Green Cheek Conure Off Feather Growth

by Ryan
(Marietta, GA)

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I have had my green cheek conure for about 5 months now and within the last month he has begun growing quite odd feathers. These feathers look like white stems. They originally appeared on his face, then began appearing on his head and are now growing from his neck. They appear to be feathers growing without the fluffy part, only the "white stem" of the feather. They don't seem to bother him and he doesn't pluck or pull out feathers. These "white stems" don't seem to be painful as I've looked at and palpated them and it doesn't bother him. It doesn't seem to be threatening him in any way but it doesn't look right... Any idea as to what these odd feather growths could be?

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May 06, 2013
Conure feather growth
by: Anonymous

My bird had the same thing last year, she looked like a cactus head! The pin feathers that grew in that she could reach, she took the white coating off herself. The ones on the head, neck and face she couldn't get to, so when we had quiet time together I would pet her and help remove the white sheaths. If you touch one of the new feathers and the bird tries to bite, it means it's not ready to come off. I just pinched the white sheath with my fingernail to loosen it and it would crumble off. Do not pull on the sheath because it could be painful and your bird might bleed.

May 06, 2013
Conure with pin feathers
by: Tracie

This is normal, these are pin feathers or some call them blood feathers because they still have a blood supply.

The hard white sheath stays on the feather basically until the blood supply is out of the feather and the feather unfurls.

You can help with this process by providing fresh water for the bird to bath in for 20 minutes a day. You don't want to leave water, especially drinking water, in the cage for hours because bacteria will form and your bird can get a bacterial infection. This is why we use water bottles for drinking.

Thanks for asking about this! If you need help with training or health information, please read the articles at this Parrot Training page link.

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