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wing clipping

Discussion in 'The Airport' started by MickeyD, 2/11/17.

  1. MickeyD

    MickeyD Meeting neighbors

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    Every time I ask a question another pops in my head. I'm looking for pros and cons to clipping wings. Thanks
     
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  2. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Pro If safety is a concern and everything other than clip has been tried then clip wings may be the answer

    Con: Birds with clipped wings are not as happy because they cannot fly well
    do not eat as much because of lack of exercise
    flight muscles can atrophy
    If there are predator pets the bird that cannot escape danger is likely to have a severe injury
    It seems to take a long time for flight feathers to grow back
     
  3. Cynthia & Percy

    Cynthia & Percy cockatoo mania Super Moderator Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran

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    welcome
     
  4. HawkEagle

    HawkEagle Sprinting down the street

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    Personally I am against wing-clipping, but here are the main Pros and Cons:

    PROS:
    Safety: Indoor birds don't have to survive rain or cold, but they have many hazards such as hot water, windows, mirrors etc. Clipping a bird's wings will provide safety and help to stop the bird from crashing into anything.
    Dependancy: Another reason people clip bird's wings is because then the bird will be more dependant on the person and more tame/trusting. (Personally this is horrible thing to do- limiting a bird's flight just so that the bird will depend on you! But alas, people do it.)

    CONS (by far outnumbering Pros!!)
    Physical damage: Birds' flight feathers take VERY long to grow back, and it is very frustrating not to be able to fly properly for the bird!
    Phsychological damage: By clipping wings, you are forcing your bird to stop flying. They cannot fly=they cannot do what they were born to do!
    "[We] argue that the benefits of flying -- exercise and mental stimulation -- far outweigh the risks of injury to a pet bird, provided they are properly supervised."-- Alison Kalhagyn, avian veterinarian
    Lack of muscle exercise: unhealthy and tired bird
    If you show budgies.... clipped birds have less chance of winning competitions.

    Really, don't do it. Let your bird live the life he/she was always meant to live.
     
  5. Animallover03

    Animallover03 Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Loves to Like

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    I am against clipping. It really doesn't protect the bird- most birds can still fly very well with a clip. My GCC included.
    There really aren't any pros. It is mostly false security. They say it keeps them safer, but I think you should make their habitat safer instead :)

    Cons of clipping:
    -Your bird won't receive much excessive and may become overweight.
    - Your bird may become overly dependent of you
    -you are taking away an instinctual ability of theirs. They are built for flight.


    I will say some things about leaving your bird flighted also. It provides your bird with wonderful excersize, and mentally challenges them also. Your bird can get around whenever they need to, rather than relying on you. There are so many things I could add to this..

    I would recommend leaving your birds flighted :)
     
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  6. Kolkri

    Kolkri Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    For me it depends on the bird. Joey is not clipped but can't fly. My cake is not clipped he mostly flies from back of my chair to play stand, My quaker is clipped. Every quaker I have had are easier to keep tame if clipped. They are still happy as can be. My parrotlets and conure are not clipped. They are also not very tame. But they are smaller birds and I have other pets that might injure them.
     
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  7. MickeyD

    MickeyD Meeting neighbors

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    When we brought our GCC home he was clipped by breeder. This was 6 months ago. Since then he has gotten his wings back and is fully flighted. I do have safety concerns re: ceiling fans, stove, etc. We have two little dogs who I don't trust a bit when Rusty is out. We put them outside or in a separate room when he is out but then tend to put him up sooner so dogs are not shut up (that doesn't feel fair either). Not to mention I'm never sure where he is pooping. How do y ' all handle this? We enjoy him immensely but boy can he be a little bugger when he flies to the top of the curtains where we can't reach him.
     
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  8. Jaguar

    Jaguar Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award Shutterbugs' Best

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    Where you want him to be has to be more exciting/interesting than where he wants to be :)

    Set up landing stations around the room with perches, toys, food, and fun things to do. Encourage him to come down with high value treats. Once he's got his own spots around the room, you can just lay down towels or newspaper as easy ways to catch any mess!
     
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  9. Monica

    Monica Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Wings specifically, here's an article on the pros and cons.

