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Upsides to Wing Clipping & EZ Pellet Conversion

Posted by on 5/9/2014 to Flight
Welcome to Sunday Birdie Brunch.


Everyone who knows me knows I am an advocate of keeping birds flighted. Strong headed as I am I realize that there's two sides to every story so I asked Denise Wamsley to provide her input on the benefits of clipping bird's wings. Denise - you're on.

"Hi everyone.

If your flighted bird is startled, it's first instinct is to fly--and that's how you lose it. (A (properly) trimmed bird can still fly, just horizontally and down...)

Or it's just flying around when company arrives, front door is open, your bird flies out.  Every spring, an incredible number of lost cockatiels (usually small birds), is reported.  Breaks my heart.  Never found, either.   

My girlfriend ended up with a lovebird this way, it was lost and flew into her back yard. She never did find the owner.

 Another girl friend who has three flighted cockatiels freaks out every time the front door opens -- very stressful.  For the guests, too.  She has never been able to get them into their cages when she wants them in the cages--why would they? This is also an issue if ever there's an emergency situation and you can't capture your birds.   

UNLESS you're prepared to train your parrot responsibly, it's never wise to leave them flighted. And even well trained parrots will startle when you least expect it.  

NEXT: Any parrot is intoxicated by height.  If it gets out, it flies to the highest tree and has a look around, and before you know it, it's gone. 

The intoxication of height also plays out in the home. If you have a parrot that can always fly higher than you, it is the dominant player in your house as it's in the superior position.  I had this exact situation with my conure when I let his wings grow out over the winter.  While it was lovely that he could fly around the house, he became ornery and harder and harder to handle.  That spring I trimmed his wings, and he returned to his lovely usual nature.  Amazing difference--which is tenfold with larger parrots. 

(this is also why I never recommend a tall cage to novice parrot owners--once the parrot is taller than them, they end up chasing it all over to try to get it into the cage. It's also why you should never ever let a large parrot onto your shoulder--they are immediately superior to you, and you will eventually get a bad bite.  If my macaw does succeed in getting on my shoulder, she's immediately put back into her room.  but I digress, being the opinionated creature that I am) 

Hey Denise you'll love this story of how one of our customers took action when his young Greenwing Macaw got all "Alpha Male Bird" on him. Here's our Alpha Male Macaw tip of the week.

Sorry for the interruption, carry on...

"If you've never watched the Youtube videos of the African Grey, Tui, the most bonded to her person parrot ever...until he trained her to fly.  And the most heartbreaking video of all, is when he reports that she's gone. (she has since been recovered) 

So I guess, to me, the benefits of keeping them trimmed outnumber keeping them flighted.  

This is also an issue if ever there's an emergency situation and you can't capture your birds." this is upcoming blog post because I could never be a victim of a (take your pick) storm - fire - power outage - earthquake - flood - so there's no reason why I should PRACTICE  getting my bird(s) into that evacuation cage that's always ready.

How many people don't towel their birds because the bird doesn't "like it" my bird will never get a (take your pick) blood feather - bleeding toe - broken bone - chipped beak - stuck to a glue fly trap". 

"That's on the menu for next weeks Sunday Birdie Brunch, Denise."

"Thank you for those useful insights. By the way another aspect to consider when clipping your bird's wings is poorly clipped wings. Another avian expert weighs in here about proper wing clipping.

And now the moment you've been waiting for. I'm going to share with you one of the easiest ways you can get your bird to eat pellets. Have you tried & failed? In one (hyphenated) word "Avi-Cakes" from Lafeber's is a real game changer. Rather than letting me ramble on about how great these are - Popcorn (our Tiel) favorite, let's hear from the folks at Lafeber's".

Looking for a fun, easy way to get your parakeet, lovebird, cockatiel, conure or other small bird (Parrot size available too:-) off of a mostly seed diet and onto a nutritious food he’ll love? Avi-Cakes were made with your bird in mind! We collaborated with top avian veterinarians, nutritionists and behavioral consultants to create a recipe that gives your bird the best of both worlds — taste and texture and solid nutrition, too.

Avi-Cakes is a special blend of premium seeds mixed 50-50 with nutritionally balanced pellets, all held together with a great-tasting molasses binder. Its square shape is designed for your bird to hold and pull part — the perfect “work-and-chew-food” to bring out foraging instincts. Your bird might pick and choose his way through a loose seed mix, but he’ll pull, stretch, crunch and twist his way through Avi-Cakes and consume better nutrition along the way.

Avi-Cake nutrition matches that of most pelleted diets, so it can be fed as a main diet. It also makes the perfect “bridge” food to wean your bird off of seeds and onto pellets, which small birds are especially likely to resist. Avi-Cakes has 50% pellets, so many birds will eat pellets after eating Avi-Cakes.

Our foods are Omega 3 & 6 balanced to promote a healthy immune system and improve skin and feather quality, and they are naturally preserved and flavored. All the seeds and grains in Avi-Cakes are hand inspected for cleanliness and freshness. Our equipment has been specially designed for just making bird food. We make small batches of food to insure the best quality possible. Each batch is laboratory tested. Finally, each Avi-Cake is hand packed. It takes a lot of work to make a great product, but we believe the results are worth it!

Avi-Cakes are a “Work ‘n Chew”™ food
  • Nutritionally complete
  • Omega 3 & 6 balanced
  • Excellent foraging food
  • Naturally preserved
  • Naturally flavored
  • Great meal or treat
  • Excellent conversion food
Your feathered friend will truly be delighted when he finds that fruits like cranberries, dates, mango, papaya and pineapple have been added to Avi-Cakes! These fruits are full of healthy nutrients and are the same fruits that you would buy for yourself.

So I'm pretty full from the brunch, how about you? Have a remarkable Sunday, squawk at you next week.

Your Sunday Birdie Brunch Hosts
Catherine Tobsing feeding white cockatiel on shoulderMitch Rezman with cockatoo on shoulderDenise Wamsley with Blue & Gold macaw & African Grey Parrot
Catherine TobsingMitch RezmanDenise Wamsley



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