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Breeder wing clipping

Craigfam

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Hey guys - newbie here ;)

The breeder who has our 5.5 week old sun conure insists on wing clipping all the birds in her care. I explained to her that we haven’t fully made up our mind on clipping but we felt like it shouldn’t be done until he/she has learned to fly. The breeder of course had a million horror stories to tell me about flighted birds (which could very well be true) but I’m a little upset that I don’t have a say with my own bird.

Im not sure how to handle this. This is not a hill I’m will to die on as my family visits this bird daily and we are very attached, so I will not be taking my money elsewhere at this point.

Should I insist on at least being present during the clipping? To monitor how severe it’s clipped. The few gcc in her care are fully clipped :eek:

Am I stressing for nothing? Thanks guys…
 

TikiMyn

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I would not stand for it. A bird that does not learn to fly at the right time, develops a different brain structure. They miss out on a lot. There are some great articles about the science behind it, if I have time I will link a few later. Technically the bird is yours, so you should decide. I see no reason to clip, most flighted bird sorry stories are birds who never fledged but we're later allowed to fly, in my experience.
 

finchly

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Your concerns are very valid. Has it flown at all yet?

And if you’re present, but they butcher the job- it’s already done. :( Have you seen other examples of their clip jobs?
 

Hankmacaw

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You can hear horror stories about almost anything, but have you considered the thousands upon thousand of success stories of people who have never clipped their birds - even as babies.

Perhaps you can read this article and let your breeder read it to. IMO a bird's lifetime health is intimately associated with whether or not he flies.
 

The_Mayor

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This may sound weird, but, hey, that's kind of my niche.

I've heard that having a bunch of birds around who are not yet competent flyers is a lot harder for the breeder to manage than if the birds aren't flying.

Which leads me to - would you consider offering the breeder an amount of money, in addition to the purchase price, to allow the bird to fledge? Sort of a nuisance fee.

I don't know if the breeder would agree to that, but it would at least convey one that you understand that this might make this bird somewhat higher maintenance and also that it's important to you that the bird be allowed to fledge.
 

Wardy

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If you have paid for the bird then the breeder has no right to clip your birds wings if you havent i would make it clear you dont want the bird you are going to pay money for having its wings clipped.
Personally if the breeder isnt prepared to listen to you and no money has exchanged hands i would go elsewhere.

This may sound weird, but, hey, that's kind of my niche.

I've heard that having a bunch of birds around who are not yet competent flyers is a lot harder for the breeder to manage than if the birds aren't flying.

Which leads me to - would you consider offering the breeder an amount of money, in addition to the purchase price, to allow the bird to fledge? Sort of a nuisance fee.

I don't know if the breeder would agree to that, but it would at least convey one that you understand that this might make this bird somewhat higher maintenance and also that it's important to you that the bird be allowed to fledge.
The breeder i got my bird from refuses to clip wings he is a firm believer a bird needs to fly and manages accordingly.

I dont understand you saying this makes the bird higher maintenance if the breeder cant invest the time in breeding flighted birds i would question the breeder.
 

Kassiani

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If it were me, I would absolutely insist that the bird *not* be clipped. I would offer additional money if needed. I would even send her the information mentioned by others to make the point about the bird I was purchasing.
 

Craigfam

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Your concerns are very valid. Has it flown at all yet?

And if you’re present, but they butcher the job- it’s already done. :( Have you seen other examples of their clip jobs?
She has some green cheeks that are clipped. From my non expert vantage point it appeared as of the first 6-8 flight feathers were trimmed way back….
 

Craigfam

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This may sound weird, but, hey, that's kind of my niche.

I've heard that having a bunch of birds around who are not yet competent flyers is a lot harder for the breeder to manage than if the birds aren't flying.

Which leads me to - would you consider offering the breeder an amount of money, in addition to the purchase price, to allow the bird to fledge? Sort of a nuisance fee.

I don't know if the breeder would agree to that, but it would at least convey one that you understand that this might make this bird somewhat higher maintenance and also that it's important to you that the bird be allowed to fledge.
This is a great suggestion. I will consider this. Thank you
 

Kassiani

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What a beautiful baby sun!!!
 

flyzipper

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I explained to her that we haven’t fully made up our mind on clipping
Bias disclosure: I'm in the camp that asserts flight is essential for the wellbeing of our avian companions.

In order from most preferred to least:
  • Do whatever you can to avoid the clipping entirely.
  • Delay clipping until they've fledged (if your bird is clipped after it's allowed to fledge, they'll resume flight after their first molt, so all is not lost).
  • The bird is not allowed to fledge (here's the point I'd walk away -- if they don't allow their birds to fledge, they're not a breeder I would support).
Each of my 3 birds came to me clipped and they're all flying again, so that's where, "all is not lost", comes from.

This is not a hill I’m will to die on as my family visits this bird daily and we are very attached, so I will not be taking my money elsewhere at this point.
It sounds like you've made up your mind, and may even have them clipped in the future, so the key message is to let them fledge (at least).
 

Craigfam

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Bias disclosure: I'm in the camp that asserts flight is essential for the wellbeing of our avian companions.

