Broken Blood Feathers, Nails or Beak

Anyone who shares their life with Parrot will inevitably experience a broken blood feather, nail cut to short or even a broken beak. Since birds can bleed to death very easily, knowing how to bleeding quickly at home can save your bird’s life, before transporting to your Avian Vet.

Restraining your Parrot

You should have your Avian Vet show you how to properly restrain your parrot upon your first well checkup visit.  Restraining a Parrot improperly can cause injury or even death.  Know how to restrain before an emergency happens. In most cases, a towel will make this easier. When restraining a bird, hold the wings gently against the bird’s body to prevent injury.  Never apply  pressure to your Parrots chest,  they do not have  a diaphragm and cannot breathe unless the chest is completely free to make its excursions.  Be prepared to immediately release your Parrot, should the they show any signs of stress (drooping head, eyes that start to close, etc.).

Broken Blood Feathers Blood

Blood feathers or pin feathers are new feathers that appear during a molt. These feathers are enclosed in a sheath and look rather like porcupine quills. Unlike fully developed feathers, they contain a blood supply and can bleed profusely if broken.

If your parrot has broken a blood feather and it is bleeding more than just a drop or two,  you will need to stop the bleeding quickly and then transport to your Avian Vet.  Bleeding can be stopped by blotting and applying flour or corn starch, with gentle pressure for 5 minutes. Do not apply Quick-stop to the bird’s skin, as it can cause burns. If there has been significant blood loss then the bird needs to visit the veterinarian right away. A feather that is actively bleeding or bent will need to be removed, if you are not experienced with doing this procedure I highly recommend that you take your Parrot to your Avian Vet for the removal.

Bleeding Nail or Beak tip

If a toenail is broken or the beak tip is injured and bleeding,  it  can be stopped by blotting and applying flour or corn starch, with gentle pressure for 5 minutes. Do not apply Quick-stop to the bird’s skin, as it can cause burns.  Once the bleeding has been stopped then you will need to watch your Parrot closely and make sure that they remain calm and quiet and allow it to clot.  If  your Parrots beak was broken, you should take them to your Avian Vet for further examinations as soon as possible.  Even if you have the bleeding under control,  a broken beak should always be examined by a Vet to see if further care is needed.

Once Bleeding has Stopped

Place your Parrot  inside its cage.  Cover the cage on three sides with a blanket.  A darkened cage will help to keep your Parrot calm  and reduce the chance for bleeding to resume.

Watch your Parrot closely for at least an hour to be certain that the bleeding has stopped.  All bleeding should stop within 5 minutes in a healthy Parrot. Also watch for any signs of stress such as shivering and sitting on the cage floor. If your Parrot does  exhibit any of these signs, or you have not been able to successfully stop the bleeding… call your vet right away.

(I DO NOT use silver nitrate sticks or Kwik Stop to control bleeding on Parrots ever. Silver nitrate is used as a cauterizing agent and destroys skin. Kwik stop can cause tissue damage. Both silver nitrate and Kwik Stop can cause systemic poisoning. On nails or beaks you run the risk of your Parrot touching their skin with the treated nail. If nothing else is available, apply PRESSURE until the bleeding stops.)


Copyright © 2011 Deborah FeatheredAngels
All rights reserved
(My articles are free to repost, just do so in their entirety)

1 thought on “Broken Blood Feathers, Nails or Beak

  1. Thank you so much! This really helped me out! My cockatiel has a cracked beak and I knew right away to put pressure on it but had no idea that I could use flour or corn starch to stop it from bleeding. Thanks again!

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