Skip Navigation
Oklahoma State University

Putting a little “magic” in Veterinary Medicine

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

bent feather being dipped in hot water to straighten it

Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine treats more than 500 wildlife cases a year at the college's Veterinary Medical Hospital. Recently a barred owl was brought to the hospital because it was unable to fly. The hospital’s avian, exotics and zoological (AEZ) medicine service treated it.

“We noticed that the owl’s tail feathers curved abnormally,” said Marianne Caron, fourth year veterinary student on the AEZ clinical rotation. “Dr. Brandao showed us the closest thing to a magic trick that veterinary medicine can get.”

“An easy way to help straighten bent feathers is to place the affected part of the feathers in very hot water,” explained Brandao, assistant professor of zoological medicine at the hospital. “The heat from the water causes the keratin in the feather shaft to stretch and straighten.”

Using a duck feather and a Mississippi kite feather Caron demonstrates the technique in this video.





If you would like to support the veterinary medical treatment of Oklahoma’s wildlife, please contact Ashley Hesser, assistant director of development at the OSU Foundation, at 405-385-0715 or

MEDIA CONTACT: Derinda Blakeney, APR | OSU College of Veterinary Medicine | 405-744-6740 |

Article Tags:
blog comments powered by Disqus