Thursday was Just Practice

On Thursday, I wrote about Digby breaking a flight feather that had blood on the broken end (see this post). What little bleeding there was stopped before I found it. I did not have to pull out the rest of the feather or take her to the vet. I was quite relieved that the broken feather was nothing serious.

But today's story is different. I got Digby out, planning on letting her be out for a while. I had her on her perch in the kitchen while I finished up a few chores. Something spooked her and she flew to the ground. When she landed, I saw she had a broken feather. The feather did not just break off. It broke but was still attached.

 I picked her up and put her back on her perch. I watched her for a few minutes and the feather seemed to be really bothering her. Then she lifted her wing trying to mess with it and I saw blood on the inside of her wing. I took her upstairs so my mom could help me. I put her on the bed and we observed her for a couple minutes. I tried toweling her to inspect her wing, but each time I did, she got very upset. After a couple minutes, I gave her some bird bread to calm her down. She happily ate while we decided what to do.

There aren't very many avian vets in Louisville, and none of them are open on Sunday evening. We do have an emergency vet, Jefferson Animal Hospital, but I am unsure of what they could do. I talked to them once that night Noey died; at the time, they told me all they would be able to do was stabilize her until their other branch that deals with exotics opened in the morning. I am fairly sure that they could have helped us tonight had we needed it. Even though we could have gone to the vet, we decided to pluck the feather ourselves.

We had never done it before, but both my mom and I have read about it in several different places. So Mom got out a small pair of needle nose pliers to do it with. I held Digby in a towel, while Mom held Digby's wing and pulled the feather out (no way was I about to be the one to pull the feather was nerve-racking enough watching somebody else do it). Mom very carefully got a hold of the feather's shaft and pulled. It came out and the bleeding stopped. Digby ran up my arm to my shoulder and sat for a while.

The feather. Notice the break and the blood.

I am very, very thankful my girl is okay. I was prepared to take her to the vet if I needed to, but I feel this is one of those things you need to be able to do if you have birds. The most difficult part of it was not the actual pulling the feather out, but restraining Digby long enough to do so.

Digby is now doing fine. She has already gone to bed for the evening after some cuddling and eating some more bird bread.


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