My Charlie (who has or had french moult disease so has always had issues with deformed feather) currently has one of those feathers growing out that's like a quill, just the "stalk" bit with no feathers growing out. He has gotten them occasionally throughout his 9 years and they usually just fall off eventually.
However today he has started screaming occasionally when preening and it looks like it's one of these feathers on his wing that is causing the problem. It's pretty long, just sticking out of his wing feathers. He's fine when resting and playing etc but it's when he preens at that area he seems to be in pain.
I can't get a good look because he won't let me pick him up without a fight (he recently had a course of Baytril and is still lacking trust a bit from me picking him up for that) but I think I saw blood inside the feather, nearer the body.
I'm not sure what to do, should I leave him be or try to remove it or what? I've never removed a feather before and with his current slight fear of me I don't really want to unless absolutely necessarily.
I should say, he doesn't fly so there's not much chance of him breaking it in action (and flapping his wings seems to cause the pain, too).
What do people think?
Just got a better look at the base of the feather and it's definitely bloodied but it looks clotted or on the inside, I can't tell.
(he has had a broken blood feather on his tail once before)
If the feather is causing him pain when he flaps his wings then it definitely needs to be removed.
The problem with a blood feather is that if it is hit it can easily start bleeding again. You don't want that to happen. A budgie has very little blood and can bleed out quickly.
If you are afraid to remove the feather yourself, then take him to an Avian Vet (or an Exotic Pet Veterinarian with experience with small birds) to have it done.
Just to update, he has not shown any signs of being in pain again since I cut the end of the feather off to stop him knocking it so I'll leave it for now. Have kept a close eye on him in the last day and a half and he hasn't expressed that he's in any discomfort.