    Should you clip your parrot




    Wing clipping to include behavior and confidence.... this article.

    Ethical, Moral and Spiritual Considerations of Companion Parrot Care

    Specifically, starting on page 4, paragraph 5. Entire article is worth a read, though.


    Personally, I feel that if a bird is going to be clipped, the bird should be at least 6 months or older if it's a small species. Medium species, closer to a year. Larger species, maybe around 2 years in age? Birds are only difficult to handle and work with because the majority of people don't know how to train them. Most behavior issues we see are due to lack of training and socialization. It just makes me think about young elephant bulls raised without adults around results in aggressive elephants. Introduce adults into the heard, the young bulls behaviors change. What do we do with parrots? We separate them from their parents and clip their wings. How are parrots supposed to learn how to behave when they don't have a parent figure to learn from? Or the human who has them doesn't know how to train them?


    If clipping is for safety, well, personally, I believe it's safer to teach a parrot to fly back to you instead of not training the bird at all. A clipped bird might not be able to land next to a dog or cat, but if the bird ever does happen to, they then can't fly away as well as they should. Clipping them is hindering their ability to escape. A clipped bird outside is in more danger than a flighted parrot, for that very reason. Hawks, cats, dogs, rats, snakes and who knows what else might be living near most people who would happily snack on a parrot that can't fly away because it doesn't have the strength, nor the feathers to do so.




    Ceiling fans? Turn them off when the bird is out, or buy/build a cage of sorts to put around the ceiling fan, thus reducing access to it.

    Cooking in the kitchen? Bird in the cage.

    Someone leaves the toilet seat open? Either close it or close the bathroom door.

    Dogs? Put them up in a room, or if you have a yard, outside, while the bird is out.


    Bird poop is far easier to deal with than dog poop! And much easier to clean up if you allow it to dry first! If it's wet, you might smear it, creating a bigger mess....



    You may find it easier if you work on teaching your conure recall training (same as teaching a dog to come to you) and target training. You can teach your conure to fly to his cage or fly to a perch or a stand and reward him for being there.
     
    Last edited: 2/13/17
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  10. svetlak

    svetlak Strolling the yard

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    A good article on the topic: Should My Parrot's Wings Be Clipped by Greg Glendell

    I wouldn't clip if I were you. Besides all the aspects discussed in the above article and in the article linked by Monica above (Should you clip your parrot), I truly think that when someone chooses to bring a living creature into their home, they should adapt their home and way of life to the needs of that creature (after all, it was not the creature's choice to come into our life), not modify their companion to suit their needs. This applies to any companion animal of course.

    In my opinion, there is nothing more beautiful than a bird in flight.
     
    Last edited: 2/17/17
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  11. BeeBop

    BeeBop Sprinting down the street

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    There are many pros and cons to each side. It definitely depends a lot on the situation.
     
  12. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Besides all of the reasons stated in previous posts - a bird's cardiac and respiratory health is the most important reason to leave it fully flighted. Birds in their natural habitat do quite a lot of flying and it isn't an issue. But when a bird becomes a captive bird, it is generally fed far too fatty of a diet and doesn't have the opportunity to exercise much. This results many times in liver, heart and respiratory health issues. Many birds on this forum have been lost from those types of diseases, some of them quite young.

    I recommend that you leave your bird unclipped and encourage him to fly as much as you can. Keep the dogs separated from the bird - don't take a chance. Get a harness for your bird and take him outside often - you will both love it.
     
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  13. CStone

    CStone Sprinting down the street

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    The only reasons to clip a bird, IMO, is if there is a medical reason or if the bird has become unruly and uses flying attacks on people which could lead to a rehome. A clipped bird in a good home is better than an unclipped bird in a shelter or bad home.

    Any other issues can be resolved without clipping. Close toilet lids, use blinds or window stickers, close off access to unsafe areas when the bird is out. Build other areas for the bird to sit on that are high up in the air and have toys or treats on them to make them more appealing than your curtain rods or artwork, then lay a towel or paper under that area to catch poop. Close animals in other rooms or outside when bird is out or keep bird in a separate room for out of cage time.


