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Repairing damage from chewed feathers


Checking out the neighborhood
Real Name
Leo Mahoney
Hello! I have a cockatiel who has had long term issues picking pin feathers and chewing body feathers (contour, plume, and downy, none of the harder or larger feathers). After a long time the issue is finally being resolved, but what I’m wondering is how I can help her untangle the mats and stuck molted feathers. Many parts of her body have almost a matted appearance, and there are feathers that are no longer actually attached to her but are stuck by tangled and matted downy. The knots are very tight, the stuck feathers cannot simply be pulled out, and even though she gets several showers a week it only helps a small amount. I can tell it bothers her, she asks me to sort of massage the knots of feathers on her neck, and struggles to preen normally. Since it’s all stuck together by downy feathers cutting off some of the stuck loose feathers and knots is a possibility, but not one I wanted to attempt without consulting more experienced owners first.

It’s hard to get clear pictures, apologies if the attached ones are hard to see.



Rollerblading along the road
Real Name
Heather Gerbyshak
I would be tempted to cut the worst spots if they bother her and she fusses with them. That’s the only time I cut broken feathers—when they bother the bird.

hopefully she’s going to be molting lots this time of year and will swap out some of these feathers soon. Be sure she’s getting plenty of protein either through pellets or adding egg, tofu, baked chicken or fish to her soft food. Remove after a couple of hours at room temperature.