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E-book - 24 Pages - 35 Gray-scale & 1 Color Pencil Illustrations by Sally Blanchard
Excerpt - A FEW FEATHER FACTS
Feathers start growing within the feather follicles. When they push out of the follicle forming an actual feather, there is still a bloody pulp in the shaft. This is especially true with the flight feathers and tail feathers, which are often referred to as blood feathers. When the feather is completely grown, the blood will be absorbed into the mature feather.
Feathers are constructed from keratin protein; the same protein he must be on a nutritious diet with all the raw material needed to produce the feather. This includes complete proteins, vitamin A, calcium, and other essential nutrients.
When the necessary raw materials and conditions are not present, feathers may grow in with brown streaks and splotches, or weak shafts. Stress bars (horizontal tears or lines) in the feather, discoloration (brown where the feather should be green or blue, etc.) and feathers that break easily are all signs for cosmetic reasons. This creates a situation where the parrot has to grow several feathers at the same time, which can lead to a lack of essential nutrients to grow this many feathers at a time. The result can be imperfect, weak feathers that break again easily.
Healthy feathers provide perfect insulation because of the way they fit together. A feather consists of a central stiff shaft with soft vanes on each side. The vane on one side is wider than the other. The leading edge of the flight feather is the narrower outer vane. On each vane are parallel branches called barbs. The key to the quality of the insulation, are the minuscule barbules. Barbules have tiny hooks that bind................................................
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Published by the Companion Parrot Online Magazine
Loveland, Colorado USA
Copyright© 2012 Sally Blanchard
Illustrations and Photographs Copyright© 2012 Sally Blanchard
Design and Layout by Sally Blanchard
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED