Nanday Conure Forum

Message #2334. This is a followup to #2331.

Name:Margaret
Date:Sunday November 14, 2004 1:11:19 pm MST
Subject:Re: Wing clipping
Message:Diana brings up some excellent points in her post to you. With those, I'd also like to add a few other things.

Clipping a bird's flight feathers can also help you in handling your bird. A bird that doesn't need you to get it from the cage to the shower, for example, may not be very cooperative when you want to move it from "point A" to "point B". Those are the birds that you may have difficulty getting back into their cage when you need to run an errand.

Also, with female birds, allowing them full run of the house gives them plenty of opportunity to find nesting spots whether it is in a basket on top of the refrigerator or in a huge pan that is stored on top of a shelf in the kitchen. A nesting bird might aggressively defend their nest.

I have 23 pet parrots here and everyone is allowed out of their cage when I'm home and able to supervise. If I didn't keep flight feathers trimmed, I would have quite the mess inside my home. Poops would be everywhere. Picture frames, furniture and molding would become chewed and destroyed. Electrical cords, hot light bulbs and tight spots behind the refrigerator and dangerous spots under my couch which has recliners on both ends...oh I'd hate to think of the dangerous possibilities. Anyhow, keeping their flight feathers trimmed allows them much more out of cage time. Otherwise, I'd worry about someone landing on someone else's cage and getting their toes bit. But not just that, single pet birds can seriously injure themselves in a home without having their flight feathers trimmed. They can injure their spinal cord or break bones flying into an uncovered window or mirror, even a wall if they become spooked.

I agree with Diana also when she indicates that she allows enough flight ability so that they can safely glide to the ground and maneuver out of harm's way, but not so much flight ability where they could gain altitude. However, taking a bird outside without being inside of a cage with this limited flight ability could be a serious mistake. These birds are strong fliers and sometimes all it takes is a breeze and these birds can become airborne and actually pick up altitude. You'd be surprised. Besides, it is hard to determine exactly when the bird has regrown feathers and has "too much" ability to be taken outdoors. Often when you find out is when the bird ends up in the neighbor's tree or ontop of the house.

With limited flight ability, the bird can still get exercise but you will be in better control of where they are spending their time. This helps control the mess and keeps your bird safe. Mine get exercise by leaping from their cage top, running a circle on the floor and then running up their ladder which leads to the floor and gets them back on their cages.

I do believe that newly fledged birds be given the opportunity to learn flight skills which will definitely come in handy when they do have their flight feathers trimmed. Once my birds have the skills, I don't feel bad taking full flight ability away and leaving them with limited flight ability. I've rarely had a fledgling here though since I don't breed, but I do hand feed for a breeder friend and she has given me 4 week old babies (as payment for my services) that I need to finish handfeeding and allow them to fledge and teach them all about healthy foods and playing with toys (got to love those babies, for sure!).

So really it is up to you whether you choose to get your bird's flight feathers clipped or not. Personally, I do keep my flock trimmed. If I showed birds at bird shows, the flight feathers need to be fully grown out, but I don't show my birds and they aren't kept in a spacious outdoor aviary setting where free flight would be preferred. My birds are not breeders. They are pets. They live in my dining room and my living room which is basically a large conjoined space. They can see each other and are within 15 feet of me most of the day. My birds are easier for me to enjoy with their flights clipped and that is why I clip.

I maintain a website for the National Cockaitel Society and they have an article on their site which links to another article with photos on how to clip the flights. You can look at that here - http://www.cockatiels.org/articles/care/clipfaq.html

I hope some of this helps you make an informed decision. Regardless, the decision to clip isn't a "permanent" one and your birds will quickly regrow their flight feathers. So you can try it both ways and see which is easier for you to live with. I'm sure your bird will adjust accordingly.



Yvonne wrote:
> could someone please advice me as to whether or nor i should have my
> conures wings clipped or not as i have read conflicting items about
> this.

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