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Blood Feathers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by foxypoproxy, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was cutting my polishes crest the other day and realized he has alot of feathers in casings.
    I know that happens when they moult but I was worried about cutting some of them because ive heard of "blood feathers" and that if you cut them and they bleed, you should pull them out.
    I don't want to cut them, i don't want to pull them out....are they blood feathers or "were" they blood feathers?
    How do you tell?
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    If you look closely, you can see dark blood in the casings. Why would someone suggest you pull them?

    This happens when they grow in. Growing feathers have a blood supply.
     
  3. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I read that if you accidentally clip a blood feather it will keep bleeding so you are suppose to pull it out?
    I'm not sure how true that is, thats why i'm double checking.
    Its hard to tell on my polish because his feathers are black.

    "This happens when they grow in. Growing feathers have a blood supply."
    I thought thats what blood feathers were. But does that mean all feathers in their casings are still blood feathers?

    If he was a lighter color i think i could figure this out better @_@
     
  4. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are on the right track. If your bird is molting it's best to leave off the trimming, because you might hit a blood feather. Eventually when the feather is fully grown out, the blood will recede out, and you'll have a normal feather.

    And you were given the right instructions on what to do if you accidentally hit a blood-feather. Pull it out, as the casing does not clot easily, and your bird could potentially lose a lot of blood. It's better to let the skin of the bird clot and scab like it's designed to do.

    Here is a really nice site that goes into more detail on feather care and maintenance:

    http://www.keepingchickensnewsletter.com/site/pin-feathers-blood-feathers-chicken-first-aid
     
  5. foxypoproxy

    foxypoproxy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ok thanks for the information!
    I only trimmed his crest alittle so he could see better but then i cut some feathers in casings.
    I freaked out cuz i thought i hit blood feathers and i would hate to have to pull those feathers out.
    But luckily they didn't bleed so they must not have been blood feathers.
    But the close call freaked me out a bit and made me way more cautious.
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    New feathers growing in look like quills. They're called blood feathers, because they have a blood supply while they're growing in. The feather is folded up inside the casing.

    The blood supply recedes starting at the tip, after that part of the feather is done growing. Usually they preen the casing off and the feather unfurls, starting at the tip. On their body, they can preen their feathers with their beak. It's a little hard to do that on the top of the head. Usually scratching with their foot is the best they can do. Sometimes one of their friends will preen them.

    The blood supply probably receded already and he just didn't get the casing preened off, yet, since it was on his head. You can try to stop a blood feather that's bleeding with something like flour, but they don't always clot or they can start bleeding again. In that case it's best to just pull the feather.
     

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