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I'm debating clipping my birds' wings.

HalAndtheTrio

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I like that my tiels can fly. By the structure of the house we're in they really cannot get out.
But some part of me declares it's best.
Can someone give me advice?
 

Mizzely

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Best for who? Best for the bird that was designed mind, body, and soul for flight?

Clipping makes them prone to heart disease. Makes sense when you take their main form of exercise away, right?

It takes away their independence, which affects their confidence.

It doesn't make them safer as they can't escape dangers.

So why do you want to clip?
 

SandraK

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I don't mean to "gang up" on you, but the first question in my mind was why consider clipping if you've said that they can't get out of your house due to the structure. Has something happened recently that has made you rethink leaving your birds flighted? Or comments/articles you've come across about flighted vs non-flighted birds? Or are they trying to expand their territory and flying into areas you would rather they not be in?

I won't lie - a good 99% of my flock is flighted. Five of my flock cannot or will not fly - 2 by choice (tiel Sonny, Quaker girl Loofa), 2 due to injuries (tiel Peeps, Quaker girl Daisy) and the last (tiel Theo) because he has never been able to grow in the flight feathers on one wing. I will admit though, that I have had somebirdies wings clipped when they have become to aggressive towards other fids. My flock is made up of 1 sun conure, 4 Quakers, and the balance is a 50/50 of tiels and gccs.
 

Hankmacaw

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I can't overemphasize the importance of flight for a bird. Captive birds are very susceptible to fatty liver disease, cardiac and respiratory diseases. Regular hard exercise is important for keeping these diseases at bay. Diet is the other very important part of keeping them healthy. A lean diet will keep their energy up and their weight down.
 

HalAndtheTrio

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Mizzely, as I explained to Sandra.
Sandra, I've got a deformed collar bone which makes it quite hard to reach above my head when the birds land up high and get stuck. While they can't get out, I'd rather them not keep flying into stuff.
I did not know quite a few people would be so hostile about clipping.
 

Mizzely

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Not being hostile, just giving you facts. You said nothing in your post as to why you were considering it, and I unfortunately don't have time to go looking through people's past posts to see what information they failed to mention.

How about stick training so you can use a perch to retrieve them instead of clipping? Or target training so they come down on their own. I have 2 birds that won't step up at all... one is just a brat and the other is untamed. They are fully flighted and I never have issues getting them back to their cages.

Flying down is harder than flying up. It's a learned ability. Maybe they just need more time to develop that skill
 

Hankmacaw

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We are not hostile - we are giving you our opinions. And BTW telling you the truth.

Could you please point out where you told Sandra that you have a deformed collarbone - I haven't seen it.
 

Lady Jane

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If your birds are getting "stuck" high up there are other options besides mutilating their flight ability.
I have a nice 16' long bird ladder. You can get them to step on the extended ladder and lower them. You can also get them a nice bird stand all fixed up with toys and treats. That way your birds will want to land on that play area.
 

SandraK

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My apologies, I did not know that you have a deformed collar bone though I can now understand where you are coming from. Different medical situation (herniated discs in upper neck) but I'm not supposed to reach above my shoulders/head while looking upwards. Though I can, it ends up causing pins and needles in my hands and can sometimes cause extremely sharp spasms of pain in my shoulders/arms.

I did say in my post that I have clipped some of my fids wings and, if you are serious about trying to control their whereabouts a little, I'd like to suggest what is called a "show clip". The 2-3 outer feathers on a wing are left intact but 4-5 shorter inner flight feathers are clipped. Your fids will (with folded wings) will look like they have unclipped wings but it will reduce their flying reach while still allowing them to fly. More effort to fly with less ability to go as far.

I hope it helps and I did not mean to come across as hostile when I posted.
 

barry collins

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I have a vaulted ceiling where my birds are out during the day and it is far too high for me to reach up and get them down and in the past it has been frustrating to get all my fully flighted teils to go back in the cage when i need them to.
My solution has taken about 4 weeks of training to get right but it has worked really well and may help you with your problem,
First i have made sure they get plenty of time out of the cage before i put them back so they don't feel cheated and don't mind going back so usually at least 90 mins but longer the better.
Second i don't leave lots of food out to eat while flying free so they build up an appetite while exercising and feel hungry,
Third i always fill the food bowls in the cage just before i put them away so they know that they are going back to something to eat
Fourth i use a treat to entice them down from the roof and they fly down to my hand to get the treat in my case millet and i only use it for training and rewarding, you could start with a bit of favourite junk food just for the purpose of getting them down to the cage to get things started,
Fifth and probably most important is use the same routine every time i have found all six of my birds must go back in a specific order and from the same perch everytime and if they refuse just give it 30 seconds then go back and try again,
Last i always leave my hand in the cage and let them finish the treat so once again they don't feel cheated or rushed before i close them in,
The most important thing is to set aside 15 mins everytime you need to put your birds away so you don't rush things and never show your frustration as they can tell and will be nervous about it,
It takes a while to get into the groove but it works for me and has taken about a month to get right and sometimes still takes 10 mins but now works everytime.
I think it's much better to have a better understanding with your birds than clipping them,
If you have to clip better to be a last resort after you have exhausted all other avenues first and be sure you are clipping to enhance both your lives and not just so you have more control because it is easier.
It is hard work but so rewarding when it starts to work and you see they know what to do before it even starts because they see you getting the treats and walking over. Sometimes they complain but they are getting better everyday.... Good luck and if they can still climb up over your head with clipped wings they may still be difficult to get down again?
 

HalAndtheTrio

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Hank and Mizzely, no I did not mention my deformity.
Sandra, yeah, it's quite painful. I would otherwise tolerate them but they all seem fly at once. I was thinking a show clip, they had that before and it worked great. They could still fly which was nice, but not as far or as high.
Thank you Barry, the one bird is trained to "come home" where she flies up to my arm. The twins are stinkers.
 

JLcribber

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All you need is a long stick or broom to shoo them down or away from where they are. That doesn't affect your collar bone?
 

Animallover03

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Another Idea: you could find something your birds dislike, such as balloons, and place it up there. I believe that @Macawnutz puts some sort of streamer over her tv so her birds don't land or chew on it. :)
 

JLcribber

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You'd be surprised what does.
They get stuck on the curtains, and because I can't raise my deformed Nemo arm I can't change them.
You keep saying they get "stuck"? Just how are they getting stuck? If that's the case the environment is not safe and you need to make changes to make it safe so they don't get "stuck" anywhere.

Handicapping your bird is not the answer.

(didn't see your last 2 posts until after i posted this) :)
 

HalAndtheTrio

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Get stuck, uhm, not stuck, but, I don't know the English for it.
The curtains are just fleece plaid blankets that they to love to climb. Everything else is ok.
If I were to clip them, I'd do a show clip if anything. My oldest tiels I never clipped and they sadly passed at 20 and 22 yrs. They were out in the sun room through.
 
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