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Female tiel with feather damage
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Female tiel with feather damage

We awoke this morning to find blood in our female tiels cage, she shares it with a young male currently experiencing puberty. After investigating the source of the blood, we found that Dax, our female has, what looks like, some damage to the feathers on both her wings, located near the very tips. The area appears pink/white and somewhat bloodied. She doesn't act injured, but does protest a bit when we fan out her wings to take a look. She isn't bleeding now, but there seems to be considerable blood on the cage. We were away from the house for about 5 hours yesterday (we league bowl so this is a regular occurrence), and came home after dark, so we don't know if it happened while we were gone or overnight. We have had Dax for about 10 months now but have never witnessed this before so we are unsure if this is a normal thing or if she has hurt herself or been hurt by the single male she shares a cage with (although he has never hurt her before). She has been showing signs of being in heat, it will be spring soon, although our male shows little interest in anything other than masturbating on the cage, and we regularly trim all our tiels wing feathers, but have never noticed anything like this on any of their wing feathers before. It sort of looks like she may have chewed them or pulled them out...but we aren't sure. We adore our tiels, they are our kids, we spend a lot of time with them, and Dax is especially friendly. We haven't changed anything in their diet or routines..so we are baffled & concerned. Any help/info would be gratefully appreciated. I can take & post a picture if that would be helpful, I just wanted to get this up quickly, but can provide a pic of the damage.
Tags: female, wing, feathers, damage, Blood
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187666_tn?1331176945
Do you know if she has blood feathers in right now? Blood feathers are just new feathers - but as they're coming in the shaft is full of blood. If the feather is broken or damaged, it will bleed quite a bit. When you take a look at her again, look at the feather shaft. Is it kind of clear and white or does it look dark (blood in there). As for how the feathers were damaged, you'll probably never know. All you can do is look for things that might snag their feathers and snap them.
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Avatar_f_tn
i would also recommend separating them for a while...not for good, but for a while, she may need a break from him or vice versa..maybe they arent bonded to each other, which means they may never want to be in the same cage again?  i am not sure of cockatiels, but i know with lovebirds, the female will kill another male or even her bonded partner, as to why, who knows, but it does happen with lovebirds...
plus she neds some time to rest from her injury/blood feathers...or whatever the problem?
another thought...could she have an egg?  could she be egg bound?
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461116_tn?1207686523
I have two cockatiels who tend to thrash on occasion: this is a typical Cockatiel trait. If the male is young he might be a little too aggressive towards your female. I also suggest separating them. So often people think that birds have to be kept in the same cage in order for them to be happy when this isn't always the case. I have ten parrots in ten separate cages and that's the way it works best for us.

Make sure you have quik-stop and needle nose plyers if you are going to have cockatiels. Sometimes if a blood feather breaks and you can't get the bleeding to stop with quik-stop (cornstarch works too) you will have to pull the broken feather out. There are lots of websites that tell you how to do this. I've had to do it twice: once on my Macaw when she broke a tail feather... New feathers are like straws and if the bleeding doesn't stop the smaller birds can bleed out pretty quickly. If the bleeding has stopped I would just leave her be for now but definitely separate the two and keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn't cause any further damage.
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187666_tn?1331176945
First I want to say welcome to you BurdGirl. I appreciate your help here and your knowledge. May I add one thing to this topic of pulling feathers? If the feather is a large one like a tail feather or primary or secondary on the wing, pulling them can be quite painful. Occasionally we get in a bird that's been burned and in order to trigger molting we have to pull a few feathers now and then. But we do it under anesthesia. Those primaries on the wings are quite hefty and would hurt as much as us removing a small fingernail. We do pluck smaller body feathers when dealing with a wound. Just thought I'd add that bit.
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461116_tn?1207686523
I take my bird to the vet if it's one of the large tail feathers or wing feathers - I meant to put that I had to pull one of my cockatiel's feathers not my Macaw. (She's way too aggressive when she's scared or injured.) I've had to quik stop bleeding feathers on her several times though!
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Avatar_f_tn
hi again. well my cockatiels i talked with u about have been laying eggs. tonight she came out of the nest box and was very swollen at the vent again. same as last time!! she seems perfectly normal otherwise though. she eats, gets plenty of calcium.... idk what to do
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187666_tn?1331176945
If she just laid the eggs, I wouldn't be surprised if her vent is a bit out of shape and swollen. Our "vents" aren't quite the same after giving birth either.  :-)  Keep an eye on her, see if the swelling goes down in a day or two. Did the vet mention using any Preparation H to reduce swelling? I know, that sounds odd but we use it often on baby mammals that suckle on each other's genitals. It just takes a tiny, tiny bit gently rubbed on there and it decreases swelling quite well. In the case of mammals, a tiny genital that's swollen means they can't urinate well and that leads to problems. Not likely to happen with your bird but the Prep H might give relief. It doesn't sound like your bird is in distress from this though. In any case, clear this with your vet before using it. And you have to be careful not to get it on the feathers so I do mean a tiny bit as you can imagine.
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Avatar_f_tn
Four years ago my good friend gave me a zebra finch. And 2 months ago snowy(zebra finch) was attacked by a field mice. She was protecting her non fertile eggs and her left wing was scratched and after a while she started to pull her features out. I took her to a veterinarian and they gave a cream that was for cats and dogs only. I didn't know this right away so I put this cream on her and she kept pulling her long features out. I stop putting the cream on her and she was starting to feel a little bit better. Well this morning when I uncovered her and finish cleaning I noticed that her wing was bleeding what can I do to fix it. please help cuz my girlfriend died 2 weeks ago and I want to keep the bird as a memory of my girlfriend.
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187666_tn?1331176945
It's too bad the vet didn't have more experience with birds when he tried to treat yours. Ideally, an avian vet who specializes in birds should take a look. But they're fewer than hen's teeth (lol, sorry about the pun) in the world of veterinary medicine. The next step is to call around and ask if the doctor has much experience with birds.

Question: is the bird bleeding from a wing feather or from the skin?  Bird feathers will bleed when they're coming in. They're known as "blood feathers" because of the blood supply in them as they unfurl. If they're broken during those first days, they will bleed quite a bit.  

If it's the skin that's bleeding, do you know if she scraped herself on something in the cage? That can be removed and solve the problem. If she's biting on her wing, then it could be some type of skin parasite or nerve problem that's causing pain and triggering the chewing. If she's doing it herself, then a trip to the vet would be the best solution. If there's a break in the skin, just keep it clean for now and try to get in touch with the vet. Don't put any heavy ointments on it. It will damage surrounding feathers and she will try to preen it off. Not good for her to be swallowing it.
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Portland, OR