworms! I looked at the mealworms again when I bought mice for my snakes, but I just couldn't do it. Too darn crawly ~~~~! But thanks for giving me a shot at answering, Dave. I have been on tour for the last couple of months, but now I am back for a couple of weeks.

Thanks Alpha for your kind words. I was hoping no one would think me unkind for suggesting needle nose plyers, but they work well if you do not have hemostats. It is sort of like orthopedic surgeons using sterile Black and Decker tools on bones. No kidding. Aarg.

Jaime, I would love to see a photo of this feather. It puzzles me. Maybe it broke back when it was a blood feather and it just dried like a little scab. Nothing else could be red except for old blood, because a mature feather is hollow and full of air.
Message: Posted by: magic_man204 (Dec 8, 2006 07:45PM)
You can get rats for your snakes but you can't get mealworms? GIrls, I am not going to even try to understand! LOL!

Message: Posted by: Watchmaker (Dec 8, 2006 07:49PM)
Anyone who has a bird, or birds, should not only have a first aid kit with things like Needle Nosed pliers and styptic powder but should keep a copy of "First Aid for Birds" by Julie Rach and Gary A. Gallerstein, DVM.

A book like that is invaluable, especially in an emergency.

I could write down what it says to do when a blood feather breaks but Autumn's description is not only the same but better written. Good job.
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Dec 10, 2006 05:01PM)
Great suggestion and thank you, Watchmaker! This book sounds like one for all of us to have on hand.

Oh, Aaron, you know it is too tough to even try to understand women ;) You see, Dave has been encouraging me to buy mealworms for my birds for some time now, but they are way too nasty-crawly. They honestly send a shiver down my spine. In comparison, my cornsnakes are absolutely beautiful, however, feeding them mice is hard.

The foodchain shows little mercy. The shark sees a human as a Happy Meal with a cool boogie board toy.
Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (Jan 26, 2007 04:22AM)
Hi Autumn,
I love your sense of humor and let me second, you always do a great job of giving expert advice to people that ask here on The Café!!!
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Jan 30, 2007 03:21PM)
Well, thank you Bill! I am glad that I can make you laugh! I cannot take all the credit for the advice: My dad was an expert racing pigeon fancier and taught me almost everything I know. Bob and Dave taught me the rest, and Alpha fusses at me regularly to keep me in line.

Bill, that is a lovely bird you have on your shoulder in your avitar!