CARING FOR YOUR COCKATIEL: BLOOD FEATHERS
From Birds n Ways
Sometimes a blood feather will bleed a little and then stop. However, it is possible that the bleeding may resume, if the bird brushes the damaged feather against an object or preens it. For this reason, many people recommend pulling the broken or damaged feather. Others pull the broken feather so that a new one can begin growing. If the feather is not actively bleeding, it is not an emergency and you may feel more comfortable waiting to have your vet pull the feather.
However, a bleeding feather cannot wait. Birds have much less blood than humans and can literally bleed to death from a broken blood feather. You have to act immediately.
First towel the bird and then examine the wing, trying not to touch the broken feather. Try to pack the open end of the feather with something like corn starch or flour (Styptic powder is not recommended. It is fine for nails but not live tissue). You can also try a tissue glue or even Krazy Glue. Put pressure on the end of the feather, being careful not to break the portion of the shaft which is left. A hemostat, tweezer or even a pad or folded cloth can be used. The pressure may help the blood to clot.
If nothing works, then the remaining portion of the feather must be removed. If there is enough of the shaft left for you to grip the feather with , then you may be able to remove it yourself.
Use a needle nosed pliers or a hemostat or even a tweezer for a smaller feather. Place the pliers on the feather shaft some distance away from the skin, if possible. Get a firm grip on the feather and hold the bird so it won’t move when you pull on the feather. Pull firmly, smoothly and quickly. Jerking or wiggling can result in another break closer to the skin. Once removed, the bleeding should stop.
If the feather has broken at the skin level or the feather follicle continues to bleed after the feather is removed, apply corn starch or flour to try to stem the bleeding. Also put pressure on the area with your finger or a clean cloth. If the bleeding still continues, get to a vet immediately, keeping pressure on the area till you get there.