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I have a nine month old cinn split to pied cockateil who is going through his first molt and he's an absolute messy looking dumpster bird! He preens constantly I give him daily baths also cockatiel molting and conditioning supplement. Now his new feathers all look to be coming in great but his old ones are brittle and breaking especially the tail. So last night one old tail feather broken in half but not quite off and just hanging there getting caught on everything while he ruthlessly tried to remove it. Me being the concerned mama I am attempted to help him but trimming the old feather at he break... And with it I took one of his new one! I'm so heart broken over this as he was fully clipped when I got him and we've been looking forward to this molt so he can learn to fly. Will the feather I accidentally clipped make up unbalanced when the rest come in? I feel so horrible and can't stop looking at his tail. I'll attach some pics, but is all this breaking of the old feathers normal because instead of falling out they all just seem to be breaking off. Thanks in advance!
 

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Hey there! The broken tail feather is not a cause for concern. It’s not bleeding, and will fall out shortly. Baby feathers are very fragile and the tails especially are a mess. My three month old has the same look. When the first molt is complete, the feathers will be much stronger. Expect the first molt to be the roughest looking!

Tail feathers are not as critical for flying as wing feathers, this small difference will not throw him off. All good!
 

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I have a nine month old cinn split to pied cockateil who is going through his first molt and he's an absolute messy looking dumpster bird! He preens constantly I give him daily baths also cockatiel molting and conditioning supplement. Now his new feathers all look to be coming in great but his old ones are brittle and breaking especially the tail. So last night one old tail feather broken in half but not quite off and just hanging there getting caught on everything while he ruthlessly tried to remove it. Me being the concerned mama I am attempted to help him but trimming the old feather at he break... And with it I took one of his new one! I'm so heart broken over this as he was fully clipped when I got him and we've been looking forward to this molt so he can learn to fly. Will the feather I accidentally clipped make up unbalanced when the rest come in? I feel so horrible and can't stop looking at his tail. I'll attach some pics, but is all this breaking of the old feathers normal because instead of falling out they all just seem to be breaking off. Thanks in advance!
I used to find a lot of broken tail feathers from my cockatiel. He was much older though.Their feathers constantly come in. My old guy for several months was stubby, no long tail feathers. He was not a flying bird so he was ok and eventually they did come back. I would say leave nature take it's course.
 
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