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Margaret1 <email address not displayed>
Margaret1 wrote on the Nanday Conure Forum message board: > Kelly, none of my parrots have their nails trimmed on a regular basis. > They are only trimmed if they need trimming. In my opinion, they need > trimming if they are getting caught in my shirt while walking up and > down my arm, or if they are literally slicing me open and making me > bleed. A little skin abrasion is not a big deal here with my birds. > Sure, I have little scratches here and there on my forearms, but it is > not a big deal and it won't leave scars. > > What can leave "scars" is trimming your bird's nails and having them > bleed each time. Not only does that cause a bit of pain for your pet, > but it can leave an emotional scar, so to speak. If you are the one > doing it, it can even destroy their bond of trust that has taken time > to develop. That is one reason why it might be a good idea to get a > vet involved. Not only all that, but bleeding nails are openings for > infection and extra care needs to be taken in cage/perch cleanliness > because a poopy floor and poopy perches can cause him further grief > and pain if his nails become infected. If you can't take the tippy tip > of the nail off without having it bleed, it doesn't need to be > trimmed. Yes, the quick in a bird's nail is very long and skinny and > is much longer than a dog's or cat's quick. When I say "tippy tip" I > mean one millimeter or less of nail trim, NOT 1/10th of an inch, for > example. > > If the nails aren't "damaging you" then leave them alone. A bird needs > to have some sharpness in their talons which helps them when playing > on a perch, hanging upside down and just having a ball in a parrot > sort of way. > > Sandpaper perches are very bad for your parrot's feet. Let me explain > why. A bird normally has tree branches of varying diameters and > textures in the wild to help exercise his feet. A bird spends its > whole life on its feet, eating, sleeping, playing (for the most part) > are all done on the bird's feet. If we had to stand all day and all > night, we'd want a comfortable place to put our feet too as well as > different positions to put our feet in as well. With those awful > sandpaper perches, they cover a dowel shaped perch. That perch is the > same diameter all the way down. This gives no opportunity for the bird > to reposition its foot for comfort. The sandpaper actually does more > damage to the pads of a bird's foot than it does good in trimming > toenails down (as you have noticed, right?). Unless the bird hangs > from the side of it's cage or walks flat on the cage floor, it can't > reposition its feet or get more comfortable. Talk about leg/foot > cramps (I'm putting myself in the bird's place). > > Birds need perches of different diameters and different textures for > foot health. This also helps your bird avoid arthritis longer during > its lifetime. As your bird becomes elderly, he will appreciate having > good use of his feet. I have an old guy (cockatiel) which I adopted a > couple of years ago. He was kept with only dowels in his cage. While > the oldest cockatiel I've heard of was in his early mid-30s, my guy is > going on 25, so he is elderly in cockatiel years. His grip is very > weak. If he is on my shoulder as I move around, he can easily fall off > if I move too abruptly (which really isn't all that abrupt, but to him > it is). His predicament could have been avoided had his owners knew in > the early 1980s what many bird owners and enthusiasts know today. > > Although this place also sells those awful sandpaper perches (Why? > Because people will buy them), they also sell wonderful perches such > as the Sand & Walk Perch, the Beach Walk Perch, the Comfy Perch, the > Pedicure Perch, the Cholla Cactus Perch, the Manu Mineral Perch - all > perches that I have and are wonderful perches. Like I said, I rarely > trim my bird's nails and I have 23 parrots here. I do however trim > flight feathers what seems like nearly a daily basis <grin>. The only > thing with regards to these wonderful perches is that if your bird has > long nails that get caught in your clothes, then they might get caught > in the Comfy Perch which is a rope-type of perch. These perches are > not meant to last "forever" (no perch is really) and once they become > frayed, they should be removed or only used when you are home to > untangle bird toes if the bird becomes caught. I would recommend you > just do away with them when they reach this point because being bitten > by a hurting and frightened bird that you are trying to wrangle out of > a rope perch is not fun at all. A variety of perches will help to > blunt down his sharp tips on his nails though and while he may still > scratch you a little bit he won't become snagged in your clothes. > > I would put the pedicure type perches near his food/water cups. Those > places he uses regularly and often. I would leave his upper corner > sleep perch (or where ever he seems to choose to roost) one of the > more comfortable perches such as the soft cholla cactus perch. This > perch is made of a soft, chewy-type of wood with many holes in it so > he can reposition his feet in a huge variety of ways. > > I have no idea what-so-ever that you mean when you say "scratchy > thing" in his cage as far as something to keep his nails trimmed. > > Read #6 in this list on the following website which talks about > perches and even refers you to another online article about foot > comfort in pet parrots - http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww18e.htm > (they will also tell you that sandpaper is bad). > > I hope some of this helps you and gives you better ideas of how to > deal with your bird's toenails. This should make for a much more > appreciative bird too. Be good to that baby. > > Kelly wrote: > > I have had my conure for almost a year and have only had his nails > > clipped 4 times - once by his previous owner, once by the vet and of > > > course, I attempted clipping his nails twice. Even by just clipping > > > the very tips, his nails bleed almost EVERY time - on every nail. Is > > > this normal?? It is time AGAIN to have them clipped and it's such a > > > hassle to bring him to the vet; not to mention to try to hold him > > still! I have all of the nail-trimming things in his cage, > (sandpaper > > perch covers and a scratching thing), etc. It is just plain time to > > > clip them!! Any suggestions would be wonderful. Thanks!!
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