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Discussion Starter #1
I'm at the vet with wade, my baby.

He's breaking blood feathers, constantly. All the time. Just... I'm really at my wits end.

The vet said the biggest issue is how his wings were clipped before we got him. His new blood feathers have no protection from when he flaps and so he hits stuff with his wingtips, causing breakage and such.

They pulled another feather. This makes I think 8 in total from early february.

So is there a disease or illness I need to worry about with his blood feather problem? Is there a mineral or vitamin he might be lacking? Has anyone else had these issues with a tiel in the past?

I am so grateful to the vet clinic for getting me in asap, and they gave me an emergency contact number for a 24 hour place. I love this vet clinic! (Lake Elmo mn!)
 

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I have no advice for you, but sending you wishes that Wade gets better.
 

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It just takes time and keeping the outside of the cage time to a minimum while their feathers grow back. It took almost a whole year for Cosmo to grow out his horrible and short wing clip. A year now he has pretty much all of his feathers back. I went through the horrible at wits-end feeling of feathers being broken, coming out and bleeding, and the blood, the worry if he won't stop bleeding and fear he could die. It's a dark place, but I promise hold on there is light! It was months where at least once a week something would happen and he was bleeding. Keep corn starch on hand!

Hang in there!!

Just curious is the vet pulling the feathers because it's broken so far down? Are they only blood feathers he is pulling? Cosmo broke regular feathers and I would have to snip them off at the break so they wouldn't get caught and hurt him worse.

Also if you can afford it, get your tiel a big cage which helps tremendously. I'm already guessing his cage might be too small if he is hurting himself in it, he should be able to turbo flap without hitting anything. I found Cosmo this awesome castle of a cage on Amazon for around $120 and it even has a play top with dishes he loves to hang out on. so check there for a cage, it's a good investment to get. Also make sure you have at least some cover on the back or side of his cage so he feels safe and leave a night light so he can see at night so he won't get spooked and hurt himself.

Like I said it is going to take time, but it'll pull through!
 

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It's going to take time. I had a baby that came like this (not only did they severely clip him but they pulled all his butt feathers). The key is going to be getting those old feathers to fall out so new ones can grow in. At this point, I'd try to prevent as much flying as possible. Is he having night frights as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@ Rumz ;; thanks for the good wishes! wade is a bit cranky right now but he's doing alright. i got him millet as an apology treat!

@ enigma ;; Wade is about 8 months old, maybe a bit less. he's just a baby. some of it could be clumsiness?

@ Cosmo ;; hearing about your cosmo is really brightening my day because i actually started crying today after wade broke his feathers. blood just splashed down on my wrist and i broke down, my boyfriend had to help me put powder on his wing. i'm so happy to hear cosmo got better even if it took seemingly forever!

I HIGHLY doubt his cage size is the problem and if it is I would be INCREDIBLY surprised (and disappointed!!!). He has the A&E double flight cage which is roughly 6x2x3 FEET. Its absolutely massive, and he is not hurting himself inside the cage (except when he turboflaps ON THE CAGE WALL). He's hurting himself outside the cage, when he tries to fly somewhere, or gets startled, and hits his wing against something.

One of my biggest things when getting Wade (before adopting Kiwi and Piper) was making sure I had everything i could never give my old birds as a kid. Namely, a giant cage and tons of toys and treats and excellent nutrition. I'm so stoked for how far the bird community has come since the last time I had a bird (which was 10 years ago).

The broken feathers that have been pulled have all been blood feathers that broke pretty far down and kept opening up, causing a LOT of blood loss over the course of a few weeks. We got him in february and he's been having these problems since before we got him. ;z;

@ roxy ;; Wade came like this, and had a botched clip job from the breeder. as for night frights, he hasn't had one since early march, when the worst of them happened. we took immediate steps to prevent more night frights.

now our 'nigh nigh birdy' routine now includes covering the one side of his cage that faces the window, in case car lights or something were triggering his night frights. we also have a night light on both sides of the room now so its just bright enough to see whats happening but not too bright to disturb the precious birdy sleep times.


thank you to everyone for the replies! i'm still working on getting him all the good things. he had to stay at work with me but he got millet and i bought him nutriberries to try out because i've been reading such good things about them here! i'm also working on getting the right equipment for sprouting seeds, making bird food, etc. i'm 100% ready to do this bird thing right for many years to come because i have the means to spoil my babies and i intend to :D

(also ordered the bird box last week!)
 

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Phoenix had a badly butchered clip.



Total tail loss at one point :(



Now here he is (on the right)



It took us a year and a half to get here and it was an uphill battle. I ended up pulling his clipped flights, every other feather the first round and then what was left after they had grown in. It helped tremendously, but unfortunately he had a night fright and broke them all off his right wing, which put us back in the vicious break-regrow partially-break again because of no protection cycle. His feather shafts were misshapen and damaged because they were being broken out so often.

These are just a few of the flights he lost within a few months, all from the same wing. Notice the misshapen quill ends and pinching from damage during growth


I treated him like he was made of glass and he FINALLY has stable, strong feathers now. It took us a LONG time. I would cry and cry over it - I was convinced my baby would never fly again.

There are other things you can try, but it will take time. I increased his pellet intake to cover vitamin/nutrient bases. Lots of fortified foods, growing feathers takes a lot of energy. I also removed a lot of bulk from the cage, especially near the bottom, so he wouldn't hurt himself so bad if he had a fright or fell down. I also put a towel underneath the paper in the bottom of his cage, and padding on the floor around the cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you for sharing your experience! He's a very pretty bird now, hard to imagine he had so many feather issues!

Many of Wade's she'd feathers look like the ones in that picture, and so I think an overhaul of how we interact with him and what we furnish his cage with will be in order until this is cleared up.

He was doing so good for such a long time that I had high hopes - and of COURSE his aviator harness just came in today, the same day he takes backwards steps in the progress.

Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely be looking into vitamin rich foods and offering him more pellets. Hopefully he will also take interest in the nutriberries I picked up today as well, since they have tons of vitamins and goodies.
 

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Yeah it was pretty brutal. Even the force from just flapping and trying to fly would knock feathers clean out.

More lost feathers from one wing (I think a couple of these are in the pic in my last post) -



Lots of funky tail feathers in this batch



Here was after his night fright, basically wiped out one wing, and his half grown tail



Easy to see why we had so many issues...



Nutriberries are awesome, I incorporated them in larger amounts into my boys' staple diet and I really did notice an improvement in Phoenix's feather quality. Here are some he molted recently (left), you can see they're very close to perfect.

 
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