Wing Clipping is a Range of Options – Not Just a Choice

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We talked about wing clipping adversely affecting your birds feet and that clipping your birds wings may cause your bird to scream more

One of my favorite things to do is “muddy the waters” will. Wing clipping is not simply a two-dimensional subject. It’s not just about should I clip my birds wings or not. Greg Glendell One of Europe’s foremost parrot behaviorists talks about the “quality of wing clipping” here

There is a broad spectrum of wing clipping. Severe clips, mild clips, bad clips – try pulling some parts off aircraft wing before the plane takes off – see how it goes for you. 

This is about a bad a wing clipping as it gets
cockatoo wings clipped Wing Clipping is a Range of Options   Not Just a ChoiceIf you are going to clip, have a plan. Having a bird that is clipped so severely that it lands with a thud because landing like that can be potentially damaging to it’s chest. This could happen when it leaves the top of the cage for the first time after a sever clipping, a danger that can be avoided
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A clipped bird can still have enough flight feathers left to “soar” from the top of the cage to the chair you’re sitting in – as an example.

Clipping can be done as an “attitude adjustment” to a new bird in the household. We did this with Popcorn (our Cockatiel) for her own safety when we first rescued her. As her flight feathers grew in, we created a friendly flight environment and landing zones throughout home. She’s been a prolific flyer for the past 18 months,

At the end of the day it’s important not to do just what “the breeder said” or “the vet said” or “it was in a Facebook group”. You have to do what is right for you and your bird.

We are with our cockatiel almost 24/7. She comes to work with us daily. She travels with us on the weekends. Catherine and I work staggered shifts. She goes in earlier, I lollygag in the mornings around our apartment. Whatever room I’m in I have a 117 g of white feathers following me through the air – always there to lend a, wing. She’s very good at helping make the bed – she’s a big freakin’ help with the pillows.

The relationship that we have with Popcorn, is different than someone who leaves their bird in a cage at 7 o’clock in the morning for work and returns at 6 o’clock in the evening. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. It might be the right scenario to have a bird with clipped wings so you’re not chasing it around the house from the minute you get home which only leads to frustration.

Our job is to let you know what as Dee so eloquently stated in a comment (read the whole thread here) “Basically we are doing the same thing to our birds – forcing an extreme change in their mobility – when we take away flight. IMHO” – thus clipping your birds wings will have behavioural consequences you need be prepared for.

 caveat: we see people with their birds outside in the summer, untethered – all the time. We’ll always hear the same thing “oh he’s/she’s clipped” Our thoughts are – who’s ever in charge of the universe that day can send ANY bird across your state – with a 20 MPH gust of wind for 5 seconds. You’ve been warned.

 written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

 

Author:

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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