    Wanting a bird that doesn't fly is like wanting a fish that doesn't swim. Flying is what a bird was built to do.
     
  14. JLcribber

    JLcribber Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    Stealing that one. :)
     
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  15. Monica

    Monica Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    I don't personally believe that aggressive parrots should be clipped... Too many people use clipping as "the answer" for aggression, when it's not flight that has resulted in the bird's undesirable behavior...
     
  16. CStone

    CStone Sprinting down the street

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    While I generally agree with this statement, the shelter I visited makes me happy for any animal that is not there. Having a decent diet, toys, and attention without flight, IMO, is still better than having flight that is never used because most smaller birds don't get any attention at all in a shelter when there are over 50 other small birds there.

    Should people look for a better alternative? Yes. Will they? Questionable.

    (I realize shelters try to do their best, but become overloaded and can't give individual attention to every birds individual needs.)
     
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  17. karen256

    karen256 Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran

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    What kind of bird do you have and is it tame or not?

    Personally, I do not clip my birds. However, so far every bird I've gotten has already been clipped when I got it (whether from breeder, rescue, or rehome). And I can see the value of a bird being clipped somewhat when first going to a new home - panic flights when they don't know the layout of the home and windows can be dangerous. Once they settle in and know their way around, I've found windows to not be too much of a concern.

    There are some valid reasons to clip birds and some non valid reasons.
    Flying away - Birds are sometimes clipped to keep them from flying away. If a bird is flying away because it's scared, you need to gain its trust. Clipping the bird does nothing and may, in fact, harm the bond of trust. Sometimes a bird is tame and the owner just wants to take it outside. In this case, clipping can give a false sense of security; even if a bird doesn't seem capable of flying indoors, if something really scares it outdoors (like spotting a hawk or something that makes it think of a hawk, like a plane), it can usually still fly away. It may not get as far away, but it more likely to end up in the top of a tree without knowing how to fly down, or to get killed by predators.
    Aggression - Clipping will usually not do much to reduce aggression. Sometimes a person will have a bird that flies and attacks and will clip to prevent that; but it's like chaining up a dog that bites. It might make it harder for them to bite anyone, but doesn't help solve the underlying problem. Still, in situations like this, a temporary light clip to keep attacks under control while the bird is trained more can be ok.
    Safety - Clipping for safety in the home can be a valid reason, depending on the situation. Some birds just never get the hang of avoiding windows - usually from being clipped before they ever learned to fly. Some birds may fly after the cat. Some birds are just too nervous and easily started into panic flights and a light clip to keep them from flying into things for a little while can help. Clipping is definitely not always safer in the home, though. There are also many situations where a bird is safer flighted.
    Clipping is also temporary, when properly done. A bird that is clipped very severely may constantly damage new blood feathers as they grow in, and have difficulty becoming flighted, but in most cases, with a normal light clip (or baby clip), the bird will be able to fly again within a year - often less in the case of small, lighter bodied birds.

    There are also some real dangers to clipping.
    Any type of wing clip will reduce the support for blood feathers growing in and make them more likely to be damaged and bleed. With a good wing clip that is not too short, this risk is fairly low but still present.
    Wing clips that are too short can result in a bird that falls, rather than glides. Some heavy bodied birds can fall hard enough to injure themselves badly, splitting their keels or breaking bones. It's usually not an issue with birds that are fledged and then clipped lightly but still a risk. Sometimes the clipped ends of feathers can poke a bird's sides and irritate them until they start chewing on the feathers; it's thought this can sometimes lead to feather plucking. Clipped birds may be less able to avoid dangers, if they happen to flutter to the floor, and may be more at risk of being stepped on or attacked by other pets.
    Along with these risks, there's also simply the reduced exercise available to clipped birds. Flying even short distances provides more exercise than a lot of walking and climbing around. As far as I know, there is no actual research on how flight affects health, but it seems pretty likely that flighted birds are going to be more fit and healthier than most clipped birds.

    I guess it's up to every individual. I really don't like the idea of clipping a bird for life. A light clip done as a one time thing for a specific situation is different though.
     

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