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Risk stress to cut nails?

Daanmaz

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Hi!

I have a pair of very untame rescued lovebirds. One does absolutely fine and is living his best life, but his partner is a bit ✨ special ✨.

She plucks her neck, and we've been to an avian vet with her a few times to exclude medical reasons and to try and break the plucking cycle with a collar. That experience has been very stressful and traumatizing for her so now we wanted to just let her be her for a while (only still testing out minor things such as trying out or excluding certain food, etc.).

However: her nails grow to be too long.
At what point is it worth toweling her (thus causing a lot of stress and trauma again) while she is in her big cage to get them trimmed at the vet? I've added a picture of her that shows her nails (she's easy to spot with the bald neck and long nails next to her mate haha). Are they too long already, or can we wait a bit longer?

We already use perches of different sizes and materials in and out of the cage, including a pedi-perch, so i don't think there is much left to try on the preventive side.
 

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Zara

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including a pedi-perch
Which one do you have? Could you post a pic?
Either you have one that´s not ideal, or it could be that it´s positioned in a way that it´s not getting used to it´s full potential. Need to put it somewhere they hop on and hop off of it, on the way to a food or water bowl for eg, near a swing they play on frequently. If you feel it´s not working, move the pedi perch in the cage until it starts making a difference.
I use Hagen (living world) pedi perches, and only one of my birds needed a nail trim (she has a closed foot).

Her nails are teetering on being long but not excessively long. Their beaks are quite long too - be sure to give them wood to chew and chip at. A lava stone could help with the beak
 

Daanmaz

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Yeah I was wondering about their beaks too, but when we visited the vet for a few months ago she said they didn't need their beaks trimmed (though they may not have been as long as they are now).

I have one of those "smooth on top, rough on the bottom" ones (see picture) that I've moved around a few times but as of yet hasn't gotten used as much as I'd like. I now had it right in front of their food bowl (i had it out for a deep clean today but I marked the position with a red stripe on the picture of their cage) but they prefer climbing down the cage bars over hopping and so they skip the perch most of the time. Their preferred sitting positions in the cage are at the top, both left and right.
Could i replace on of their main sitting positions with the pedi-perch?

They spend most of their time outside of the cage, though they do have to go in their cage throughout the day if they want to eat pellets (the majority of their diet, supplemented with a Lovebird seed mix and fresh vegetables).They have a ton of natural wood branches they hop on and off of outside of the cage, and I have 2 "foraging" trays with cork bark and other branches in the living room where they can find seeds. It takes a long time to introduce new things to them, i strongly suspect they've spent most of their lives in a small cage without any toys or enrichment at all before they were rescued. Until I discovered fresh tree branches (willow for instance) and cork bark I've tried so many toys that they didn't even glance at. Even now, I think they only chew on things in moderation. Flying is their main source of entertainment. I'll try the lava stone though, the more natural the better chances they'll try it it seems.

I've looked into services that do home visits for nails trims but none are available in my city.
Perhaps if I need to get both their beaks and nails done I just need to bite down and do what is best for them even though it may damage our relationship a bit again. They are very happy together at least .
 

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expressmailtome

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Those are the better pedi-perches. I can not tell from that picture, but I just wanted to give you a tip about using them. As they only work when the bird's nails rub on them, it is always better to get one with a larger diameter than your birds usually use so as to make their nails rub against the abrasive portion of the perch.
 

Zara

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Could i replace on of their main sitting positions with the pedi-perch?
No. You want to birds to hop on and off of it, not sit on it or sleep on it.
Just keep re trying and moving it until it´s in a good place.
I have those exact same perches, I think that is the same size as the ones I have (Small) too.
 
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