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Split Or Broken Blood Feather

If a chicken is found bleeding with a split or broken off blood feather, it is critical to act quickly as significant blood loss can occur.

Clinical Signs

Broken or split feather stub with excessive bleeding
Bird is molting

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs

Treatment

NameSummary
For a split featherApply direct pressure over the bleeding feather to try to prevent excessive blood loss.

Wipe away blood with a piece of gauze.

Apply 2 to 3 coats of blood clotting agent (surgical glue, cornstarch, styptic powder (such as Kwik stop) or flour) along the area of the vertical split, allowing adequate time to dry between each application.
For a broken featherApply direct pressure over the bleeding feather to try to prevent excessive blood loss.

Coat with blood clotting agent (surgical glue, cornstarch, styptic powder (such as Kwik stop) or flour) on the end of the broken area.

If bleeding persists, you will need to remove the feather shaft in order to stop the bleeding.
How to remove feather shaftUsing pliers or your fingers, gently pull the shaft straight out at its base (not at an angle or by wiggling it), while applying counter pressure to the surrounding area to prevent tearing the skin.

The follicle will remain, as it was under the pulled shaft.

Prevention

Scientific References