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How should I clip my bird's wings?

Leira

Sitting on the front steps
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Hey everyone! I have a cockatiel who is untamed and I'd really like to let him out of the cage to work on getting him friendlier. However, I don't have a small room to put him in as my room is ridiculously tiny (and his cage is really big) so all I have is the living room. However there is no walls in between the living room, kitchen and front room, the whole main floor being completely open. I'm horrified of him flying into something by accident, or not being able to get him back into the cage (we have a very high ceiling in the front room) so I wanted to clip his wings until he is at least tame to keep him safe and under control. He is quite aggressive and assertive, and I'm really scared of clipping his wings myself. I haven't taken him out of the cage yet and I don't think I could handle clipping it. Where are the best places to get wings clipped and how much does it usually cost? I am a minor and my parents are quite annoyed with how expensive everything is so I'm really worried.

Any advice would be appreciated! :tiel4:
 

Yoshi&Raphi

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Raphi
I would highly recommend not cutting his wings. He is much safer with them, if you do clip them he will still be able to glide except it will be uncontrolled this greatly increases the chances of him bumping in to something. He is also at the risk of getting trapped on the floor at mercy to other pets. If your worried about him flying in to things you can cover them with blankets.

Parrots are built to fly their whole body’s are built specifically for it. It provides exercise and most birds really enjoy it.

My bird Yoshi came to me clipped and I did not mind because I thought it would make him easier to tame. I was very wrong, he was very unwilling to step up or trust me because he knew if something went wrong he would have no escape. He would try desperately to fly then fall to the ground or crash in to a window.

He is still has not got his flight feathers and it breaks my heart every. Single. Day. He still HATES hands with a passion and will attack them at any chance I suspect this is because past trauma involving them (probably having his wings cut)


I won’t hold it against you if you do but I’m begging you not to or at least research it first. I may get crap for this but I firmly believe a parrot should fly unless it’s for medical reasons.


@Lady Jane (Pamela Clark’s articles)

@JLcribber

@Hawk12237

@Zara
 

Zara

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Leira

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
12/26/18
Messages
18
I would highly recommend not cutting his wings. He is much safer with them, if you do clip them he will still be able to glide except it will be uncontrolled this greatly increases the chances of him bumping in to something. He is also at the risk of getting trapped on the floor at mercy to other pets. If your worried about him flying in to things you can cover them with blankets.

Parrots are built to fly their whole body’s are built specifically for it. It provides exercise and most birds really enjoy it.

My bird Yoshi came to me clipped and I did not mind because I thought it would make him easier to tame. I was very wrong, he was very unwilling to step up or trust me because he knew if something went wrong he would have no escape. He would try desperately to fly then fall to the ground or crash in to a window.

He is still has not got his flight feathers and it breaks my heart every. Single. Day. He still HATES hands with a passion and will attack them at any chance I suspect this is because past trauma involving them (probably having his wings cut)


I won’t hold it against you if you do but I’m begging you not to or at least research it first. I may get crap for this but I firmly believe a parrot should fly unless it’s for medical reasons.


@Lady Jane (Pamela Clark’s articles)

@JLcribber

@Hawk12237

@Zara
Thank you so much for your reply! I never thought of it like that, that really sounds horrible :( I feel like my bird has a fear of hands as well because whenever I put my face near him he's 100% okay but if I bring my hand up he starts hissing and lunging. His bites really hurt, I'm not exactly sure what to do about that. (even when I have treats in hand)

How much was your bird's wings clipped? What do you think about partial clips? I really don't think my house is suitable for a bird to be flying around without being managed, and I'd like it if he could still fly. Just a bit restricted to keep him safe. Again this isn't really my house, it's my parents, so I can't make many alterations.
 

Zara

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However there is no walls in between the living room, kitchen and front room, the whole main floor being completely open. I'm horrified of him flying into something by accident
Again this isn't really my house, it's my parents, so I can't make many alterations

Tension rods are a great invention - no need to drill holes and can be pulled down after flight time

I feel like my bird has a fear of hands as well because whenever I put my face near him he's 100% okay but if I bring my hand up he starts hissing and lunging.
Be patient, if he is new to your home, he may still need time to adjust. You might want to start looking into stick training. (using a perch to pick him up - this will make putting him in and out the cage easier)
Here´s some helpful links,
Some things to do with a new bird.... | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
Free Training Resources | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
 

Yoshi&Raphi

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Raphi
Thank you so much for your reply! I never thought of it like that, that really sounds horrible :( I feel like my bird has a fear of hands as well because whenever I put my face near him he's 100% okay but if I bring my hand up he starts hissing and lunging. His bites really hurt, I'm not exactly sure what to do about that. (even when I have treats in hand)

How much was your bird's wings clipped? What do you think about partial clips? I really don't think my house is suitable for a bird to be flying around without being managed, and I'd like it if he could still fly. Just a bit restricted to keep him safe. Again this isn't really my house, it's my parents, so I can't make many alterations.
His wings were clipped pretty bad he would just fall straight to the ground now he can flap a bit and have a softer landing but it’s still pretty bad.

It’s still cutting his wings but I guess it’s better than nothing.



Sorry if I came across a bit harsh before but I have a firm belief that unless for medical reasons birds should be able to fly. What’s your cockatiels name?
 

tka

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Partial clips are still clips. Your bird's wings and feathers are an aerodynamic marvel - every feather is a flight surface, and a skilled flyer can easily manipulate their flight feather angles to be an agile and responsive flyer. Clipping even a couple of feathers affects that. Think about an aeroplane trying to take off or land without the flaps in the right position - it still has its wings, but without being able to control all the flight surfaces, its flight is uncontrolled and dangerous.