In order from most preferred to least:
  • Do whatever you can to avoid the clipping entirely.
  • Delay clipping until they've fledged (if your bird is clipped after it's allowed to fledge, they'll resume flight after their first molt, so all is not lost).
  • The bird is not allowed to fledge (here's the point I'd walk away -- if they don't allow their birds to fledge, they're not a breeder I would support).
Each of my 3 birds came to me clipped and they're all flying again, so that's where, "all is not lost", comes from.



It sounds like you've made up your mind, and may even have them clipped in the future, so the key message is to let them fledge (at least).
I just called to get the full scoop on their policy (they also board parrots and groom). They wait until after the bird flies first, then they do a “baby cut”. Whatever that means. It’s so hard to talk on the phone with someone surrounded by macaws
She said it will allow for some flight. She did however say that she’ll bring my concern to the owner and we can talk further about it. unfortunately, with my inexperience in this realm, it never occurred to me that they would clip the wings. I wrongly assumed that choice would be mine….
 

Kassiani

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In the interest of full disclosure, my two male budgies were lightly clipped by my vet about 2 years ago. They had gotten some sort of infection and had to be given medication for 2 weeks, twice a day.

While it did allow me to more easily catch them, watching them try to fly in their cage and thump to the ground was horrifying for me to watch. It scared them and greatly threw off their confidence. I was thrilled when their flights grew back in, and I will never do that to any bird I own again. The only exception would be if a wing trim on one wing opposite to a permanently damaged wing was needed.

I wish you many happy years with your sweet feathered companion!
 

sunnysmom

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I know many breeders clip because it makes it easier for them, not you. Also, I once saw a bird being clipped and I walked out in tears (not my bird but at an event I was at). I was literally traumatized over it for days. I can only imagine how traumatizing it was for the bird. My adopted cockatoo came to us clipped. I believe it completely affected his personality. It was only after his wings grew back out that I think he started to become "Elvis". And it's so much better physically and mentally for a bird to be flighted. Also, sometime people will try to sell you on- they're easier to tame/train when clipped. But that's only forced dependency, not building trust.
 

Craigfam

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I know many breeders clip because it makes it easier for them, not you. Also, I once saw a bird being clipped and I walked out in tears (not my bird but at an event I was at). I was literally traumatized over it for days. I can only imagine how traumatizing it was for the bird. My adopted cockatoo came to us clipped. I believe it completely affected his personality. It was only after his wings grew back out that I think he started to become "Elvis". And it's so much better physically and mentally for a bird to be flighted. Also, sometime people will try to sell you on- they're easier to tame/train when clipped. But that's only forced dependency, not building trust.
I agree. I’m starting to see through the “it’s about safety” when it’s really about convenience (for the breeder). We are considering clipping (again only considering) because we have 6 children who will not be as mindful about doors, ceiling fans, toilets etc… My kids are constantly going in and out and I anticipate that habit being slow to break. We’ll work on it! Best case scenario would be well trained kids and a well trained fully flighted bird! ;)
The breeder seemed to be more concerned about the bird flying on top of my cabinets and doors or into a closed window or wall….
 

Ripshod

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because we have 6 children who will not be as mindful about doors, ceiling fans, toilets etc
I was deliberately staying out of what can be a very emotional topic for the forum as a whole. However the statement above brings me back to the basic point of a bird's ability to fly - escape. If a parrot feels cornered (intentional or not) or trapped in a situation it will use flight to escape to a safe place. A flighted bird finds a standing start difficult enough. No flight no escape, leaving one parrot scared to death. Kids scare me too.
All the points you stated to validate clipping can be dealt with in a friendlier way.
 
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finchly

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An argument can always be made for either side. If you show the bird each room properly, it’s not going to fly into the windows or walls.

I understand what you’re saying about having kids around, and only you can make the right decision for your family. I’ll just give you this caution:
I gave my bird a LIGHT clip one morning, and he escaped that afternoon. Wind got under his wings and he went a mile away. We got him back two days later, but that’s the day I stopped clipping.

You can educate yourself on light or baby clips, and be sure it’s done that way. You want the bird to be able to glide to the floor, not crash.

I bought a caique from someone who insists on clipping. I asked her not to but when I picked him up he was clipped. He’s 5 now and still unsure of his flying ability.
 

Craigfam

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I understand your concern and they are points I have been considering. And for what it’s worth I do not have small children. :)
 

derin

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An argument can always be made for either side. If you show the bird each room properly, it’s not going to fly into the windows or walls.

I understand what you’re saying about having kids around, and only you can make the right decision for your family. I’ll just give you this caution:
I gave my bird a LIGHT clip one morning, and he escaped that afternoon. Wind got under his wings and he went a mile away. We got him back two days later, but that’s the day I stopped clipping.

You can educate yourself on light or baby clips, and be sure it’s done that way. You want the bird to be able to glide to the floor, not crash.

I bought a caique from someone who insists on clipping. I asked her not to but when I picked him up he was clipped. He’s 5 now and still unsure of his flying ability.
I agree with what you said. I got a baby cockatiel a month ago and at the breeder they clipped every flight feather. She now flies about 5-10 feet then crashes. For me the worst part about it is there is nothing I can do about it. I would be okay with it if they only clipped her primary flight feathers. I just have to wait 3-6 months before they grow back when she has her first molt.
 
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