Friday, September 16, 2011

WING CLIPPING: Question on Clipping Wings

QUESTION: "Someone has mentioned to me to clip their wings ... how do do feel about that?"

This question came in attached to my "Taming Parakeets" post. Thought I'd share the answer with everyone.

This isn't one of my birds. I've never
clipped their wings. This photo comes
from "Bourke's Parakeets" by
Doreen Haggard.
ANSWER: This depends more on a person's circumstances than on the bird's.

If there are cats or dogs in the house, I wouldn't clip them. If not, and you can't always retrieve the bird to put it back in its cage, then clipping might be appropriate. It doesn't hurt them if done correctly. Personally, I like to let my tame birds out to fly free, but they always go back into their cage for me. They consider it their home.

Most of my breeder pairs aren't finger tamed, but they're tame enough to come to the side of the cage and talk to me, nor do they go crazy when their cage is being cleaned. They like to fly in circles inside their long cage. It's healthy exercise that they shouldn't be deprived of. There would be no reason to clip their wings, plus the males use their wings for balance during breeding. So, if you plan to breed then don't clip their wings.

If you have a bird who isn't tame, and you want to work with them, then clipping can be an advantage. Their feathers eventually grow back, hopefully after the bird is now used to you and will sit on your finger or shoulder.

Birds that aren't tame are likely to still bite when caught, even if their wings are clipped.

I would never criticize anyone who feels a need to do this. It's done to larger parrots, cockatoos and macaws routinely to avoid losing them. I suppose parakeets can also fly outdoors given the chance, so there is a risk of losing them too if their wings aren't clipped. If someone in your house, possibly a young child, is likely to open the front door at an inopportune time, then clipping might be wise.

It's important not to cut the flight feathers too close, there are blood vessels in the lower part of the feathers. The photo above gives an idea of how far to cut. Better to not cut enough then too much. You can always go back again, if necessary. If you do cut too close, cornstarch will stop the bleeding. But, I hope you NEVER have to use it.

Again, each situation is different and needs your evaluation and decision.

Sending Splendid & Bourke Blessings Your Way.


1 comment:

JOYCE said...

THE PHOTO OF SOME ONE CUTTING THE FEATHERS OF
THIS LITTLE BIRD IS NOT RIGHT IF THEY WANT IT TO NOT
BE ABLE TO FLY AWAY . YOU CUT THE FIRST 7 TO 9 FLIGHT
FEATHER NOT THE ONES CLOSE TO THE BODY .