As others have said, clipping feathers can really affect your bird's confidence and ability to trust you. Sure, they may step up but its because you've removed their choice - they can't move away even if they want to. They're dependent on you to move around; they're not actually choosing to be with you. Compare that to when a flighted bird, who is capable of being anywhere in the room, chooses to be with you.

You'll have to think carefully about managing your bird's environment. As @Zara said, tension rods and lightweight curtains can be used to section off rooms or areas in an open plan house. You can also set up play stations to capture his interest and encourage him to stay on a stand or a table. This could be a parrot stand, a tabletop smaller stand or some interesting toys and food on a table.
 

Zara

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Think about an aeroplane trying to take off or land without the flaps in the right position - it still has its wings, but without being able to control all the flight surfaces, its flight is uncontrolled and dangerous.
What an excellent analogy. I´ve never heard anyone explain it like this and it´s perfect.

You can also set up play stations to capture his interest and encourage him to stay on a stand or a table. This could be a parrot stand, a tabletop smaller stand or some interesting toys and food on a table.
If you are a young person or low on cash, check out @TikkiTembo ´s DIY play stand/area/gym made from a shower rack :)
The Start of a DIY Play Area | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
 

AutumnRain

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There are definitely risks to consider with a flighted bird. Someone here once suggested hanging something like mosquito netting in front of the door as added protection to keep my bird from getting out. I also have door alarms as a secondary reminder. Not only that, but I have worked on teaching my bird how to descend, along with recall training indoors, in case she ever did get out to greatly increase my chances of getting her back. Those are all things I would highly suggest, especially with having more than just you in your household.

If you don't end up getting him partially clipped, window clings are also great for reflective surfaces. I have quite a few of them all over sliding glass doors, mirrors, and even the microwave door. Because of this, my tiel knows those are solid surfaces and never tries to fly through them. Closing the blinds or curtains while your cockatiel is out is also an option.

Your bird will become a very skilled flier with time if not clipped. My cockatiel flies confidently and with ease. She was allowed to fledge and fly after that for almost a year before her previous owner clipped her wings. He was afraid that she would get out the door one day and decided to have them clipped. When I adopted her, she had no confidence because of being clipped. I hated that she had to rely on me for so much, because I knew she probably was really missing the independence she had before being clipped. She bonded very quickly to me, but I wasn't the one who had her wings clipped, so she didn't associate me with that negative experience. I also worked hard to respect her boundaries (something that's important with a clipped or flighted bird). I wish you the best with your decision.
 

TikkiTembo

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Our cockatiel has never been clipped, and our conure has. Our cockatiel has confidence and navigates every inch of the house with ease. He did have one accident where he hit a window, it was my fault for not pulling the blinds all the way down. Our conure flaps like a mad man and can get from his playstand to his cage, but again, refuses to step up and is afraid of hands. Our upcoming bird will also come clipped from the rescue, but we will not be clipping him again. Like Zara said, I made a cheap play area for the birds, so they're usually on the play area, or on)in their cages. Our flighted bird is also on our shoulders a lot.

If you choose to clip him, just know that it won't help tame him or keep him safe. I spent hours with a lady trying to coax her bird out of a tree once, and he was clipped, and we never got him because he had no flying skills to fly down to her. Please visit a vet for any clipping, they are the only ones I'd ever trust with such a procedure, I'd estimate the cost to be anywhere between $30-60 depending on the vet and such.
 

Hawk12237

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I'm not a big fan of wings being clipped. I prefer not to.
That said, the only time I would clip wings is for medical reasons. Thus, it would cause more harm to bird if they flew for example.
I only had two birds I had to clip in past. One a too, he had one eye. It was that way when I got him, gouged out. So his flight coordination wasn't good nor was his landings... I feared for his safety.
I would invest in perches set up around house to fly to. Table top perch or that.
If you must clip, and I understand, do not try yourself, get a vet to do it. They are not expensive from what I see.
But by all means give it great thought first. Flying is a birds pride and joy, don't take that from them unless it is medically necessary.
 

Dona

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@Dona that looks really cozy!
Yes it's cozy. And a little hippy dippy. :)

After a long search, we deliberately picked this large 1700 sq ft condo that has many smaller rooms, versus the open concept we had in our last family house. We share our space off and on with our son, we homeschool our grandkids twice a week, and Gigi is fully flighted and needs containment, so we like smaller designated areas. It's way harder to keep a bird protected in larger more open rooms. And it helps to contain the grandkids too. Some doors are closed. :)
 
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Parrotl3t

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My lorikeet’s feathers are not clipped & he never flies away - he is a Velcro bird.

My cockatiel came to me clipped & are in the process of growing out - he does fly away. It concerns me because we have a ceiling fan that stays on constantly & I worry that I may forget to turn it off when he’s out with me. He doesn’t seem to want to ride on my shoulder much...

My cherry head Conure’s wings are not clipped but he doesn’t try to fly either BUT I can only hold him upstairs away from the dogs otherwise I will get a nasty bite.

I don’t intend to clip my Quaker’s feathers. He just a baby right now.
 

Garet

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If your bird is afraid of hands, clipping his wings is only going to make it worse. You'll have to grab him with your hands, restrain his flailing body with your hands, forcibly extend his wings with your hands, and pick up and use the scissors with your hands. That is not a good experience for any bird.
 
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